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How To Get Help With Debt

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If you find yourself in debt, free help and advice services are provided by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and organisations such as the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, who will spend time to familiarise themselves with the problem and advise on what to do to pay creditors; how to keep a roof over your head; and ensure continuing services such as gas and electricity. The advice and help given is tailored to the individual and continues until you are out of trouble.
Prepare details of all your debts, together with bank statements and any letters demanding payment.
Over the telephone, a helpline advisor will usually perform an immediate assessment of the situation ending in emergency help, self-help material, or the offer of a counselling appointment.
The advisor will consider your whole situation before recommending the best solution for your debt problems. The CCCS for example, offers free advice and the assessment can be completed online in under 20 minutes, anonymously and with no commitment.
The first priority, wherever possible, is to allow for essential expenditure, priority debts and living expenses. The advisor will assess whether the client has enough left over to make an offer of repayment to other creditors. If so, creditors are asked to freeze interest, stop penalties and charges, accept a longer repayment period and sometimes a reduced sum.
Your monthly payment will be calculated on the difference between your total monthly income and your total monthly expenditure.
Arranging an official debit management plan via an independent agency lets your creditors know that you are serious about clearing your debts in the shortest possible timescale.
Organisations such as CCCS deal with making payment offers to your creditors and all you have to do is make one payment to them, and they distribute it to all your creditors.
Personal debt usually results from a change in financial circumstances, caused by reduced income or overuse of credit, although relationship problems and changes in employment status are also common causes. Because of this, personal financial difficulties affect people from all walks of life and those on high incomes as well as those on low ones. The important thing is to remember that you are not alone, and that thousands of people have already been helped by debt management plans.
People in financial difficulty can reach the CCCS via the freephone number 0800 138 1111 or online using our internet-based counselling tool CCCS Debt Remedy which is available 24 hours a day. The quality of their counselling means that many creditors now accept the repayment proposals without further checking.
Some debt management companies charge a fee for acting on your behalf – make sure you obtain a free service, so that all of your payment goes towards clearing your debts.


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