Who to Contact for Debt Help

Who to Contact for Debt Help

by David Redmond on 22 Feb, 2011

As personal debt in the UK has spiralled over the last three decades, the demand for debt help has increased with it. More and more people find themselves struggling to keep up with various debts. This is where the debt management industry sprang up from (all those adverts on TV about becoming debt free in 60 months) but these are not necessarily the best places to go for advice on debt.
A quick google for ‘debt helpline’ throws up a lot of results, and it is not immediately clear who is preying on debtors and who is offering genuine advice.

The most obvious place to turn for debt advice is the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), but this is under increasing financial strain itself, and getting an appointment can take weeks. The two main debt helplines that offer impartial advice in the UK are the National Debtline and the Consumer Credit Counselling Services (CCCS) – details for both of which are listed at the bottom of this article.

The former is a national organisation funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the financial services industry specifically to help people struggling with debt. It is free to the end user and is the first place you should go if you need help.

The CCCS is a registered charity, meaning it is also free at point of service and can be depended on for impartial advice although some critics argue that they tend to recommend debt repayment plans rather than bankruptcy or insolvency options that may sometimes be more appropriate.

Other debt helplines are generally from private companies who will help you (perhaps by selling you a consolidation loan) but are primarily motivated by profit, meaning it could end up costing you more in the long run.
Many creditors will act more sympathetically towards you if you are acting in accordance with the National Debtline, CCCS or CAB, none of which will charge you for their services – neither of which apply to private companies.

Contact details:
National Debtline – www.nationaldebtline.co.uk
Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) – www.cccs.co.uk
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) – www.citizensadvice.org.uk

About the Author

David Redmond

David Redmond is a Partner of Don Gilliard Finance Group. He is a fee-only, independent financial advisor and financial planner. For over 15 years, he has been helping individual investors and their families realize their investment goals.