Most people know that StepChange Debt Charity (formerly CCCS) gives debt advice, but we provide a host of services that many people might not know about. One of the things we are best known for is providing free debt management plans but we also offer a wealth of other services to help you get debt free!
Welfare benefits checks
Understanding the welfare benefits system can be incredibly confusing, even if you’re a trained debt advisor! We understand that claiming benefits can be a scary prospect for many people. This is why we give free benefits checks over the phone and can talk through how to claim whatever you’re entitled to.
Full and final settlement service
If you’re lucky enough to have a lump sum available then you could use it to negotiate settlements with your creditors. This is where the debt is written off if a one-off payment is made to cover part of the debt. We have a team who handle these negotiations on your behalf. Read more about full and final settlements.
Individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) are legally binding agreements to pay some of your debts back and then have some written off. If an IVA is right for you we have our own IVA company who can talk you through the process and set you up on an IVA.
To find out more on the risks associated with IVAs, visit the IVA page on the StepChange Debt Charity website.
If you own all or most of your property then you could investigate whether equity release is right for you. Equity release is a big commitment and you need reliable and impartial advice before making the step; we can help.
If we recommend bankruptcy to you we will also help you through the process. We have a dedicated phone line, staffed by bankruptcy experts, who can advise you on a range of practical issues, from trust funds to help cover fees, how to fill out the application form to even what you should wear to court!
Self-employed debt advice
Giving advice to the self-employed can be a little bit tricky. If you work for yourself then it can mean that you do not know how much money you’ll have from one month to the next. Add to that the need to pay your own tax, national insurance and business costs and planning a budget can be a complex task. We have a team of debt advisors that specialise in giving debt advice to you if you work for yourself.
Debt relief orders
Debt relief orders (DROs) are a form of insolvency available to those with under £15,000 of debt, less than £50 a month disposable income and few valuable assets. If we recommend this solution to you then our DRO team will put together an application and submit it to the Insolvency Service for you.
It can be difficult to take the first step and talk to someone about your finances. Debt Remedy provides an online alternative to our telephone debt advice service. All you have to do it enter your financial information and we’ll provide you with personalised and in-depth debt advice, the same as you’d receive from a phone advisor. Debt Remedy is a free way to get help with your finances and only takes about 20 minutes to complete.
As an optional part of Debt Remedy we can also assess how dealing with your debts has impacted on you emotionally. If you’re finding it hard to cope with your debts we provide access to a free online course, to help you deal with the fallout from problem debt.
Scottish and Northern Irish debt advice
The laws governing debt are different in Northern Ireland and Scotland, so we have advisors with specialist training to help support you if you live in either of these areas. You’ll receive the same standard of advice and support as those in England and Wales but we’ll advise on the different options available to you.
We can also give advice to you if you live abroad but are struggling with UK-based debts.
Every year people in the UK are missing out on benefits and tax credits worth over £10 billion. We want to make sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to!
Our benefits checker is a straightforward tool that can tell you what you can claim. We don’t keep any information and you don’t need to be a client to use it. However, you can use this service while putting a budget together through Debt Remedy.
With energy prices on the rise, we want to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal on your fuel bills. Our online switching service is a brilliant way to see if you’d be better off switching. Doing so might mean getting your debts paid off that bit quicker.
All we need is your postcode, your current usage and your supplier – what could be easier?
Then there’s us, the MoneyAware team. We’re busy on Twitter, Facebook, the MoneyAware blog and loads of other places on the internet where people talk about their finances. We can provide friendly advice and information on how to manage your finances and deal with problem debt. And if you’ve got a question, post it up!