WHERE TO GET HELP IF YOU ARE IN DEBT
There are several different charities you can talk to about debt trouble – these vary slightly depending on which part of the UK you live in.
Facing up to debt can be a tough process. But there is lots of free, confidential help and advice available, so there’s no need to pay a debt management company to sort out your money worries.
Watch out for companies that aren’t charities
Look out for companies with misleading names that sound like debt charities but are actually commercial businesses.
Never ever pay for services from this type of company.
Here is our selection of genuine sources of free, independent and confidential help.
The Royal British Legion
The Royal British Legion is the UK’s leading Service charity. It provides practical care, advice and support to serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans of all ages and their families.
Confidential, impartial and non-judgemental advice on managing your debt including solutions such as Debt Relief Orders and payment plans. Their Benefits and Money Advisers can also advise on how to maximise your income, assist you with court proceedings, challenge debts or negotiate with your creditors, all completely confidential and free of charge
Problem debt can affect anyone, so it is important that you seek advice as early as possible and make sure you are receiving all the help you are entitled to.
- Contact Centre helpline on 0808 802 8080 from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week (calls are free from UK landlines and main mobile networks) for all enquiries. If you are in the Republic of Ireland, you can call 1800 992 294 for free. From overseas: +44 (0)20 3376 8080 (full rate)
- Information and advice centres around the UK
- Live chat service available 8am-8pm, 7 days a week. Click on the Live Chat icon.
- Online contact form to send an email enquiry.
For those in Scotland contact Citizens Advice Scotland who work in partnership with Poppy Scotland.
Serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans of all ages and their families.
You can also try one of the many Service charities – see Other Service Organisations on The Royal British Legion’s Knowledgebase.
Citizens Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice.
Debt and money, benefits, housing, legal, discrimination, employment, immigration and consumer advice.
- home visits
Get advice specifically for the Armed Forces and their families – find your local bureau to arrange an appointment or get advice online by following the links below:
England and Wales – Citizens Advice website
Citizens Advice Scotland website
Northern Ireland – Citizens Advice website
StepChange Debt Charity
The Step Change Debt Charity is a registered charity that provides free and anonymous advice over the phone and online to over 350,000 people per year. It provides fee-free debt management plans and other debt solutions.
Debt and money, bankruptcy, Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), debt relief orders (Insolvency Service approved), trust deeds, the debt arrangement scheme, bailiffs, charging orders, employment, benefits, money management, mortgage and repossession support, and equity release.
- Phone the StepChange Debt Charity Helpline for free on Tel 0800 138 1111 (Monday–Friday, 8am–8pm; Saturday 9am–3pm)
- Use the StepChange Debt Charity call back service
Create a budget using StepChange Debt Remedy, a free online debt advice service. It will identify the extent of your debt problems and provide you with a tailored recommendation to resolve your situation. It’s free and you don’t have to give your name.
StepChange Debt Charity online debt tool
Start a live web chat with StepChange Debt Charity (Monday–Friday, 8am–8pm; Saturday 9am–3pm)
National Debtline provides a free, confidential and independent helpline for people with debt problems in England, Wales and Scotland. They give expert advice over the telephone and via email and will send you a free self-help information pack.
Budgeting, money and debt issues including rent and mortgage arrears, debt solutions such as bankruptcy, Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), debt management plans, debt relief orders, trust deeds, the debt arrangement scheme and advice and support if creditors take court action.
Phone National Debtline free on Tel 0808 808 4000 (Monday–Friday, 9am–9pm; Saturday 9.30am–1pm)
For debt advice and information, visit the National Debtline website.
National Debtline’s My Money Steps website is a secure, confidential and free online self-help debt advice service. My Money Steps can help you to work out a budget and give you personalised advice about the options available to you.
Everyone in England, Wales and Scotland.
Debt Advice Foundation
Debt Advice Foundation is a registered national debt advice charity offering free, confidential support and advice to anyone worried about loans, credit and debt. Expert advice is available via a free telephone helpline or online.
Budgeting, debt consolidation, free debt management plans, Debt Relief Orders, Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), Trust Deeds and debt arrangement schemes (in Scotland), administration orders, bankruptcy and sequestration (in Scotland).
Call the free Debt Advice Foundation helpline on Tel 0800 043 40 50 (Monday–Friday, 8am–8pm; Saturday 9am–5pm).
Use the Debt Advice Foundation call-back service
For information on debt solutions and tools to help with budgeting and debt, go to the Debt Advice Foundation website.
Everyone throughout the UK.
Christians Against Poverty
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a national debt counselling charity with 205 centres based in local churches across the UK.
Debt, money management, budgeting, and paying bills through a CAP account.
Face to face
To find all the services in your area offered by Christians Against Poverty – and to sign up to one of their money courses – go to their website:
Put your postcode into the Christians Against Poverty website to find local services
Go to the self-help service on the Christians Against Poverty website
Anyone who lives within the catchment area of a CAP debt centre.
Civil Legal Advice
Community Legal Advice (formerly Community Legal Advice) can provide free and independent help for anyone who qualifies for legal aid in England and Wales. Be aware, however, that since 1 April 2013, debt problems will only qualify for legal aid if you’re at immediate risk of homelessness.
Family, debt, benefits, housing, education or employment problems.
Call Civil Legal Advice on Tel 0845 345 4 345 (Monday–Friday, 9am–8pm; Saturday, 9am–12.30pm. Calls cost 4p per minute).
Use the Civil Legal Advice call back service
Anyone living in England and Wales who is eligible for legal aid.
Check whether you’re eligible for legal aid on the Gov.uk website
Payplan is an advice organisation that provides free, confidential and independent advice over the phone and online.
Money management, debt and debt solutions such as debt management plans, Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), bankruptcy, debt consolidation, mortgage arrears and repossession, negative equity, remortgaging, bailiffs, charging orders, payday loans, County Court Judgements (or Decrees in Scotland) and redundancy.
- Phone Payplan free on Tel 0808 271 3728 (Monday–Friday, 8am–9pm; Saturday, 9am–3pm)
- If you’re calling from a mobile, it might be cheaper to call them on Tel 0203 051 1297
Go to the Payplan website
Shelter is a housing charity offering confidential advice on a range of financial issues.
Housing, debt, benefits, care, health, disability, prisoners/ex-offenders, council housing, property repairs, family, neighbourhood issues, eviction and homelessness.
- If you’re in England, you can call free on Tel 0808 800 4444 (Monday–Friday, 8am–8pm; Saturday–Sunday, 8am–5pm)
- If you’re in Wales, you can call free on Tel 0845 075 5005 (Monday–Friday, 9.30am–4.30pm)
- If you’re in Scotland, you can call free on Tel 0808 800 4444 (Monday–Friday, 8am–5pm)