Our Advice Process
Everyone’s journey out of debt is different and there are various ways of taking charge of your debts.
Although the exact level of support you may need will depend on your individual situation, we’ll use the following process to advise and support you towards becoming debt free.
Understand Your Situation
The first thing we will do is meet you so that we can fully understand your situation and circumstances, so our first task is simply to listen. We may need to ask you for more information or paperwork - the more we understand about your situation, the more we will be able to help.
Your Income and Expenditure
Any advice begins by looking at your income. This may include making sure you are claiming everything you are entitled to as well as looking at other options to bring in extra income.
We will then look together at all your bills and spending and where possible we will highlight any savings you could make.
Look at Your Debts
The next stage will be to look at your debts and sort them into priority and non-priority debts. Priority debts are those that have the biggest consequences if you don’t pay them - these will be dealt with first. We will also advise you about any urgent situations such as legal action, bailiffs, or threatened eviction.
Create a Financial Statement
If appropriate, we will help you create a financial statement – a simple record which can be used when speaking with creditors so that they are aware of your exact financial circumstances.
Discuss Your Options
We will discuss with you the best options for your situation. If your circumstances mean you can’t repay your debts within a reasonable timescale, we may look at insolvency options. The most important thing however is to make a plan that works for you.
Make a Plan
We will help you put a plan in place which might include negotiating with your creditors, asking them to hold interest, setting up an affordable payment plan, or looking at other action. Whatever is decided, we will help you take each step.
Things to consider
Before working with us, or any debt advice agency, there are some important things you need to think about - please do ask your adviser if you have any questions.
Your Credit Rating
In most cases the options discussed in the guide will affect your credit rating and may show up on your credit record for up to 6 years.
Using any of the options could affect your employment. Depending on the terms of your employment, you may need to disclose your situation to your employer.
Right of Secured Creditors
None of the options will have any effect on the rights of any secured creditors. If someone you owe money to has taken security over your home or other property they will still have the right to take possession of your home or goods if you do not repay the debt.
Most credit card debts, loans and store cards are unsecured, meaning the creditor cannot automatically claim entitlement to your home or property if you fail to make payments. However if you are a home-owner, in some circumstances a creditor may be able to ask the court to secure the debt on your home through what’s known as a charging order.
Stopping or Reducing Payments
The people you owe money to are not obliged to accept reduced payments or to freeze interest if it is being applied. Stopping or reducing payments to them may therefore result in the debt taking longer to repay or the creditor taking legal action against you.