6 best resources for debt advice in the UK

Don’t let debt drag you down. Take back control of your money and explore six of the best resources for debt advice in the UK.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

For such a small word, debt comes with a lot of baggage and dealing with it can feel like a relentless uphill battle. But if you’re wrestling with debt, there’s no need to struggle alone because help is at hand. Here’s where to turn for debt advice in the UK.

Debt advice organisations

There are numerous organisations that can help you deal with debt in the UK, but you should bear a few things in mind. Some debt management firms will charge for their services – which can seem a little counterproductive. Whether you feel their advice is worth the expense is down to you, but don’t forget that their primary motivation is likely to be commercial gain.

On the other hand, there are several not-for-profit organisations that can help you for free. Not only do they offer impartial advice, they’ll be able to guide you through all of your options and provide you with a step-by-step action plan. Here’s where you can find free resources and guidance:

1. The Money Advice Service 

Set up by the government, this is a one-stop shop for (you’ve guessed it) money advice. From mortgages to home insurance, the advice here is clearly set out and signposts next steps. Their debt and borrowing hub is no exception and you can find a wealth of advice about how to manage and prioritise your debts.

You can read the Service’s advice online or contact them via webchat, WhatsApp or phone.

2. StepChange

This is one of the largest debt advice charities in the UK and it offers comprehensive guidance. The charity has 25 years’ worth of experience and has helped more than five million people free themselves from debt, repaying £4 billion in the process.

StepChange also has online tools that can help you spot potential money issues so you can nip them in the bud. For example, there’s a credit card debt calculator and a 60-second debt test.  

Their three-step online service will present you with options based on your level of debt. Alternatively, you can phone an advisor for free.

3. National Debtline

As well as debt advice, this charity offers a number of practical online tools. There’s a budget calculator to help you visualise where your money goes. Plus, you’ll also find a number of letter templates you can download for free. These are grouped by theme, so, for example: letters to help you negotiate with your creditors (people you owe money to) or how to make a complaint about them.

A new coronavirus hub has also been added if you’re worried about loss of income or need guidance about entitlements. 

Advice is provided online, but you can speak to an advisor by phone (calls are free). Webchat and email are also available. 

4. Citizens Advice

This is one of the few organisations where you can get face-to-face debt advice in the UK. Of course, most in-person meetings are not happening right now, but they also offer a webchat and telephone service. If you want to call them, you can ring their national advice line (charged at local rates).

If you prefer, you can also contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau by phone and you may also be able to arrange a face-to-face appointment for when such services resume. 

5. Debt Advice Foundation

As well as free debt advice, this charity has a number of debt and money management tools that you can use without charge. Here, you’ll be able analyse your debt, plan a budget, check what benefits you’re entitled to and more.

You can phone the Debt Advice Foundation for free or request a call back. The callback service is also free and you can specify a time convenient to you.

6. PayPlan

PayPlan provides detailed written guides about debt management and the solutions available. Unlike the others on this list, PayPlan is not a charity but their advice is still free.

Services are provided online and the organisation estimates that you could have a personalised solution in around 15 minutes. If you’d prefer to speak to someone, you can call their freephone helpline or use their webchat service.

It’s worth knowing that not all services offered by PayPlan are free. The company also offers paid services, and promotes the use of their ‘associated companies’ when it comes to arranging some debt solutions like an individual voluntary agreement (IVA). Debt solutions like IVAs cost money to arrange, so whoever you use is likely to charge, but PayPlan do have commercial motivations for recommending certain companies to you.

Information you will need

Whether you use an online, phone, webchat or face-to-face service, you’ll need as much information about your debt as possible. If you can, it’s handy to have details of:

  • Your income – this includes wages and anything you earn from gigs on the side.
  • Your outgoings – including utility, credit card and store card bills, plus any outstanding loans you have.
  • Who you owe money to and how much.
  • When you first missed a payment (if applicable).
  • Any steps your creditors have taken (for example, formal letters or final warnings).

Take back control of your money

From budgeting quickly and easily to understanding debt solutions, stay on top of money matters with help from our hub.

 

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be considered so you should consider taking independent financial advice.

MyWalletHero, Fool and The Motley Fool are all trading names of The Motley Fool Ltd. The Motley Fool Ltd is an appointed representative of Richdale Brokers & Financial Services Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the FCA (FRN: 422737). In this capacity we are permitted to act as a credit-broker, not a lender, for consumer credit products. We may provide information on consumer credit, savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and investment products and services, but will not provide advice, or confirm the suitability of any product or service, for your specific circumstances or requirements, neither will we arrange these products on your behalf.

The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers.

More on Personal Finance

Note paper with question mark on orange background
Personal Finance

Should you invest your ISA in a model portfolio?

Which model ISA portfolios offer both high performance and low fees? Hargreaves Lansdown, Interactive Investor and AJ Bell go under…

Read more »

Economic Uncertainty Ahead Sign With Stormy Background
Personal Finance

Is it time to exit emerging markets investments?

Investors may well be sitting on losses from emerging markets funds. Is it worth keeping the faith for a sustained…

Read more »

Personal Finance

Share trading? Three shares with turnaround potential

Share trading has been difficult in 2022, but which companies have turnaround potential? Jo Groves takes a closer look at…

Read more »

Man using credit card and smartphone for purchasing goods online.
Personal Finance

Revealed! Why Gen Z may be the savviest generation when it comes to credit cards

New research reveals that Gen Z may be the most astute when it comes to credit cards. But why? And…

Read more »

Environmental technology concept.
Personal Finance

The 10 best-performing sectors for ISA investors

The best-performing sectors over the past year invested in real assets such as infrastructure, but is this trend set to…

Read more »

Road sign warning of a risk ahead
Personal Finance

Recession risk ‘on the rise’: is it time for investors to worry?

A major global bank has suggested the risk of a recession in the UK is 'on the rise'. So, should…

Read more »

pensive bearded business man sitting on chair looking out of the window
Personal Finance

1 in 4 cutting back on investments amid cost of living crisis

New research shows one in four investors have cut back on their investing contributions to cope with the rising cost…

Read more »

Image of person checking their shares portfolio on mobile phone and computer
Personal Finance

The 10 most popular stocks among UK investors so far this year

As the new tax year kicks off, here's a look at some of the most popular stocks among UK investors…

Read more »