Getting the conversation started
StepChange Debt Charity’s 9th annual Debt Awareness Week has arrived!
As the UK’s leading debt advice provider, StepChange help hundreds of thousands of people every year to take back control of their finances. The charity has nearly 30 years’ worth of experience providing free debt advice, with expert advisors offering practical help and debt solutions suited to you.
Debt Awareness Week aims to increase awareness of problem debt, and the advice and solutions available to help. By bringing our money problems into the light, we could save ourselves – and each other – from falling into financial difficulty. We can beat the stigma around being in debt, and even save money over time.
Where can I get free debt advice?
Millions of people are struggling with money worries. That means you're not alone, and there is often a way forward.
Whether you choose to go through their online service or speak to an advisor on the phone, StepChange recommends you prepare for your debt advice session as best you can. It helps if you can gather details about:
The money you have coming in, for example your wages, benefits, pension payments or tax credits
Your regular living costs, such as your rent or mortgage, what you need to spend on food, travel, and insurance, among other things
How much money you owe and who you owe money to, including any interest, fees, and charges
If you don’t have everything to hand, don’t worry. You can pause your session and come back to it later, or switch between online and telephone advice to suit your needs.
So, how does debt advice work?
Well, to ensure the advice and solutions offered are correct and tailored to your situation, StepChange will need to know about your financial situation.
They’ll ask for information about your finances to get a full picture of your situation, helping you create a realistic monthly budget to see what you can afford to pay towards your debts, if anything
You’ll receive tailored advice contained in a personal action plan, along with their recommendation for how to deal with the debt. They offer the widest range of solutions of any debt advice organisation in the UK, including repayment solutions such as debt management plans and insolvency solutions like debt relief orders. They also offer a range of debt solutions if you live in Scotland, and Equity Release if you’re eligible, among others.
You’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision on what to do next, and StepChange can also help you to set your solution or give you further support.
Getting advice is an important part of dealing with debt. However, also having feelings of shame or regret over money or debt can be an exhausting burden to carry around, especially if you’re doing it alone. By recognising that you’re struggling with problem debt, and creating a plan to deal with it, you’ve already taken the first step, and that’s something to be extremely proud of.
It’s also vital to have some support in your day-to-day life. This can make all the difference. If it’s possible, we recommend you’re open and honest with your loved ones about your financial situation, as encouraging conversations about debt can be incredibly helpful.
Debt isn’t something you have to cope with alone. StepChange Debt Charity offers free, impartial, and confidential debt advice. Visit their website to get free debt advice today or take their 60 second debt test and get the conversation started with Debt Awareness Week 2022.
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