Our Guide to Stepchange Debt Charity

Len Burgess[1]

Len Burgess

Money Savings Advice Our guide to StepChange debt charity

The Stepchange debt charity is an invaluable source of free debt advice for those struggling with their finances. The charity helps in excess of 650,000 people a year with their debt problems, and a solution for you could be just around the corner.

Stepchange Debt Charity

StepChange debt charity is the largest debt charity in the UK. They support anyone in debt by offering free advice and debt solutions, such as debt management plans or IVAs. They won't charge for their services in setting these solutions up.

The expert debt advisers at the Stepchange debt charity have proven an invaluable source of information and assistance for literally millions of people in the UK. For more than 25 years the charity has been at the forefront of debt management advice in the UK, quite literally changing the lives of millions of people.

So, what can the Stepchange debt charity do for you?

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Is Stepchange Debt Advice Really Free?

This is a charitable organisation which has been going for more than 25 years and assisted literally millions of people in turning around their financial lives. Financial pressures can push you into a lonely place, and a friendly voice on the other end of the phone, offering help and assistance is priceless. The organisation was previously called the Consumer Credit Counselling Service.

Will I Need to Tell Stepchange Details of My Finances?

Yes, if you want financial advice, you need to be honest and open with the Stepchange advisers. The more information you give them, the more suitable the debt solution they can recommend. While you may feel a little embarrassed about discussing your financial situation with a “stranger” just remember they are there to help.

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What Is the Advice Process With Stepchange?

The charity uses what they describe as a three-step process for dealing with debt troubles. This involves:-

Creating a Summary of Your Financial Situation

They will help put together a summary of your income, debts and work out a budget which is feasible for your situation.

Finding a Debt Solution

Using the summary of your financial situation, they will be able to advise the most appropriate debt management options for you.

Setting Up Your Debt Solution

One of the main differences between Stepchange and other similar organisations is the fact that Stepchange will remain with you until your debt solution has been negotiated, agreed and put in place.

After-care

It is highly likely that at some point in the future you may need additional assistance regarding your debt solution or guidance if your finances have changed. Thankfully Stepchange will be available to assist where possible.

What Are the Main Debt Management Options?

Each individual case tends to be very different, and there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to debt management. Stepchange is able to offer guidance on debt management plans, IVAs, bankruptcy, debt relief orders, sequestration and the minimal asset process.

Each of these plans will be suitable for a particular scenario, and even in the worst-case situation, when bankruptcy has to be considered, this is not the end of the world.

How Can I Raise Capital to Pay-Off My Debts?

There are numerous ways in which you may be able to raise capital to pay off all or part of your debts. Many people will have equity in their own home, and it may be an option to release part or all of the equity available.

You may also have the opportunity to downsize your home, perhaps downsize your vehicle and cash in any policies or savings plans you may have. Nobody is suggesting that you sell everything, but if you have surplus assets/capital, then it will help to give you some breathing space.

What Are the Most Popular Searches on the Stepchange Website?

It will come as no surprise that the main searches include debt consolidation, credit card debt, credit card persistent debt, debt management companies, CCJs and bailiff help/advice.

These are obviously very important issues and sometimes subjects that are difficult to discuss with family and friends. Indeed, many people find it easier to discuss their financial situation with complete strangers who take a business approach to their advice.

Are There Any Free Guides Available?

As we touched on above, many people find it difficult to discuss their financial affairs, even with a qualified adviser. It may be down to embarrassment or a lack of knowledge about the potential options going forward.

Therefore, many people find Stepchange free guides very useful, covering subjects such as:-

  • Redundancy
  • Reduced income
  • Furloughing
  • Rising energy bills
  • Coronavirus
  • Mental health
  • Urgent need for money

Information regarding the benefits system is also priceless to those struggling to make ends meet. Thankfully, Stepchange is very much up to date with ongoing changes to the universal credit system and those expected in the future.

Are There Any Alternative Organisations I Can Approach?

While Stepchange has one of the best reputations in the marketplace, there are other very useful organisations such as:-

  • Citizens Advice
  • The Money Charity
  • Debt Advice Foundation
  • Debt Support Trust
  • National Debtline

You’ll also find that the following government departments/regulatory authorities provide a wealth of information online although they don’t provide direct debt management advice:-

  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • The Financial Conduct Authority
  • HMRC
  • Gov.uk

While historically many of those with financial difficulties would suffer in silence, thankfully this trend is starting to change. It may be the Internet, the raft of information available or the numerous debt management options on offer - whatever it is thankfully, people are more open to discussing their financial issues.

How Do I Negotiate With My Lenders?

Stepchange will help you to negotiate with your lenders where you have short-term, medium-term or long-term cash flow issues. The key is to know the information that your lenders require to make a quick decision about any assistance they can offer.

The vast majority of mainstream lenders will have dealt with Stepchange on numerous occasions and be familiar with their services.

Summary

Stepchange, formerly the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, has made a huge difference to the lives of millions of people since inception more than 25 years ago. The ability to call for independent financial assistance, have someone listen to your problems and suggest a solution is priceless for those under financial pressure.

Don’t shy away from your problems, face them head-on and call the Stepchange debt charity for advice tailored to your situation.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You Reducing Your Debt?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s debt release brokers. They have already helped thousands of people reduce and remove a high percentage of debt, and if you are struggling with debt, they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent adviser means they won’t recommend a scheme unless they are sure it is in your best interests. Their advice is also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these brokers, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Money Savings Advice Author Len Burgess

Len Burgess

Len Burgess is a professional financial writer who over the last five years has written hundreds of articles for all financial sectors. Len founded Money Savings Advice with the aim of helping consumers navigate their way around the financial world by providing easy to understand financial information and matching consumers with the best financial advisor based on their personal information.

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