Last week, I was contacted by the Derbyshire Districts Citizens Advice Bureau here in the UK who asked me to help them share an important message about fee free debt help.
They’re currently running a campaign called “Fee Free Debt Help” and the aim of this is to let people know that if they’re struggling with debt, they should NEVER have to pay for debt management help.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably already know that when our debts were at their worst, we had no choice but to set up a debt management plan with our creditors. What you might not know is that we paid a significant monthly fee to do this which ate into the money we had leftover for debt repayment. We didn’t know at that time that fee free debt help would have been available to us if we’d known where to look.
Just before we decided to enter into debt management, we were being hounded by our creditors for payments that we literally couldn’t afford to make. It was a time of desperation. We didn’t know what was going to happen to our home, we didn’t know our rights and all of a sudden being able to put food on the table seemed like the most important thing in the world. We couldn’t sleep for worrying about the debts. This is how unmanageable debt can make you feel – totally desperate and afraid.
When we found out that there was a solution to enable us to pay back our debt with a lower, more affordable monthly payment, we jumped at the chance for some breathing space and we thought that paying a fee for such a service was the done thing. The debt management company that we went with was brilliant actually and they really did help us get our debts under control and start sleeping at night again – I will always be grateful for the help they gave us.
However we were paying a fee of around £800 per year for their services (which was incorporated into the monthly payments). It was only when we had been in our debt management plan for a couple of years that we realised there was actually free debt help available for this kind of thing. With that said, there definitely isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to debt solutions and there are factors to consider other than fees. Having a good trusting relationship with our debt management company was an important factor for us for example.
If you need professional debt help, no matter what level of debt you’re in, it’s vital to make sure you’re getting the right kind of debt solution for your own particular circumstances. If you’re struggling to make your minimum repayments on your debts and you think a debt management plan would be worth considering, then you need to know that you should NEVER have to pay for one. StepChange and National Debtline are two debt charities that can help.
If you’d like to help spread the word about the fact that there is free debt help available to those that need it, please share this post and get involved with the Derbyshire Districts Citizens Advice Bureau campaign! You can visit their Fee Free Debt Help website for more information about debt options, plus you can download posters, images and leaflets. Remember to follow them on Twitter!
*Original image supplied by Derbyshire Districts Citizens Advice Bureau and modified by Disease Called Debt.