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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Where to find free advice

Hello and Good Evening. Anyone who finds themselves in financial difficulties and are struggling to make ends meet must be totally confused as to where to get help. The MSE forum has a section called Debt Free Wannabe, a good place to start where help and support is offered from those in similar situations. Sadly though, there are an increasing amount of people who sign up with the first commercial debt management company they come across, then find that not all of their monthly payments are going towards reducing their debt. The company is keeping a large amount to pay for their services.

I've had an email from Paul Farnsworth who is running a campaign at Derbyshire Districts Citizens Advice Bureau, to promote free debt management services. I think most people know that the CAB offer a free advice service, but not many know that they can sort out the whole Debt Management Plan for you, and it won't cost you a penny.

Paul is keen to promote the CAB Fee Free campaign, and wants to get the message across that you NEVER have to pay for debt help. People can visit their blog here for more information on spreading the word. Derby District CAB is also on Twitter, you don't have to sign up to read it.  The National CAB website is also a good place to find out where your nearest office is. So if you are needing help don't fall for all the advertising hype you see from commercial companies, about helping you to get rid of your debt, they will charge you. Get free advice from the CAB.

While on the subject, read up on what Martin Lewis says about tackling your debt problem. There you will find lots of useful stuff to help you get started towards debt freedom. There are other free  charities which can help you to set up a plan.
Christians Against Poverty.
Step Change.
National Debtline 

So much free advice out there, never pay for help with sorting your debts out. Do not sign up with a commercial company, I can't emphasize that enough.

Thank you for the email, Paul, I hope I have got that message across loud and clear, best of luck with your campaign.

Thanks for popping in. Catch you tomorrow. Toodle pip.


  1. When you are in debt, the last thing you need is to be paying for help to get out of debt. We were in a lot of debt a few years ago and I didn't know where to turn. I couldn't sleep at night and I lived in fear of anything breaking down and needing fixing, or anything needing replacing. And I knew that we didn't have the resources to pay anyone to help us. That's why I started reading frugal blogs, and through changing the way we lived, we cleared all of our personal debt in under 3 years. I'm really pleased you've raised this Ilona, and I'm pleased that there are organisations out there who can help people free of charge. I wish I'd known about these organisations a few years ago. What I needed more than anything was support and understanding.

  2. Hello, great topic Ilona and very helpful for those of us who have that challenge in their life right now. It can be all consuming and suck the joy out of life to be in debt.Personally having undergone major lifestyle changes and opening up to all possibilities we are mortgage and debt free as I've mentioned before.We were helped immensely by free info and personal blogs. (yours in particular motivated us to keep going when it was tough as you are an excellent coach)For those who need a game plan it's good to know free services are out there to help people,because the last thing people in dire debt need to do is shell out more money to financial service companies who profit from their clients.Thank you for being you, yet again!Regards,D

  3. Hi Ilona, years ago my ex husband ran up a lot of debt and I went to the CCCS ( consumer credit counselling Service). they are another FREE service with many years experience in helping people. I found them amazingly helpful in showing me the way forward, and in assisting us in arranging manageable agreements with everyone we owed money to. On checking before answering you I find they are now renamed as Stepchange. you can find them here I cannot praise them highly enough, although I now live on my own I am positive I will never need their services again!

    1. Hello Lynne. Thank you for your recommendation. I included a link to Stepchange at the bottom of the post. Glad it worked for you.

  4. Brilliant advice - there's no point in throwing good money away after bad! x

  5. Great advice Ilona, as always
    Twiggy x

  6. Brilliant advice, when you're in debt you need to hang on to every penny you can, not hand lots of money over to charlatans who say they will solve all your problems for a fee.

  7. I think you've helped many of your readers with this post Ilona...when you're overwhelmed with debt you don't know where to start...I've never been in dire need of help but from reading your blog and others I've since found my non mortgage debt is gone and savings on the rise!

  8. Ilona, I've been blessed to not have a debt problem, all things free and clear. My SIL is the 'Debt Nazi", in that if they incur any debt all payments are doubled, etc., to get rid of the balance. But it is definitely a big problem for many. And many places take advantage of those who are needy and make payments appear to be almost nothing for them. Thanks for your sound advice.

  9. When I worked for Social Services I would often take people to CAB appointments. They were were brilliant as were CCCS. They would write letters for people, who struggled with such things. Sometimes people are so frozen with fear of their debt and the CAB advisors (though very busy) always seemed to take the time to help them see a way forward.
    I hear great things about Christians against Poverty nowadays.
    Great post.

  10. This blogpost is a real public service, thank you! As soon as I started reading I thought oh, I hope she soon mentions the Citizens' Advice Bureau! and you did, very cool. Yes to not ever paying anyone to help you with debt, not ever. I've never had a debt problem, largely because I'm already so frugal that little gets out of my wallet! but I do sympathize with people who have and who can't figure the way out, because the same difficulties that got them in are stopping them from seeing the way out without a bit of help.

  11. I used Stepchange a few years ago, we're still reducing our debt but they have been brilliant. Everything was spirallying out of control and there seemed no way out. They were kind and efficient and gave us a lifeline. Sue.


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