National Credit Education Month StepChange guest blog

A guest post from StepChange Debt Charity

When you’re struggling with payments on your bills and debts, it’s not always easy to know where to turn. Who can give you the advice you need, and how do you know it’s trustworthy? How can you pay back your debts while staying on top of bills and living expenses?

Whatever the type of debt problem you’re dealing with, help is at hand. There are several organisations you can turn to for free and confidential debt advice.

First things first: forgive yourself

Many people give themselves a hard time when they find themselves in debt. They’ll think back on the months or years and wonder where they went wrong to create the difficult situation they may find themselves in.

No one sets out to get into debt. No one wakes up one morning and says “Y’know what I really feel like doing? Taking out some loans and credit cards and spend, spend, spend until it’s all gone and then wait until I’m inundated with letters and phone calls demanding repayment”.

For many people, debt is a by-product of other distressing events in their life such as illness, redundancy, a relationship breakdown, bereavement or the sudden unaffordable increase on their living expenses.

The debt help organisations listed below will never judge you for the problems you’re dealing with. All they want to do is explore your options and help you get things back on track.

Who can give you free and confidential debt advice?

Here at StepChange Debt Charity we’ve been providing people with free and confidential debt advice for over 20 years. We have a free Helpline for people who would prefer to talk through their debts with an expert debt advisor. We also have Debt Remedy, an online anonymous advice tool that can help you establish a solution for your debts in around 20 minutes.

Improving the way you earn and save money can also help you deal with your debt problem. Our blog MoneyAware is packed with useful tips and ideas for boosting income, saving on day-to-day expenses and getting a better deal on your household bills.

However, if you’d rather not speak with us that’s fine – you can get debt help from other support organisations.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) help thousands of people deal with problem debt through support and faith, but you don’t need to be religious to get support. Find out more about them on their website.

Citizens Advice has provided support, information and financial counselling to local communities for years. Their specialist caseworkers can assist on a whole range of issues including debt, consumer rights and repossession. Find out more on their website or use their local CA centre tracker.

National Debtline provides fantastic and free debt advice to residents of England, Scotland and Wales. You can also get advice via their My Money Steps tool. Their sister charity Business Debtline helps self-employed people and owners of small businesses explore their options alongside maintaining their trade. Find out more about them here – you can chat to an advisor for free on their website.