Phone: 0808 278 7992

Debt

We can help you to deal with all your debt problems, however much you owe. We will look at your situation, and help you to explore the options available to you.

Advisers can help and advise you issues such as court proceedings, administration orders, debt relief orders or bankruptcy, preparation of financial statements and negotiations with creditors.

We can also help you with budgeting to help you manage your money in the future.


Debt Awareness Week

22-28 March 2021 is Debt Awareness Week.  Sometimes taking the first step is the hardest but our advisers can work with you to sort out your debts and have put together a few of their top tips when it comes to debt.

 

The first step is to open the dreaded brown envelopes and collect information about your debts.  Make a list of all your debts and note down details such as account numbers and the date of your last payment. You can get free credit reports from Experian, Equifax or TransUnion.

Next you will need to sort out which debts to deal with first. Priority debts include rent or mortgage arrears, council tax, gas or electricity, phone bills, TV licence, court fees or unpaid child maintenance. These debts should be dealt with first and other debts such as catalogue, credit card or money owed to friends and family can wait and we have template letters to send to creditors to ask for time while you deal with priority debts.

Our advisers can help you to maximise your income, looking at all the benefits and grants you may be entitled to, ensuring you are being paid the correct amount and whether you could get extra support from your local council or energy suppliers.

Asking for help is the most important thing you can do.  Our advisers can help you find a way to manage your debts and explore your options for getting out of debt.  Speaking to someone about your debts can help you to make a plan and ensure that you don’t commit yourself to a repayment plan that you can’t afford in the long term.

Get in touch on our new freephone Adviceline to speak to an advisor locally 0808 278 7992 or email [email protected]

More free advice and support can be found at stepchange.org or payplan.com


Struggling to pay your bills because of coronavirus?

If you are struggling to pay your bills because of coronavirus it is important you don’t ignore them.  Contact the organisation you owe money to – they may let you take a pause or let you pay smaller amounts.

Check what benefits you are entitled to in order to maximise your income.

Renting

If you are struggling to pay your rent it is important to speak to your landlord straight away.  The government has made a temporary change to the law around eviction which may mean you will be protected however, you may still remain vulnerable to eviction and Citizens Advice have asked the government to go further.

Mortgages

Mortgage lenders and administrators are expected to treat customers fairly during the coronavirus outbreak.  You may be entitled to a ‘payment holiday’ which will need to be applied for and agreed with your lender.  This will not affect your credit rating.  Lenders are also temporarily stopping repossession orders.  There is much more information on this at the Financial Conduct Authority website.

Council tax

Councils will receive funding to allow them to increase the help they provide through LCTS and reduce council tax bills.  This may allow for a £150 reduction in council tax bills for those who already eligible for help with their council tax.  If your account is already with bailiffs you can speak to TWBC on 01892 526121 to ask them to recall it.  More information is at tunbridgewells.gov.uk

Energy bills

If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, speak to your supplier as soon as you can.  If you have a prepayment meter contact your supplier who might agree to give you temporary credit.  This money will need to be repaid but your supplier should help you with an affordable payment plant.  It is important to let your supplier now if you need extra support e.g. if you have a long term illness, you are disabled or have young children living with you, so they can put you on the priority services register.

Ofgem has announced a moratorium on all disconnections during the outbreak.  If you are struggling to pay for fuel www.moneysavingexpert.com has a supplier guide.

TV Licensing

TV Licensing are not currently visiting homes and have said clients who need to urgently stop a Direct Debit payment should do so online with their bank.  More information at tvlicensing.co.uk

Emergency loans

If you do need to borrow money do not be tempted by payday loan companies who will charge high interest rates.  Kent Savers is a credit union available to those living or working in Kent, Medway or Bexley, they are socially responsible lenders who will also help you with savings plans and money management.

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