There are several different debt advice services available to use for free.
Whichever service you decide to use you can expect to receive the following support:
- help completing a budget and clarifying your financial situation
- a non-judgmental discussion about your situation - advisers are happy to talk about your problems, however big or small
- suggestions on ways to manage your debts
- more information on the options available to you
How do you want to communicate?
The service you decide to use may really depend on how you wish to discuss your situation.
It may help to consider whether you would prefer to speak to someone on the phone, or work through things in your own time online.
Money Helper has a great directory of all the free services available so you can easily compare what’s out there and what may be right for you. They split services into online, telephone, and face-to-face.
If you find that doesn’t help then a good place to start could be reaching out to either StepChange or Citizens Advice. Both services are free, offer multiple ways to get in touch, and have an excellent range of advice and resources available on their websites.
🤔 Not sure where to start?
If you think you need help and aren’t sure how to move forward you could follow our suggested next steps below to help you make a start.
1️⃣ Get in touch with us if you feel you need help
It’s really important to let us know if you’re struggling and feel you need more support. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or respond to any messages we’ve sent you, and tell us you need help.
We will never put pressure on you to agree to payments you can’t afford, we simply want to be aware of your situation so we can assist you.
If you talk to us we can:
- Suggest resources that may help you
- Discuss your options to find something to suit you
- Give you some space if you need time to look into the support available
- Keep your lender or supplier up to date so you don’t have to (please note we can only contact companies who have passed your account to us)
2️⃣ Consider whether you could manage making payments in the meantime
If you can afford it, keeping on top of payments may help prevent problems in the future, particularly for your energy bills. If you feel able to make manageable payments for the time being you can set something up through your Ophelos account or talk to our team.
If you don’t think you can manage to pay anything right now please let us know. There is help available, and if you are struggling our team will give you space to look into support.
3️⃣ Take some time to think about what you should deal with first
There is a lot of information out there and it may be difficult to know where to start.
Here are some tools which may help you think things through:
- Work out which bills to prioritise
- Work out which debts to deal with first
- Find welfare, benefits, and grants that are relevant to your situation
- Check what benefits you could be entitled to
Your first step could simply be deciding to talk to someone for more advice. You can find a local adviser for benefits, housing, jobs, and legal issues here. You can find a list of free debt advice organisations here.
4️⃣ Don’t forget to reach back out
While we are managing your account it is important to keep us up to date. If we give you some space we’ll always let you know how long the hold will last. This is so you’re aware when you need to get back in touch to let us know how you have got on.
When you update us we’ll be able to clarify next steps for you.
This could involve:
- Revisiting your options
- Giving you more space
- Suggesting further resources to look into
- Letting you know what to expect with regard to your account