Debt Management

Managing your debts so that they don’t spiral out of control is vital, but it can be hard to know where to begin.

There are plenty of different options for people looking to take control of their debts, so always compare what’s available to find the best solution for your needs.

MoneySuperMarket doesn't offer a comparison service for this type of product but we have compiled a list below of debt specialists who can help.

Get expert help and advice from debt solution experts

    • Provider/Product name Debt Advice

      Debt Advisory Centre

      Debt Advice

    • Description

      Struggling with loans, credit cards, payday loans and overdrafts? Debt Advisory Centre could help you turn them into one lower, affordable monthly repayment. They will talk to your lenders about freezing interest and charges – and work with Debt Management Plan Protocol-approved specialists, Gregory Pennington, to give you an expert service with no set-up fees.

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    • Provider/Product name Debt Advice

      Debt Advisory Line

      Debt Advice

    • Description As Debt Management Team of the Year 2012, Debt Advisory Line offers confidential debt advice for people with debt problems across the UK. Debt Advisory Line will review your finances, try to negotiate with your creditors and provide a solution tailored to your individual needs. They help thousands of people manage their debts. No-obligation professional, ethical and transparent debt services.
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    • Provider/Product name Debt Advice

      MoneyPlus Group

      Debt Advice

    • Description The aim of the MoneyPlus Group is simple – to provide customers with honest debt advice in plain English. They are committed to the very highest standards to be found in the sector and as such are founder members of DEMSA and adhere to the TSI code of conduct, they are also one of the first debt management companies to receive Debt Management Plan Protocol approval.
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    • Provider/Product name Debt Advice

      Baines and Ernst

      Debt Advice

    • Description

      Baines & Ernst help people beat debt by negotiating with your lenders to agree a lower more affordable repayment plan. They will also request that interest and charges are frozen and in 93% of cases they achieve this. Baines & Ernst will take over all dealing with your lenders so you can get on with living your life. So far, they have helped over 170,000 customers; see if they can help you too.

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These debt management companies all charge for their services. However there are free options available including StepChange, National Debtline and Citizens Advice, which you may want to contact first. These are all independent charities.

Introduction to debt management

The best way to start managing your debts is to face up to them. Make a list of all the companies you owe money to, and how much your monthly payments are. You should then try to prioritise your repayments, concentrating first on those which could affect the roof over your head.

You should also look to reduce the amount of interest you pay wherever possible. If, for example, you have credit cards charging a high annual percentage rate (APR), consider moving the balances held on these cards onto balance transfer cards offering an introductory 0% period for several months.

If you are still finding your debt payments unaffordable, the next step is to try and come to an arrangement with your creditors. Speak to them as soon as possible and let them know you are having problems – you may be able to negotiate lower payments over a longer period of time.

If your creditors won’t help, it’s time to seek professional advice. Several charities offer free debt advice, including the Money Advice Trust and StepChange (formerly the Consumer Credit Counselling Service).

They may be able to devise a Debt Management Plan on your behalf, so that you pay off what you owe without getting further into financial difficulty. You make one monthly payment to them, which they then divide between your creditors. This gives you peace of mind that your debts are being paid off in an organised fashion, and shows your creditors that you are committed to clearing what you owe.

There are debt management companies which also offer these kinds of plans, but there will be fees involved.

Alternative options to Debt Management Plans

A Debt Management Plan can help you regain control of your finances, but if you’ve gone beyond this point and cannot use this kind of plan to resolve your problems, you may need to consider alternative options.

These include an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), a legally-binding arrangement where you agree in a set monthly amount to repay your creditors over a five or six year period, or bankruptcy, where you must sell all of your assets, including your home, to pay off your debts. Bankruptcy only lasts for a year, but it will stay on your credit records for several years after this, making it virtually impossible to obtain credit.

Neither of these options should be entered into lightly, so always seek advice first to make sure you choose the right debt management solution to suit your needs.

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