When you're struggling with debt it's a difficult period in your
life. It can affect you life in various ways, including lack of
sleep, fear of bailiffs at your door or your friends and family
finding out about the extent of your money problems.
There is good news - we can help at Debt Support Trust. Our
charity offers not for profit money advice to help resolve your
You can call Debt Support Trust on 0800 085
0226 or complete our debt analyser form to understand
which debt solutions you may be suitable for.
Your money worries could be as little as £100 or it could be
larger than £100,000. We help everybody with money problems, little
or large. If you're unemployed but have a £100 debt then that can
be harder than a large debt which is into the thousands.
Resolving money problems starts with you taking
proactive steps. You could read about the debt solutions on our
website, give us a call to speak to a friendly advisor or get help
via our debt analyser form. There is always at least one route back
out of debt and we can help you start this process.
A life in debt has a negative impact on relationships, work and
your general well being, but struggling with debt alone is not
necessary. There are a variety of debt solutions which you could be
suitable for depending on your income, expenditure, level of debt
and equity in your assets.
It's our responsibility to take the burden of debt off your
shoulders and help you back to a debt free life. We do this by
completing a 15 minute questionnaire over the
phone. It's informal and if you don't know any of the answers, like
the exact amount of debt you have, then that's not a problem. Our
charity advisors will be able to give you general advice based on
your rough situation in this instance.
At the end of your call you will have at least one route to
consider which will help you become debt free again. You don't have
to struggle with debt alone, we can tell you which debt solutions
you would be best suited for.
If you're struggling to pay your contractual obligations on time
then you may already know that you have a debt problem. It's by
rectifying these debt problems that you get your life back on
You may feel the debt is too large to repay in full or that you
will be in debt for the rest of your life. Many debt solutions will
allow you to repay your debt in an affordable way and some even
allow you to write off some of the debt so you're not in debt
There are some debt solutions that will guarantee to freeze your
interest and charges too. Most debt solutions will affect your
credit file and a default could be added which would last for 6
years and could mean obtaining credit in the future is harder.
However, your credit rating can improve again after you have
resolved your money worries.
If you're struggling with debt and need help to get your debt
problems resolved then speak to a number of charities about your
money worries. You'll get confidential advice and be taking the
first step towards a debt free life.
You can call Debt Support Trust on 0800 085
When it comes to deciding which debt solution to choose there
are often two or three options to consider. A decision may be to
decide whether you should enter bankruptcy or an IVA to resolve outstanding
The right debt solution is often dependent on your expectations
as much as your financial situation. In the end, only you can
decide which solution will be better for you. At Debt Support Trust
our charity advice team can offer guidance on which solution you
may wish to enter.
You can call us on 0800 085 0226 to get advice on bankruptcy and
other debt solutions, or complete our debt analyser enquiry form.
This will give you a guide as to which debt solutions you may wish
There are several available debt solutions which resolve money
worries, but not everybody is suitable for all of the plans. In
order to understand which debt solutions you can enter you should
seek debt help.
The debt advice you receive
should lead you towards a debt solution or perhaps a couple
different routes which could all get you debt free. The advice you
receive will be based on your income, expenditure, assets and level
It's vital to get debt help before entering a debt solution as a
lot of them cannot be reversed once you've entered the plan. Most
recently we heard about a 48 year old who had entered bankruptcy
and wanted help to avoid the Official Receiver selling their
property. The property had £40,000 equity and the debt was only
£15,000. This assistance we could offer was limited, however there
were a number of other options which would have been more suited,
rather than bankruptcy.
You may have heard about a bankruptcy before - it's the most
commonly known debt solution and evokes memories or monopoly when
you don't have any money left and have no assets to sell (houses or
hotels). You may even know somebody that has entered a debt
solution, like a bankruptcy, and they tell you it's the best thing
they ever did. What happens to one person in a debt solution is not
necessarily the same for everyone.
A bankruptcy and IVA are both insolvency debt solutions.
However, there are variations of an IVA and bankruptcy. Typically an IVA will last 5
years, while the bankruptcy will last 1 year.
Repayments: If you can afford to repay money
each month then you will have to contribute towards your bankruptcy
each month for 3 years in total. The cost of bankruptcy is
typically £700. There is no upfront cost to enter an IVA. You can't
negotiate your bankruptcy payments, but you can put a proposal to
your creditors in an IVA where you set what you can reasonably
afford each month.
Assets: In a bankruptcy your assets with equity
are sold. A third party (friend / family member) can purchase your
share of equity if they can afford it, however, usually assets like
a house are sold on the open market. In an IVA you are asked to
remortgage near the end of the solution. If you are unable to
remortgage and release equity then the IVA is extended for 1 extra
year and you retain your property and equity.
Debts: In both the Bankruptcy and IVA you repay
what you can afford and any remaining debt is written off.
Lump Sum IVA / DRO: There are variations of the
bankruptcy and IVA. If you can't afford a monthly payment to your
debt but you have a lump sum of money then you could offer this
money in a full and final IVA. The rest of the debt would be
written off and the IVA would last usually 1 year.
The DRO is a £90 bankruptcy for people who qualify for the debt
solution. The Debt Relief Order and IVA don't require you to go to
court, whereas traditional bankruptcy does.
If you are ready to resolve your debt problem then an IVA or
bankruptcy could be your best option. What Debt Support Trust will
do is help you understand which debt solutions best meet your
needs. If you are unemployed, with no assets and debts of around
£10,000 then you may be best entering a Debt Relief Order. If you
are in employment and want to avoid bankruptcy, then an IVA could
There are other debt solutions too, like a debt management plan,
which you could qualify for. We will give you all of your options,
with the pros and cons of each option so you can make an informed
Start today by calling 0800 085 0226. Or, why not complete our
confidential 10 minute debt analyser? It gives you a list of
potentially suitable debt solutions.
Debt is known to cause problems with relationships, work, eating
and sleep. Money problems can make people sad, worried and
depressed. However, there are solutions to become debt free again.
There is no need to remain in a negative situation when there are
routes back out of debt. The first stage is to get information on
your situation so you can make a decision which option will be best
The sooner you start the process of dealing with debt the
quicker you will be able to regain normality. It's not uncommon for
people to tell us that by simply sharing their financial problems
with us makes them feel better. By speaking to a debt advisor you
are taking positive steps to rectify money worries.
You can call Debt Support Trust on 0800 085 0226. If it's
outwith our opening hours, then why not complete a debt analyser
online. This will give you ideas of appropriate debt solutions
which you could be suitable for.
A lack of sleep is a common issue associated with debt, as is
problems with relationships. If the debt is the last thing you
think about at night and one of the first thoughts you have in the
morning, then seek help from a not for profit charity.
You can take steps to improve your financial situation by
contacting a debt charity, either via telephone, email or debt
There isn't one ideal debt solution, but instead most people are
suitable for two or three options. Each debt plan has its positives
and negatives and will be administrated slightly differently, but
they can all get you back to a debt free life.
Before entering any debt solution, ensure you are making an
informed decision by speaking confidentially to a qualified debt
advisor. You can speak to Debt Support Trust in confidence on 0800
085 0226. Our friendly advisors are available from Monday to Friday
8am - 7pm. You can also send us an email and ask us to call you
back. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Firstly, we know that taking the initial step is difficult. Most
people spend a great deal of time thinking about their debt before
getting in touch. So, we know you need accurate advice from
We will ask about the debt, what income you have every month and
what you have to spend out every month. We can then consider what
assets you have (house, car etc) so we can best protect these.
There are a number of different debt solutions you could
Token Payments: An informal agreement to pay a small amount per
week to your debt, usually around £1 per week. The debt will not
clear the debt but it will buy you time until your situation
Debt Management: If you can afford at least £100 per month you
could enter a debt management plan. You repay all of the debt but
it will potentially freeze interest and charges.
IVA: If the debt management plan will take too long you could
consider an IVA. Your house is secure in an IVA but you may be
asked to release equity. If an equity release is not possible your
IVA would last 6 years, instead of 5. You pay what you can afford
into the IVA and all interest and charges are frozen.
Trust Deed: A similar solution to the IVA but the Trust Deed is
only for Scottish people. It lasts for 4 years and all interest and
charges are frozen.
Bankruptcy: There are various routes to go bankrupt across the
UK. Before proceeding with bankruptcy get advice as you could be
asked to repay money into the bankruptcy for 3 years.
Our advice is based on a not for profit basis and we never share
your information with anybody, without your permission. We also
don't register your advice on your credit file - it's an informal
chat about your options.
You can start the process of becoming debt free by completing
the debt analyser below.
Some credit cards offer excellent 0% interest free periods,
where after balance transfering from one credit card to another,
there are no fees for a period of time. One of the best balance
transfers is almost 3 years at present, however it can lead people
into financial trouble in the future. Credit card debts can cause
financially difficulty but there are other options to resolve these
Once the interest free period comes to an end usually you could
try and get another deal with another credit card company and pay
the balance transfer fee. The transfer fee is a percentage of the
total amount being balance transferred.
If you can't get a balance transfer because you've used the
introductory offer before or your credit score isn't high enough,
then you would be forced to pay the interest on the existing debt.
It's here that debt problems occur.
The RBS has conducted research which found that 37% of people
thought they would be able to balance transfer and clear the debt,
but were then unable to do so. This meant they had to repay the
outstanding balance with the interest rate included, or find
another interest free free card.
The research also uncovered that 57% of people didn't realise
what their interest rate would be once their interest free period
If you have credit card debt then the interest free period could
help you clear the debt so you don't need a debt solution. A debt
plan would be helpful if the debts won't be cleared in time for the
interest free period being completed, or if you have multiple debts
with different companies and are struggling to manage the
There are various debt solutions including a token payment plan,
debt management, trust deed, IVA or bankruptcy which can help with
debt problems. If you would like help with your credit card debts
call our charity on 0800 085 0226 or complete the debt analyser
At the charity we're receiving an increasing number of calls
from people who have been made bankrupt by a creditor, despite not
being insolvent. Being insolvent means that you can't afford to pay
your debts as they fall due, and you don't have assets which
outweigh the debt. For example, a house with £30,000 equity and
unsecured debt of £10,000.
The helpline at Debt Support Trust is supporting an ever
increasing number of people who have been made bankrupt but have
equity in their assets.
One such case was a couple who hadn't paid their council tax and
the local authority took action and made the couple bankrupt. Their
property had £80,000 equity in it and the official receiver began
proceedings to sell their house. The unsecured debt for council tax
What Can You Do To Avoid Bankruptcy?
If you want to avoid bankruptcy then there are some tips and
advice we can provide, these include:
1. Deal with the debt: When debts begin to
increase it can feel like they are uncontrollable, but by dealing
with the debts you will be taking positive action to rectify the
2. Get a solution: Entering some debt solutions
will protect you from bankruptcy and losing your property.
3. Negotiate with creditors: If you speak to
the companies you owe money to then they you can organise a payment
plan and avoid bankruptcy.
4. Seek help: Our debt charity can help you
with advice and support you through dealing with your debt.
You can call for advice on 0800 085 0226 or complete the debt
analyser enquiry form today.
Can't I enter an IVA when I'm Bankrupt?
The IVA debt solution is suitable for people who have assets and
want to protect them from their creditors. However, once bankruptcy
has been awarded against you, then it's impossible to enter an
The IVA would protect your house and assets but you would need
to proceed with this debt solution before bankruptcy has begun.
What Can I Do Once Bankrupt?
If you have been made bankrupt and the official receiver or
bankruptcy specialist wants to sell your property to give money
back to your creditors then there are only a few options available
Your property is considered as an asset. If there is equity in
the property then they can use this equity to repay your debts.
The official receiver does not have to sell your property but
they do have to get the equity. This is the same for any asset,
whether it's a house, car, shares or any other asset.
If you are able to release the money, typically via a third
party (family or friend) offering the money, then the official
receiver would allow you to do this and this would help you keep
One of the most expensive monthly expenditures is rent or your
mortgage, but coupled with this is the council tax, home insurances
and energy costs. The energy costs for gas and electricity can be
difficult to pay when you live on a low income, but there is help
You can call Debt Support Trust for specific help for you, or if
you are struggling with debt you can get help on 0800 085
The energy giants want to help people on low incomes with
discounts. British Gas has their own deal which started in
1st May 2014, known as the Warm Home Discount.
This offer helps people get £140 off their electricity bills
throughout the winter of 2014/15. You can call British Gas on 0800
294 8604 if you have a prepayment meter or 0800 072 8625 if you
have a credit account, to discuss whether you are eligible.
If you are in receipt of pension credit then you automatically
get the discount. However, you could also receive the
discount if you have a number of other benefits, including income
support, jobseekers allowance, income support or universal
Should your family income be £16,010 gross per annum and you
spend 10% of your money on energy bills, or you have somebody
living in your house with a mental or physical disability (or an
illness) then you would be suitable for the discount too. If you
earn £16,010 gross in your household per year and you have a child
under 5, a person of pensionable age or somebody with a
vulnerability then the discount would be applied.
There are various offers at other energy suppliers too.
The discounts are not automatically applied and you must phone
the energy supplier, spend 10 minutes going through your financial
situation and then the discount can be applied for. It can help
during the difficult winter months.
There is help and support available for everybody, not just
British Gas customers. You can get free loft and cavity wall
insulation to help keep the heat in your property. This is a
project to help reduce the carbon footprint and can reduce your
You can get free loft and cavity wall insulation from most
energy suppliers and British Gas is offering this service to
everybody, even if you are not a customer with them.
Finding out that your partner has debt problems can be a
difficult situation, but one which can be managed and resolved.
Often there are mixed feelings about why the debt occurred and a
fear over the future, but Debt Support Trust can help with debt advice.
The initial shock of the debt can be
frightening and you may worry about how the money will be repaid.
There are ways we can help you at the charity to get debt free
again. You can call our advisors on 0800 085 0226
or complete our debt analyser to get online debt help.
People who contact Debt Support Trust don't always
realise the debt has existed. The shock can be worrying and mean
you lose sleep and relationships are affected. There are certain
tips we can give you to get the debt under control. These tips
There are questions you may have about your partners debt, so
we've created a frequently asked questions section below.
Usually your partner's debt will not affect you because the debt
is personal to them. However, if you have assets, such as a house,
which is jointly owned then your partner's creditors could ask for
any money in the assets. You will retain your share.
If you don't have any assets then your partner's creditors will
only be able to ask your partner for the money back.
If your debts are joint with your partner then you are both
liable for the full amount of the money. Most people think the debt
is split 50/50 but in truth each person is liable for the full
amount. This means that if one person can't afford to make
repayments then the other party can be responsible to repay the
Bailiffs are not allowed to take your possessions but they can
take items belonging to your partner.
Typically your credit rating will not be affected because of
your partner's debt, however, if you are 'associated' with your
partner on your credit file then it can impact on your credit
score. You can speak to the credit referencing agencies (Experian,
Equifax and Call Credit) to understand how you improve your credit
There are debt solutions which can give you legal protection
from your creditors, giving you peace of mind and a legal solution
to debt problems. These debt solutions have positives and
negatives, but at Debt Support Trust debt charity we're here to
When debts seem impossible to repay, or the cost of simply
maintaining the interest payments is overbearing then it's best to
look at debt solutions. There are formal and informal options
available. An informal arrangement offers no guaranteed legal
protection from your creditors, but can help get the situation back
under control. Formal debt solutions guarantee to protect
you from your creditors if they accept the proposal.
If you would like to discuss your debt situation with a
qualified advisor then Debt Support Trust can help. You can call on
0800 085 0226 or complete our debt analyser.
There are debt solutions which can give you legal protection
from your creditors, meaning they can't continue to telephone you
or demand payment. All of the debt solutions which enable you to
gain protection from your creditors will also write off the debt
you can't afford to repay at the end of the solution, along with
interest and charges.
The debt solutions which best help you to become debt free and
give you protection from your creditors are an IVA, Trust Deed
Scotland and bankruptcy.
The highlights of each solution are:
IVA: Typically a 5 year solution, the IVA
allows you to pay one amount to one company and freezes interest
and charges. Debt which is not repaid after the 5 years is written
Trust Deed: The Trust Deed debt solution lasts
4 years usually. You make an affordable monthly payment and stop
all other payments to your creditors. Your interest and charges are
cleared at the end of the solution along with any remaining debt
you have not repaid.
Bankruptcy: There are various routes to enter
bankruptcy throughout the UK but they all mean you gain protection
from your creditors and become debt free again.
These debt solutions enable you to put a proposal to your
creditors, which is often accepted. The negative is that your
credit file will have a default added, lasting for 6 years.
When you're in debt there are some top tips to deal with the
debt. Our top debt advice
You should not:
You can call Debt Support Trust for advice on your debt problem
by calling 0800 085 0226 or via our debt analyser
One of the most popular thoughts people have when they are
struggling financially is to consolidate debt into one monthly
loan repayment. This involves taking a number of loans and credit
agreements and merging them into one payment, with one rate of
It makes the debts easier to manage and understand, with one
interest payment and one amount leaving your bank every month.
These loans still exist and it is possible to still get a
consolidation loan, although it was far easier before the credit
The chances are that consoldation loans will want you to have a
good credit rating, so you can get a lower rate of interest.
Debt Support Trust and our friendly advisors can help navigate
you through your options. You can speak to us on 0800 085
If you are unable to get a consolidation loan then you may have
to think about other solutions. Everytime you apply for a loan it
will leave a mark on your credit file, and the more you apply the
less likely you are that a lender will give you the money.
You can get debt help to
become debt free from Debt Support Trust. This involves considering
your debt level, monthly income, your expenditure and any assets
We can assist you with advice on how to apply for the loan and
ensure your credit file is as accurate as possible. If the
consolidation loan isn't applicable for you, because the debt is
too large or because your credit file has got too many defaults,
then we can look at other debt solutions which work similarly to
the debt consolidation loan.
If you can't receive a debt consolidation loan then then next
step is to consider debt solutions. There are similar benefits to
the consolidation loan and some debt solutions. For instance, a debt management
plan will allow you to pay one affordable payment each month to
A Trust Deed or IVA would help you to repay what you could
afford over a fixed period of time and write off the debt you can't
afford to repay. You could also consider bankruptcy too.
There are pros and cons to the debt solutions and one of the
negatives is that each debt solution will leave a default on your
credit file, whereas a loan would not.
If you want to discuss your debt options then Debt Support Trust
can talk through all of your options, providing the positives and
negatives, for you to consider. You can call 0800 085
0226 to get information about consolidation loans or debt
Tax credits are given to families to top up their income in the
form of child and working tax credits. However, many families find
that because of a change in their circumstances, they have tax
credit debts. This can cause stress and distress but Debt Support
Trust can help.
If you would like help with your tax credit debts, please call
our helpline on 0800 085 0226 for debt help.
The debts to the HMRC tax credit department can vary from
hundreds to thousands of pounds. When HM Revenue and Customs
reevaluate your account they may inform you that you've been
overpaid. Last year over 1.5 million people fell into this problem.
The Government overpaid £1.5 billion in the year 2012-2013 to
people claiming tax credits.
New powers which will be introduced in 2015 will mean HMRC can
take the money from a person's bank account. In the meantime, HMRC
can refer the debt to debt collectors who are taking action to
recover the money.
The first stage from HMRC is to ask for the money back. They
will write and call to make an arrangement to get the money back.
You won't be asked to repay the money in one payment if you can't
afford it, but usually will be asked to create a payment plan.
When you create the payment plan you won't usually face the
threat of debt collectors, but if you fail to make contact with
HMRC they could take further action.
If you are struggling to repay tax credit debts along with
credit cards, overdrafts and loans then you're not alone. Thousands
of people contact Debt Support Trust with debt problems and we're
able to assist them back to a debt free life.
If you need help with any element of tax credit advice call our
helpful money advice team on 0800 085 0226. We'll be glad to
help you with your query.
© Debt Support Trust 2010-2014