Are you tired of worrying about debts? Well, that's what we
regularly hear at Debt Support Trust, a registered money advice
charity. That's why we help people get back out of debt, as quickly
All debt solutions need to be affordable, so that depends on how
much money you have available each month after you pay your regular
monthly bills. The right debt solution will also be determined from
your level of unsecured debt.
Take between 5 - 10 minutes and take the
debt test below. It'll give you, in confidence, an answer on how
you could resolve your credit card and other debts.
You can also call Debt Support Trust on 0800 085
0226 for debt advice from a not for profit charity.
are solutions to debt problems and you don't have to be in debt
forever. Many people get into debt accidentally, in fact, the most
common reasons for debt are because of unemployment/ reduced
income, divorce or separation or a change in personal circumstances
leading to a money problem.
There are ways these problematic debts can be rectified. These
1.Token payments: If you are unemployed or have
a low income you could consider making token payments to your debt.
This is where you pay one low monthly amount to each creditor,
until your situation improves.
2. Debt management plan / Debt arrangement
scheme: Depending on your location, you could be suitable
for either one of these solutions. You pay one monthly amount to
your debt each month and it's managed by another party, so you
don't have to deal with your creditors.
3. IVA: A formal debt solution in England,
Wales and Northern Ireland. You pay one affordable payment, often
for 5 years and at the end any interest or charges is cleared and
you're debt free.
4. Trust Deed: A Scottish formal debt plan to
repay what you can afford, typically for 4 years. You pay what you
can afford and at the end your remaining debt is cleared.
5. Bankruptcy: A solution which can be entered
via a number of routes to resolve debts you can't afford to
In taking positive action to resolve any debt problem you must
first admit the problem exists. A quick checklist to determine if a
problem exists is:
1. Do you struggle to make your payments to your credit cards
and other debts every month?
2. Do you often have no money left at the end of the month
because you have paid your debts?
3. Are you sometimes late in making your payments to your debt
or have you received correspondence from the companies you owe
money to saying you've not made payment?
4. Do you worry about debt in the morning or last thing at
If you identify yourself with any of the above statements then
Debt Support Trust may have an answer to help you. You can seek
professional money advice from a registered charity today through
calling 0800 085 0226 or completing the debt test below.
Frivolous spending, too many holidays or just greed are common
reasons why people who are not in debt believe others get into
I gathered a group of people round a table last week, with
nobody owing any debt other than a mortgage, to ask them their
thoughts about why debt problems existed. The answers were
"Because they buy, buy, buy and don't think about the
"People just think, I'll spend it now and pay it later without
having a plan."
"It's because people can't manage their money."
Some people realised it wasn't just overspending in an
uncontrollable fashion causing debt problems, but a change in
circumstances. However, nobody sympathised towards a person dealing
with a debt problem and certainly didn't think they should offer
I personally still have debt - my student loan from my time
studying is still being repaid. The interest rate is low and it's
being cleared slowly, but surely, from the original balance. I too
have used credit cards and paid them off, but if circumstances were
different, for example divorce/separation or a drop or loss
of income, then I could have had a credit card debt which I
couldn't repay in such a structured way. Most people may need to
turn to credit to survive at a difficult period with the honest
intention of repaying the debt in the future.
The Debt Support Trust charity was established because I have
witnessed the crippling social and economic destruction debt
problems can cause. I've watched friends and family struggle; their
plight known by nobody, with their pain, worry and stress almost
being masked with a stern, emotionless façade to conceal the true
gravity of the panic their situation was causing them.
In reality, debt problems occur for a variety of different
reasons. It can be down to overspending on day to day life where
the credit cards become a noose around your neck and you face a
struggle to get free. Rarely have I ever spoken to somebody
overspending on credit who has said they did it deliberately and
without concern for their creditors. A debt problem can occur
through a divorce or separation. The household costs, which were
once paid from two incomes, have now to be paid by one. Even if
somebody takes action to address the deficit each month, it will
take time to put the plans in motion and all the time the total
debt is increasing. Injury or illness can force a person to stop
working and their pre-existing debt, which was manageable, still
has to be serviced but on a much reduced income.
There are various reasons why a person could get into debt and
it's not always as simple as "they just overspend and buy whatever
People contacting Debt Support Trust often feel frightened,
unsure and alone. Frequently people cry when they explain how they
have reached this point in their life. Their partner, family and
friends may not know the full extent of their money problems and
speaking to our charity advice team is the first time saying out
loud: "I have a debt problem".
When helping people overcome their debt problem, they don't want
our sympathy or pity or for somebody to judge their situation. What
people really want when they call the charity is for somebody to
listen to their financial predicament and offer useful, relevant
and tailored solutions so they can take control of their finances,
There's only one route to resolving a debt problem and it's
through a direct and honest approach to the situation. It's
uncomfortable and for many people they won't have opened their mail
or spoken to their creditors about their financial problem for
months. Taking the first step is the hardest and is often a
knee-jerk reaction when contacting us for advice - "today's the
day" is what we hear frequently.
Through breaking down the stigma of debt we're encouraging
people to seek debt help. It may not be from Debt Support Trust but
instead the team at the local Citizens Advice Bureau, but seeking
professional advice is important to take the first step back out of
debt. Attitudes and opinions to debt need to change as people need
the encouragement and strength to deal with the debt head on.
Being in debt is a miserable experience for anybody, so when
somebody is struggling to repay their debt they require support and
that's what Debt Support Trust is available to offer.
Former businessman Dermot turned to Debt Support Trust for
advice after he'd been made bankrupt over a £70,000 debt owed to
the Inland Revenue.
The 45-year-old married dad-of-two faced financial troubles with
a number of creditors after his successful business hit hard times
when he lost a number of regular contracts.
Dermot admitted he got into 'severe financial trouble', making
matters worse by having his 'head in the sand' over growing money
worries and avoided even sharing his financial woes with his wife.
His marriage broke down and Dermot faced major health issues with
stress and depression.
Since being made bankrupt In 2012 he's faced further issues when
legal moves began to force the sale of his family's home to release
equity to reduce his debts. He's still locked in a court battle
over the case.
Dermot said: "Without question Debt Support Trust has saved my
life. At one stage I felt I had nowhere to turn to and I was being
put under incredible pressure. Their advice and support has been
"Their team has allowed my voice to be louder and clearer as
I've faced organisations who see me simply as a case number in a
file on someone's desk. They've helped me write letters and given
advice at a time I wanted and needed it and I just don't know what
I'd have done without them. They've never judged me - they've just
Stuart Carmichael is the Chief Executive of Debt Support Trust
which is open 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday and supports people with
advice about and solutions to their debt problem.
Last week I met with an old friend, somebody I'd known for over
20 years and knew very well, but I didn't know this about his
He and his wife got married 4 years ago, purchased a house and
are both working full time. Their combined income was over £60,000
per year and they had no assets like stocks, shares or bonds. They
both had a car on a conditional sale agreement.
My friend telephoned to say he had "a little debt" which he
wanted to resolve. So, we met and discussed the situation. We
reviewed his income, expenditure, assets and debts to understand
the full picture.
He confessed he didn't really know the extent of his debt
problem, so it was a shock to him when he realised he owed £16,000
to 4 credit cards, a personal loan and his overdraft. He was only
making the minimum payments. No matter the level of debt, there is
always a route back out towards financial freedom. The couple had a
disposable income - the amount they could realistically afford
towards their debt - of £350 per month.
then onto the debt advice. He had heard of a Trust Deed before and
thought this option would be his best option. The Trust Deed is an
ideal debt solution for some people, depending on their
circumstances. It lasts 4 years and you pay what you can reasonably
afford each month. At the end of the solution any remaining debt is
My friend would not be best entering a Trust Deed and I
explained why. If he were to pay £350 per month he would be debt
free in under 4 years in a debt arrangement scheme. This option
freezes interest, charges and protects the property from creditors.
All of the debt is repaid and I could ensure he would enter a
fee-free debt arrangement scheme. After some discussion of the
advantages and disadvantages of the solution, he agreed the debt
arrangement scheme would be the best option.
All in all, the process took about 20 minutes.
It's not the first time I've spoken to friends, and family,
about their money problems. I doubt that I'm unique in this
scenario but what can you do for the best to support a person
dealing with debt?
My Top Tips for dealing with debt are:
Debt Support Trust is available to provide debt advice Monday to
Friday 8am to 7pm or you can take the debt test to give you an idea
which debt solutions may be suitable.
You can call the charity on 0800 085 0226 where a friendly debt
advisor will be able to help.
The charity was setup to deliver life changing
solutions to money problems and we've managed to support thousands
of people with their debt worries throughout the UK. We do this via
our telephone and internet based debt advice centre.
Our debt help team provide support on a confidential and
Debt Support Trust is available to provide debt
advice on 0800 085 0226 or you can complete our debt
Recently, Debt Support Trust has been helping an ever increasing
number of people battle their debt problems. From assisting with
guidance on creating token payment plans with creditors through to
helping people complete bankruptcy forms, we're taking an active
stance to help people become debt free once again.
One of the reasons for our increase in enquiries is due to being
featured on BBC radio and on TV. Many people didn't realise that a
charity like Debt Support Trust was available to help with debt
issues. The charity is a supportive ear to listen to problems
associated with money and provide relevant and timely advice.
Stuart Carmichael from Debt Support Trust said "Our radio and TV
appearances have helped to bring Debt Support Trust to people in
need of debt advice. The charity supports people between 8am and
7pm Monday to Friday and our debt test is available 24/7. We're
answering 97% of all our calls to the helpline within 10 seconds so
people can receive immediate debt support."
There are a range of debt solutions a person may be applicable
to enter. Each debt solution will have its own benefit and
negative. Through receiving tailored money advice you can
understand how each solution will affect you and make an informed
decision over which route to take in order to become debt free
Some of the debt solutions include
Negotiating with creditors: Many people think
that their creditors will be aggressive if they mention they have a
debt problem, which is not necessarily the case. Some creditors
will be happy to negotiate and support you through a difficult
financial problem. We can help you with this.
Debt management: A debt management plan is an
informal debt solution where you pay one set amount each month to
one company and they pay your debts for you. You won't be making
your contractual payments so the debt management company will ask
for the interest and charges to be frozen too, although this won't
be guaranteed. We can help you with a free debt management plan so
you don't have to pay any setup or ongoing management fees.
Debt arrangement scheme (Scotland): You repay
all of the money you borrowed via the debt arrangement scheme (DAS)
but do so in an affordable payment plan. The interest and charges
will be frozen on your debt to help you achieve your goal to become
IVA: The Individual Voluntary Arrangement is
suitable for some people who want to repay what they can afford
over a set period of time. Any remaining debt will be cleared at
the end of the solution.
Trust deed (Scotland): The protected trust deed
is usually a 4 year debt solution and will allow you to pay one
affordable amount to your debt every month. The debt which is not
repaid at the end of the solution is written off and you will be
debt free again.
Bankruptcy: There are a few ways you can enter
bankruptcy. The different processes will depend on your statement
of affairs which a debt advisor can complete for you. The cost to
enter bankruptcy will vary depending on the route you take.
There are individual pages on each debt solution which fully
explain the pros and cons of each route.
Debt Support Trust has surveyed the opinions of 1,055 people
across the UK to find out about their Christmas spending habits.
The most prominent results were:
The cost of Christmas is such that many people wish they could
cancel the festive holiday.
At the charity, we help 40% of people in debt in the first three
month's of the year as people start the New Year wanting to resolve
their financial problems.
One Christmas of overspending is unlikely to translate into
serious debt problems however consistent overspending could cause
We found that 42% of people felt pressured to
exceed their budget and spend more than they had in order to meet
their Christmas expectations. Of the people that felt pressured to
overspend at Christmas 32% wish they could cancel
Christmas because of the financial burden.
The average cost of Christmas is £433 per person, which includes
food, gifts, travel, alcohol and decorations. These costs for some
people (17%) will be borrowed with the intention of repaying at a
Some people will turn to credit cards to afford Christmas this
year. While 61% of people will use money in their current account
and a further 14% will use their savings to pay for Christmas, 14%
will turn to credit cards, 2% will borrow from friends and family
and 1% will take out a loan.
Borrowing on credit cards can help pay for the costly Christmas
period and most people will have their Christmas debt repaid within
6 months. For some (15%), they will still be repaying this year's
Christmas debt next year.
Stuart Carmichael, Chief Executive of Debt Support Trust said,
"Borrowing to afford Christmas isn't necessarily a problem as long
as there is an affordable repayment plan in place to clear the
"It's important to set a realistic budget over the festive
period and decide prior to spending if you want to take up to 12
months, or longer, to repay debt borrowed to afford one day."
* Survey was conducted by Populus on 10th & 11th of December
The industry regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA),
has said that they are imposing strict regulations on payday loan
companies from 2nd January 2015. The new laws will change the way
fees are charged by payday loan organisations.
There will be a price cap on the amount of money a payday lender
can charge per day and the total amount which can be charged in
late fees or repayments.
If you have a payday loan which you are struggling to repay
speak to Debt Support Trust on 0800 085 0226.
The fees charged by payday lenders was previous unlimited. This
meant that a company could charge what they wanted to for missed or
late payments and the interest rate could be as much as they
People in debt to payday loans would contact Debt Support Trust
seeking our debt help. We would
frequently hear about a £100 loan which had risen to £1,000, or
more, because of late payments and rolling debts over.
The new legislation will mean that debts in a payday loan will
be capped at double the initial loan. Also, the interest rate is
going to be capped at 0.8% per day. Previously, a loan of £100
would typically cost £125 to repay at the end of the month. If the
person was unable to repay the £125 then the debt would be rolled
over and a fee may be charged too. This further compounded the debt
problem for the individual.
New legislation will protect people from short term lenders
offering 30 day loans. The total amount of money which can be
repaid will be equal to double the initial loan. The fees for late
payments will be capped at £15.
The changes to payday loans have been generally welcomed by the
industry. At Debt Support Trust we're pleased to see positive
action being influenced by the financial regulator. It's estimated
that 7% fewer people, roughly 70,000, will no longer borrow from
short term lenders. The FCA has said that lending has dropped by
35% since it took control of regulating the financial credit
market. It's also been suggested that the proposals don't go far
enough to protect consumers from the pitfalls these payday loans
The payday loans industry has said that it expects more people
to turn to loan sharks and unregulated lenders in order to survive
Today's announcement doesn't clarify what short term lending
would constitute as other lenders offer loans over longer terms
than the standard 30 day loan.
We would encourage anybody experiencing financial problems to
seek help from our charity on 0800 085 0226 or
visit your Citizens Advice Bureau.
Starting the process to receive debt advice can often seem like
a challenging experience. Talking to somebody about your debt
problems is not easy but it is the first stage in regaining
You can read below about a mother's experience in seeking debt help from Debt Support Trust.
If you want help with debt advice you can speak to us on 0800 085
On behalf of my husband and I, I would like to thank you for all
that you did a few weeks ago to help us into the road of recovery
from our debt difficulties. We're now moving forward and we will be
paying £350 a month instead of well over £1000 and will at the end
of the journey be left with no debt apart from the mortgage. It's
such a relief to feel that, although we haven't got money to go out
and spend particularly and we need to be careful, we know that all
the bills are going to be paid and that we are paying off debts
instead of throwing interest payments at them. I'm also now paying
the secured loan off monthly and that is starting to decrease
before our eyes.
Reaching out to you guys was one of the best things I could have
done. I'm so glad that you gently pursued me after I had filled in
your online form as I was nervous about talking to someone in
person, but your friendly way was just what I needed. Although I
can't pretend that all this has been easy at all you made it
You have not made me feel at all embarrassed about the position
we ended up in which has meant a lot because I was already feeling
a huge amount of embarrassment and guilt about ending up in
financial difficulty when I earn a good wage when there are people
out there with next to nothing.
I really appreciate this chance to sort ourselves out
financially, we will continue to value it, work hard to get it all
sorted out and hopefully never end up in the position where we need
Thanks again, you've made a very big difference to our
Our debt advice charity is open between Monday - Friday 8am to
7pm. You can call and speak to a friendly adviser on 0800 085
If you would prefer to email and ask a question you can do this
One of the questions most people want to know when they call our
charity advisors at Debt Support Trust is, "How can I get debt
free?". Being in debt is not an enjoyable experience and it's known
to cause mental health, relationship and employment problems. The
stress of trying to repay the debt can often cause people to ignore
their money worries further. This is not a solution but an
understandable reaction when the debts grow beyond a person's
At Debt Support Trust we're experts are helping people to
resolve their money problems to ensure you can become debt free
You can get help from our charity by telephoning our helpline on
0800 085 0226.
There is always a route to become debt free but knowning which
options you are suitable for may not be evident. That's why
thousands of people contact Debt Support Trust for our help.
We review your financial situation, including your income,
expenditure and debts. We know exactly the debt solutions you could
be suitable for. Once we understand your situation we then explain
the process of entering each plan, along with the pros and cons.
Some debt solutions can help you become debt free in as little as 1
year, but most will take longer.
There are multiple reasons why you would want to seek debt help.
We've listed 5 of the top reasons you could want to become debt
The primary reason you would want to get debt free is to get
your finances back on track. If you're worried about opening
letters, answering the phone or even leaving your house because you
fear your creditors contacting you, then we can support you.
You can take the first steps to become debt free by speaking to
a debt advice charity. Debt Support Trust is open between 8am and
7pm Monday to Friday. You can complete our debt analyser form at
any point 24 hours a day and receive an outline to the debt
solutions which you could be suitable for.
You can complete our debt analyser below, or call 0800 085
New figures released by the BBC have
highlighted a significant rise in football season ticket prices,
but should clubs be asking so much from fans in the current
The new statistics found football season
tickets for the Premier League have increased by 8.7% to reach
£508.55 from £467.95 in 2012.
During the same period the average
household debt has increased to £521 per UK adult, according to
figures released by The Money Charity, as of October
With 1000 people a day being made
redundant between May and July, are football clubs in the UK asking
too much of their fans and exploiting their loyalty?
The 2014/2015 season saw TV revenue
increase a staggering 71% for the Premier League after it received
£3.1bn for the rights to televise games.
This increase led to many fans, pundits
and others demanding clubs reduce the cost to watch the sport, but
it appears tickets have continued to rise.
When comparing the cost of watching a
team in the English league with those in Europe it can make for
On average, match day tickets have
increased 4.4% year-on-year which is triple the average cost
of living for the UK at 1.2%.
Resolving debt problems is one of the hardest decisions to make
for some people and it doesn't happen easily. Opening up and money
worries, especially when you have dealt with them alone for so
long, can be complicated. However, at Debt Support
Trust we're here to help you to the steps you need to
become debt free again.
Many people we help speak to us about becoming debt free but
aren't ready to take the necessary steps to start a debt solution.
The advice is stage one and speak to somebody at our charity can
help you to get the information you need to understand the pros and
cons of the debt solutions you are applicable for.
Once you have the information you are under no obligation to
take our advice and proceed, but when you start a debt solution you
will be taking positive steps to resolve your debts, which for many
people have caused relationship, health or employment issues.
If you're ready to take steps to clear your debts and become
debt free again Debt Support Trust can help. You can call us
on 0800 085 0226 or complete our debt
analyser enquiry form today.
There are various reasons why people get into debt but the most
important question is how to get back to being debt free. There are
many routes out of debt but some may not be applicable, depending
on your situation.
You may only want to tentatively ask about which debt solution
is right for you and that's something we hear a lot at Debt Support
Trust. It then gives you the time to think about the solution
before proceeding and starting the process of resolving your
It's important you feel comfortable about the debt solution you
enter and that you're not pressured into any plan. There are often
two or three routes out of debt and it can be a personal decision
over which one you decide to enter. At Debt Support Trust our
responsibility is to ensure you have the information about every
debt solution you could enter, along with the pros and cons based
on your financial and personal circumstances.
When you're ready to resolve your debts then Debt Support Trust
is here to help. We support people across the whole of the UK
become debt free and start again financially. The process is
simple. After you get in touch via telephone, email or debt
analyser we will complete a short questionnaire about your debt,
income, expenditure and assets, like houses and cars. This
information helps us determine which solutions you are suitable
for. We also listen to what you want to achieve and try to match
your expectations with available debt solutions. You can then
decide how you wish to proceed and we'll help you with whatever
route you choose.
Debt Support Trust is open between 8am and 7pm Monday to Friday
and you can call us on 0800 085 0226.
© Debt Support Trust 2010-2015