Debt advice should always be tailored and specific to a person's personal and financial situation. There are different debt solutions for people living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, compared to people living in Scotland.
Because of this we've focussed our latest blog story on the debt solutions available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Our charity helps people across the UK with expert debt help and support. For debt advice call 0800 085 0226 to speak to a friendly advisor or complete our debt analyser for online advice.
Debt Help in England, Wales & Northern Ireland
There are a variety of debt solutions available to people with debt problems. These debt solutions are defined as formal or informal. The difference between the two types of solutions is important.
An informal debt solution is more flexible in nature. This means that if you did not want to continue the debt solution then you could cancel, usually with one month's notice. If somebody was managing the debt solution on your behalf and you cancelled the agreement then you would be responsible for making payments to each creditor. An informal solution will not provide you with any protection from your creditors.
A formal solution will provide protection from your creditors, unlike in an informal solution. So, if a creditor were to accept your formal debt solution then you would both be bound by its terms. A formal debt solution will last for a set period of time, at the end of which any debt which had not been repaid would be written off. The length of the solution will depend on the formal debt solution in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
English, Welsh & Northern Irish Debt Solutions
There are various routes to help deal with debt problems if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. To understand the correct debt solution for you it's important to seek professional debt advice.
Some of the debt solutions that exist are:
Token payments: When cashflow is a problem then it can often be best to negotiate with the creditors to make token payments towards the debt for a short period of time. This means you won't be making your contractual payments but will be repaying some of the debt each month. If you are unemployed or have a low income then this is often the best route.
Debt management plan: A debt management plan is a debt solution for people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland whereby a monthly payment is made to one company who will then distribute the money on a pro-rata basis to each creditor. The interest and charges will be asked to be frozen, however this is not mandatory in a debt management plan. The monthly contributions are made each month until the full amount is repaid. Remember, there are free debt management plans available so you don't have to pay set up fees or monthly management fees.
Full and final settlement: Another solution which you may be applicable for is a full and final settlement. If you have a lump sum of money available - but not enough to clear the full amount of the debt - then you can speak to your creditors about a pro-rata full and final settlement. This means you will use the money to repay a percentage of the debt with each creditor happy to write the rest of the debt off. For instance, if you could repay 70% of the debt in one lump sum then the creditor may be happy to write off the remaining 30%. Ensure you get the agreement from each creditor in writing before proceeding to make payments.
IVA: An IVA is a debt solution specific to people living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The IVA would allow somebody to put a proposal to their creditors, which if accepted, would mean one monthly payment is made towards the debt, usually for 5 years. At the end of the debt solution any debt which had not been repaid would be written off. Equity in an asset will be considered within an IVA so if you own a house which has equity this may not be the right solution for you.
Bankruptcy: Bankruptcy is a one year debt solution but you may be asked to make payments towards your bankruptcy for up to 3 years. Bankruptcy can affect your employment and assets, such as your house so be sure to seek professional debt advice before proceeding with this solution.
All debt solutions, whether formal or informal will have an impact on your credit file. Some debt solutions may impact your house, car and other assets while some can be detrimental to your job. Always seek debt help from a charity before proceeding with any debt solution.
Debt Help from a Charity
If you're struggling with debt don't suffer alone. Experts are available right now to help guide you through the process of becoming debt free.
You will make all of the decisions over which debt solution you ultimately choose, but we can explain the process of entering each solution, the positives and negatives of each route to become debt free and what it would mean specifically for you.
You can telephone for advice on 0800 085 0226 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.