Debt Advice Blog for Money Worries -
UK Wide Debt Advice Charity
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That Debt Feeling

The feeling of being in debt is horrible. It's all consuming, often frightening and can leave you feeling isolated and vulnerable. The truth is that resolving debts and seeking debt advice can empower you to take a positive step financially and regain control, but how do you go about taking that first important step in the right direction?

We're often told in confidence about a debt problem - an issue family, friends or work colleagues may not even know about. This is because typically it's easier to speak to a friendly stranger than to discuss debt problems with your nearest family and friends. The feeling of debt can become so overwhelming that just talking about the debt can make the problem seem more manageable, particularly when speaking to experienced advisors who are friendly and understanding.

Life in debt can seem lonely, but by speaking to a debt advisor about your personal and financial situation, you're actually taking the first step. You're sharing the problem and allowing a trained and experienced advisor to identify options you may have to become debt free again.

Often there are multiple options to resolve your debts and in those situations, our role is to give you all of the positives and negatives to each debt solution so you're empowered to make a decision about your financial future. For instance, you could be suitable for an IVA and also a debt management plan so it would be your decision over which one you felt was right for you.

You can speak to a friendly debt advisor from our debt advice charity on 0800 085 0226 between 8am - 7pm Monday to Friday.

Debt Quote - What People Say

To help reduce the stigma of debt and open up the conversation, we're sharing some of the most common phrases we hear at our debt advice charity onto social media. These are phrases regularly said and reflect how people feel when seeking money advice.

From worrying  about being in debt forever, through to losing assets like a house, debt can make anyone feel like their options are limited, which isn't necessarily the reality. We hope our debt quotes can help you feel like you aren't alone, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that there are solutions designed to help solve money worries.

We're trusted to listen and understand debt problems and then provide helpful, pro-active advice. We're there throughout the entire process and always in your corner. As such, our debt quotes deliberately don't feature people's names. These are phrases that explain just how debt makes many people feel.

If you would like to add your debt quote to explain how debt makes you feel, you can leave your quote in the comments section below.

Debt Help & Advice

If you're ready to take the first step and seek debt advice we're here to listen. We'll advise you on all of your options and discuss how you could resolve difficult debt problems. You don't have to follow any of our advice but it gives you the chance to talk through all of the options available.

If Debt Support Trust can help you today with debt and money worries, please call 0800 085 0226.

Monday, March 19, 2018
Debt Support Trust
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FCA Credit Card Changes

The FCA has announced credit card companies have until September 1st to implement new changes to the way they deal with people in debt, in a bid to protect consumers.

Following a study of 40,000 consumers by the Financial Conduct Authority, it is believed customers who are persistently in debt with credit card companies are paying an average of around £2.50 in charges & interest for every £1 they owe.

The new changes will mean credit card customers who are in persistent debt will have to be offered help to deal with their outstanding balance.

Credit Card Debt: When Is Help To Pay Offered?

The initial help should start when a customer has been in persistent debt for 18 months, with the credit card companies expected to offer the customer a warning about their financial situation and that they may have their card suspended.

Should a customer be in debt persistently for 36 months, the credit card companies will be required to offer an affordable repayment plan and possibly even reduce, waive or cancel any interest, fees or charges

Christopher Woolard, from the FCA, said

"Credit cards offer customers flexibility to manage their finances and repayments, but with this there is a risk customers can build up and hold debt over a long period of time, without making much headway on the outstanding balance,"

"Under these new rules firms will have to help customers to break the cycle of persistent debt and ensure customers who cannot afford to repay more quickly, are given help."

The FCA has estimated consumers will save "between £310 million and £1.3 billion a year in lower interest charges", thanks to the new changes being implemented.

Charity trustee of Debt Support Trust, Stuart Carmichael, welcomed the new changes and said:

"The problem with debt is that it's like being stuck in a hole. You want to be debt free and live a life without overbearing financial concerns, but the repayments to climb back out of debt are too steep - the problem has become too severe and it's almost impossible. Addressing the debt and helping consumers to repay what they owe in a manageable plan will mean fewer consumers are likely to turn to other forms of lending, which can often just make the situation worse.

If you have credit card debts and want advice on how to resolve them, you can speak to Debt Support Trust in confidence today on 0800 085 0226. A charity advisor can help you with all forms of lending and offer advice on which solutions may be best to get the debt back under control.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Debt Support Trust
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Tips for paying off credit card debts

This week we helped someone at the charity with over £30,000 of credit card debt who was looking for tips to pay off her credit card debts fast. She recalled, "I can't remember spending the money, but I certainly know it's harder to repay the debt now I have it". It's always more difficult and time consuming to repay debt compared to spending the money at the time.

For some people the debt problem started, unknowingly, at a young age of between 18-21 and the debt issues continued from there. Regardless of how the debt was accrued there are always options to help become debt free once again and live a life without debt.

Credit Card Debt: The Debt Dilemma

When your unsecured debts, like credit cards, store cards and personal loans total more than your available disposable income, what options do you have available? You may not have enough money to pay your monthly bills and your contractual payments to debt, but there are debt solutions designed to help.

You can assess which debt solution could be right for you by completing the debt test and analysing your debt. You'll receive an idea of which debt solution could be the most applicable, but you could have two or three different options, so it's always best to speak to a debt advisor before proceeding with any debt solution.


Tips to Repay Credit Card Debt

There is some helpful advice we can offer to help you manage your credit card debt. Everybody's situation and circumstances are different and unique, so what will be suitable for one person may not for another.

For instance, if you're currently unemployed and unable to make your monthly contractual payments to your debt then it may take longer to become debt free. However, you can take control of your financial future by proactively speaking to your creditors and asking for a period of grace until things improve. Your creditors will likely offer you to make token payments to your debts - this is where you pay a set amount each week / month towards the debt. It won't be the contractual payment, but a more affordable amount. Your creditors could freeze interest and charges in the meantime so the debts don't continue to grow.

Tip 1: Seek advice

There are multiple reasons we advise you to seek advice about debt problems, but the most important one is that it's good to talk to someone else about the financial issues. "A problem shared is a problem halved" is very true!

The other reason is that a debt advisor could guide you through all of your options and help set you on the right path. If nothing else, you'll receive all of your options - along with the positives and negatives - so you can make an informed decision.

Tip 2: Talk to your creditors

Your creditors may be able to offer you some financial assistance to make the process of repaying the debt easier. Your credit card company may be able to offer you a better rate or support you while you try to pay down your debts.

Tip 3: Budget

One of the best tools at our disposal is a budget. It helps demonstrate just how much money is available to pay towards debts each month. Your budget should include all incomes (earned income from employment, pensions, benefits etc) and expenditures (rent/ mortgage, food, gas/ electricity, council tax etc) for each month.

You will then be in a better position to understand how much you can afford to repay towards your debt each month. If your monthly contractual payments to debts are more than you can afford then a debt solution may be required.

If you fail to meet your monthly contractual payments to your debt then a default may be applied to your credit file, which can mean that future credit is more expensive or difficult to obtain.

Don't Struggle Alone

Dealing with debt can be a difficult and frightening experience, but it doesn't have to be. Support and advice is available from our debt charity. Our advisors are friendly and ready to help with confidential advice.

You can call us on 0800 085 0226 between Monday - Friday 8am to 7pm. Alternatively, you can try our online debt test.


Friday, January 19, 2018
Debt Support Trust
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Support When Debt Problems Occur

We know that debt problems occur for various reasons and that struggling to deal with complex debts can lead to increased levels of stress, issues at work and trouble maintaining relationships.

In a recent conversation with we discussed how our charity has been helping people with money worries and what options exist.

The number of British people living in poverty has reached a 20 year peak, with more people 14 million people struggling to make ends meet. Rising inflation and the cost of living certainly haven't helped, with only yesterday the cost of rail fares being increased by, on average, over 3%. Many Brits are also finding that their rate of pay hasn't increased in line with the cost of living, which has resulted in their essential expenditures rising faster than their earnings.

With less money available to pay creditors, it can often lead people to seek debt and money advice.

How Do We Help?

As discussed in our recent article with, from the very first phone call we offer a sympathetic, non-judgemental ear. Our primary focus is to understand your personal and financial situation and consider which debt solutions would help you to achieve your objectives of once again becoming debt free.

We've helped thousands of people out of debt and usually there are two or three options available. When this happens we'll explain the positives and negatives of each option so that you're informed and empowered to make a decision on your financial future.

If you would like debt advice, please contact us on 0800 085 0226 where a trained and friendly advisor will be able to help.

You can read more about our service and our interview with here.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018
Debt Support Trust
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Christmas 2017 Opening Hours

Our debt advice team will be taking a well earned break over the festive period and as such our advice centre will be closed.

We've listed our opening hours below should you wish to get in touch.

Festive opening hours

Our opening hours between Christmas and New Year will be

Friday 22nd December - 8am - 12pm

Saturday 23rd - Tuesday 26th December - Closed

Wedneday 27th, Thursday 28th and Friday 29th December - 10am - 4pm

Saturday 30th - Tuesday 2nd January - Closed

We will return to normal support hours from Wednesday 3rd January where we will be open 8am to 7pm.

You can still use our website for information on debt and try our debt analyser which will give you a guide to which debt solutions you may be suitable for.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Debt Support Trust
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Christmas Debts

With less than a month to go until Christmas, the festive season has commenced - we've had Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas songs are being played on a continuous loop on various radio stations. We all know at least one person that embodies the spirit of Christmas and has their decorations unpacked and their tree shining brightly in the corner of their living room.

In previous years we've discussed tips to help save money at this time of year. However, this doesn't help, unless we know the underlying reasons people get into debt for a festive holiday. It's become a time to overspend and deal with the debt in the New Year.

In a recent survey for the Parentdex report, it was identified that a third of parents still have debt from last year's Christmas spending. Parent's spend on average £259 on gifts for children and in total, parents expect to spend over £800 more between Christmas and New Year than they normally would. The survey found that mothers are better at saving money than fathers, however overall a third of parents will turn to credit cards to meet additional costs.

How does debt impact on your Christmas?

We asked people in debt to summarise their feelings about Christmas and the majority said they would cancel the holiday. Debt leaves people feeling unsure about their future, but most felt they were obligated to make a financial commitment for their family and children.

The obligations for families at Christmas can result in overspending to meet expectations and parents often don't want their children to experience a Christmas "going-without". It's a very natural feeling, but it can result in long term financial problems.

Debt is rarely, from our experience at Debt Support Trust, a short expensive spending spree. A debt problem occurs gradually - the average person seeks advice after accruing debt for seven years  - followed by a period of worrying about the debt, before contacting our charity.

Dealing with debt before Christmas

If you want to manage your debt before Christmas and understand which debt solutions you would be applicable for before the New Year then you can speak to a debt advisor in confidence at Debt Support Trust.

We'll assess your circumstances and explain which debt solutions you would be suitable for. We can also offer some budgeting advice if appropriate.

Speak to a friendly debt advisor on 0800 085 0226 between Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm. Alternatively, why not complete our online debt test and receive your result with recommendations for debt solutions?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Debt Support Trust
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Childcare Financial Pressures on Families

The shocking impact of the cost of childcare on a family's finances has been revealed by Admiral Loans, with childcare costs overtaking the cost of mortgage payments.

As part of a UK-wide investigation, the provider researched the cost of nursery fees around Britain, assessing average childcare bills against mortgage payments and salaries in 13 cities. The results show that parents are paying a significant portion of their earnings towards childcare - in some cases up to 55% of one person's salary.

Parents in Glasgow are paying the least for childcare, with a full-time place for a child under two coming in at an average of £799 a month. This is followed by Liverpool at an average of £860 per month and Plymouth at £884. London is the most expensive, with average fees an eye-watering £1,383 per month, almost £600 dearer than Glasgow. Meanwhile, average childcare fees in Bristol tot up to £1,142 and Southampton to £1,050 making them the second and third most expensive cities, the research found.

The investigation also found that a parent could be spending between 41% and 56% of their net wages covering childcare costs, leaving them an average of £1117 a month* to cover mortgage or rent, council tax and household bills, groceries, transport and other costs associated with raising a child.

It means that for couples who are both going out to work, more than a quarter of their joint income might need to be set aside each month for childcare. For single parents, more than half of their earnings could be lost before they've even begun to pay for necessities and other bills.

The breakdown: Where do parents pay the most childcare in relation to their salary?



Average monthly childcare cost

Childcare as a % of one average salary





















































In 6 of the 13 cities - Manchester, Birmingham, Plymouth, Liverpool, Nottingham and Glasgow - monthly childcare bills were found to be higher than average mortgage payments. The price of an average house in each city** was used to calculate monthly payments, based on a 25-year term, with 95% loan-to-value.***

And in London, Cambridge, Southampton, Bristol and Newcastle, an average worker would not earn enough to cover both full-time nursery costs for one child and average mortgage payments. This means families, particularly those with single parents, could be at risk of falling into debt if they want to continue with their careers past parenthood, or else be forced to stay at home because it is not financially viable.

Mortgage + childcare - how much is left?



Average monthly take home salary

Average monthly mortgage payment

Salary left after childcare and mortgage costs paid


































































And for those who want to expand their family, putting two children into full-time nursery would mean a parent on an average salary would have, at best, £400 a month after paying for childcare bills.

Two children in childcare - the costs



Monthly childcare for two children

Wages left after paying for childcare for two children





















































Scott Cargill, UK CEO of Admiral Loans, said: "Our research shows the cost of childcare can be a huge burden on new families. Parents who have taken maternity or paternity leave may already be under financial pressure after being on a lower income during their time out of the workplace and may be squeezed even more when the cost of childcare kicks in.

"New parents have a lot of additional costs to consider. For families already on a tight budget, anything that pushes their spending further, such as holidays, Christmas or birthdays, can tempt people into looking for ways to ease the strain.

"Payday and short-term loans that alleviate immediate financial stress can seem like a quick fix, but can make life more difficult in the long term. Parents considering taking out a loan should think carefully about all the options available to them and even whether a loan is right for their financial circumstances. Being clear on the interest rates and ensuring loan repayments are sustainable, is key to ensuring hard-working families don't fall into a financial trap they can't escape from."

Stuart Carmichael, of the Debt Support Trust said: "Many families face a financial dilemma after a child is born and it's a problem which needs to be addressed. While efforts have been made to make it more affordable for parents to return to work after the birth of a child, for low income families, the financial benefit can be very limited.

"We are concerned that more people could be turning to high interest, short-term loans to bridge financial gaps, which are a temporary solution at best and could lead to additional stress and worry further down the line.

"For those struggling with the costs of raising a family, there is help out there and we would urge people to get in touch with us for advice before they feel they have to turn to desperate measures, which may make the situation worse in the long term."

Admiral Loans have developed a cost of childcare tool to help families plan ahead:

Tips to help ease the stress of the cost of childcare:

  • ·      Consider childcare voucher schemes - many employers offer this and it can reduce the cost of childcare, with the bill coming directly out of your salary. The government has also launched tax-free childcare for children under 4.
  • ·      Ask family to help with childcare - an increasing number of grandparents are looking after their grandchildren to help ease the burden of childcare costs. They may also be able to get contributions towards their National Insurance.
  • ·      Do your research - looking into other childcare options, such as a nanny shared between a group of you, or a childminder, might provide cheaper options. Ultimately it needs to be a place you are comfortable leaving your child, but make sure you factor in all costs so you can make an informed choice.
  • ·      If you are concerned about getting charged late pick-up fees from nursery, speak to your employer before returning to work to see if flexible hours would be an option. You have the right, by law, to ask for this.
  • ·      Discuss budgets before planning a family so there are no unexpected surprises that you haven't planned for.
  • ·      Avoid taking on extra debt that you can't keep up repayments on. It can be easy to go for quick fixes, but ultimately, they could put you under more pressure further down the line. Think about whether you can afford the repayments and whether it is the most cost-effective solution.
  • ·      Seek advice. Charities such as the Debt Support Trust offer practical solutions to people who are feeling the pinch.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Debt Support Trust
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We Aim To Please

Debt Support Trust is nearing its 7th birthday and it's left us in a reflective mood. From our research we found out that people often spend seven years accruing debt before realising they have a problem and need some advice. In our last seven years we've helped advise on millions of pounds worth of debt and supported tens of thousands of people to become debt free.

The advice we provide at the charity is intended to be holistic - we look at every option and provide the positives and negatives of each solution based on your unique personal and financial situation.

We aim to please

At the charity we feel privileged to help people at a difficult period in their life. Nobody ever wants to be in debt as it's not a pleasant feeling. Consequently, we take our responsibility seriously to ensure that every debt solution is explained in detail and help you with advice to become debt free once again.

We received a lovely email today which reminds us that the advice and support we offer is valuable and that while we may never speak to the people we've assisted ever again, that at that moment in their life we were able to offer guidance and comfort. You can read the email below:


I am now only a couple of steps away from the end now.

I've been up late cleaning up my affairs (on a Friday night, party on!) and thought I'd best write to you to express my most sincere gratitude to yourself.

I've been ignoring my debt for years, but when I finally decided to bite the bullet, I could not have hoped for somebody like you to answer the call. I knew that I would have to pay the debt back somehow - that I could not ignore as it wasn't technically my money to spend, but I feared that the pay-back was going to be dreadful.

What you've done was above and beyond the call of duty. I cannot sing your praises enough. You took an almighty weight off my shoulder and got me on the right track.

I have spent many, many years answering telephone calls in my line of work, and the service you provided was exemplary.

I do hope that management get sight of this email, it really is individuals like you that make all the difference in today's day and age.



Monday, September 18, 2017
Debt Support Trust
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It can’t be 15 weeks to Christmas!

It seems like Christmas comes around faster each year with last year's celebrations only just passed, but unbelievably we are only 15 weeks away from Christmas again. For many people, that means just 3 - 4 monthly wages before the festivities commence. Instead of focussing on the negative elements of Christmas, we recommend some quick fixes so you can be prepared and enjoy the Christmas period.

If the thought of Christmas sends chills down your spine, then read on as there are some quick tips to help prepare you for the festivities.

Top Tips to Afford Christmas

Previous research we had conducted at Debt Support Trust found that a large percentage of people would fail to pay off their Christmas debt by the end of the following year, with most people feeling obligated to spend more than they could afford.

Here are some of our tips to plan ahead and enjoy the Christmas period:

  • Plan ahead: If you are purchasing gifts for family and friends then planning ahead is crucial. You can hunt out the best deals on the high street and online, with time for items to be delivered.
  • Budget: It's easy to say but spending within limits is the best way to enjoy Christmas. For many, the best part about Christmas isn't the gifts but spending time with family and friends.
  • Secret Santa: Remember all those presents you received and thought "I'll never use this"? Well, with secret santa you only receive and give one present to your nearest and dearest. You won't receive presents that you're unlikely to use, you don't have to spend excessive amounts of time and money on gifts meaning you're free to enjoy the holiday.
  • Honesty: If money is an issue then most families won't want their relatives to get into debt to purchase gifts as it's often the thought that counts. As a result, honestly tell your family that you're not in a position to spend too much at Christmas and stick to your budget.

Can these financial tips work?

These tips are great in principle, but we're not naive to think that it's that simple. For people contacting Debt Support Trust, often month to month living is hard enough without an expensive holiday like Christmas to contend with too. This means saving and budgeting monthly is next to impossible when you have the standard monthly expenditures like rent / mortgage, council tax and food along with existing credit commitments.

If you're in this situation then perhaps what you need is a pre-Christmas financial assessment. We can help you look at your financial situation and recommend ways we could make things easier. If you're credit cards, loans and overdraft debts mean you're struggling month to month then there could be a number of ways you can resolve these.

Conversations with our debt advice advisors are confidential and better yet, free. You can call us on 0800 085 0226 for some advice on your debts and finances.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Debt Support Trust
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Rejected For A Loan

Almost 20% of people contacting Debt Support Trust in the last month tried to get a consolidation loan first, however their loan applications were rejected.

When you apply for a loan often a footprint is left on your credit file to show that an application has been made. When you're rejected then apply elsewhere this footprint is visible and can make being accepted even tougher.

In society, credit is considered to be good (typically) and debt bad. Which is why you may decide the consolidation loan route is the best option. So, what are the next steps if you are rejected for a loan?

Consolidate Debts with One Loan

Before the credit crunch, consolidation loans were relatively easy to access and certainly easier to be accepted for than in today's financial climate. For many people, their plan to consolidate debt is a good one, especially when they're paying high interest on existing debts.

Some financial institutions will advertise rates for consolidating debts into an easily repayable loan, but it's often not as straight forward to be accepted. The criteria, often affordability, is the one area which means people are rejected for a loan.

Steven from Manchester told us "I have 6 debts totalling £14,000 and the interest rates are high. I'm paying over £700 each month and I don't see the debts going down. I applied for a loan which would have made my payments more affordable each month and I would have been debt free in 4 years, but I was rejected".

It's frustrating being rejected for a loan, but often it's the lenders policies which determine if they are willing to take the risk and lend. At Debt Support Trust we're certainly helping more people unable to obtain a loan to deal with their problematic debts.

Loan Rejecting: What's Next?

After being rejected for a loan there are a number of things you can do. The first is to check your credit file. Is there any inaccurate information on your credit file which could improve your chances of being accepted? You could also ask the lender why you were rejected.

Is another loan the correct answer and would it be affordable to repay even in the toughest months, like birthdays and Christmas?  Often another form of credit prolongs a debt problem but doesn't actually resolve the issue.

If you're struggling with debt then why not complete a statement of affairs with Debt Support Trust? This is where we look at your income, expenditure, disposable income, assets and level of debt. You'll then be able to see how much you can realistically afford to repay towards unsecured debts each month. Our advisers will offer you every scenario, along with the positives and negatives, to resolve the debts so that you're empowered to make an informed decision about your financial future.

A loan to consolidate debts could be your best option or your unsecured debts may best be rectified with a debt solution. Speaking to a debt adviser at Debt Support Trust will help you better grasp your debts and understand which options you have.

Monday, July 10, 2017
Debt Support Trust
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