BENEFITS OF DEBT ADVICE SERVICES

Benefits Of Debt Advice Services | March 2024

Dealing with debt can seem challenging, but the right support can be a great help. This article sheds light on how seeking out debt advice offers relief and structure when facing financial difficulty. 

Help from debt advisers can help with navigation through tough times with more confidence, finding practical solutions to help manage and overcome any money challenges.

In this article, you will learn:

– The significance of getting debt advice and the impacts it can have on your financial circumstances.

– How this can help you gain back control over your finances, reducing the stress associated with debt.

– The advantages of debt advice services, as well as steps you can use to alleviate financial stress, forming a manageable repayment plan, and how to enhance financial literacy.

– How this information will equip you with the knowledge to take proactive steps towards financial stability.

Table of Contents

Benefits of Debt Advice Services

Accessing free debt advice can help as the first step towards financial recovery. These services can offer help to people struggling with debt problems. When consulting with a debt adviser, you can receive independent financial advice specific to helping your unique needs.

Seeking professional debt advice offers a number of advantages if you are struggling with any problematic debts. Getting assistance with this can help relieve some financial stress, putting you on the path towards becoming debt-free.

Reduced Interest Rates 

Debt management plans, negotiated by advisers, often manage to get reduced interest rates from creditors, lowering the total cost you have to pay back overall. This can make debts more affordable and manageable for borrowers.

– Creditors might freeze interest and charges if they see a debtor is managing their repayments responsibility.

Affordable Repayments

– Experienced debt advisors construct realistic budgets specified to your individual situation, and this makes sure there’s enough money left for essentials on top of the amount you pay back.

– Affordable debt repayment plans take into account your income, existing bills and outgoings to make a sustainable payment arrangement that will work for you. 

Halting Creditore Action

– Legal protections can limit creditor enforcement action whilst seeking debt help, and this prevents expensive court claims.

– Debt advisers know the correct procedures needed to pause enforcement, facilitating  preparation of reasonable proposals that creditors are more likely to accept.

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Improved Mental Health

– Getting advice can reduce anxiety and stress of becoming overwhelmed by debt through professional support when facing a situation.

– Having an action plan to resolve debts in place often greatly relieves feelings of low mood and shame.

Avoid Bankruptcy 

– Bankruptcy can lead to long-term credit damage, so should only ever be the last option. Debt advice can maximise your chance of negotiating agreements with creditors, avoiding the debt becoming unmanageable.

– Individual voluntary arrangements can be a more formal alternative to bankruptcy, possibly considered if creditors cooperatively approve the repayment plans.

Released Equity

– In the case of significant equity, debt advice includes the choice of releasing value through equity release mortgages, or downsizing your home if necessary.

– Using property assets can get rid of unsecured debts entirely whilst permitting homeowners to remain at their property.

Improved Financial Habits

– Advisors help to engrain habits that avoid similar debt situations occurring again, like budgeting skills or expense tracking.

– Money management plans and savings goals created through advice schemes can make finances easier to control in the long-term. 

Signposted Support Access

– Beyond direct debt assistance, advice agencies guide people towards additional support if they need it and are eligible.

– Maximising incomes through benefits claims and discretionary support funds supplement incomes and better manage financial difficulties.

Family Budgeting

– Couples advice allows both partners to openly discuss money issues, facilitating cooperation when solving this, reducing arguments or family conflict caused by debts.

– Joint budgeting offers visibility of finances and expenditure to both parties involved, meaning future spending can allow partners to resolve debts together. 

Debt Relief Orders

Debt relief orders are often a cheaper alternative to bankruptcy when dealing with lower incomes and assets. This writes off what is owed after 12 months of reasonable repayments.

– Qualifying for a DRO quickly cancels any debts, allowing people to return to a more financially stable situation.

Trust Deed Schemes

Protective Trust Deeds in Scotland provide comparable legal protection to an IVA, freezing interest and enforcement action when repaying only what is affordable.

– These continue over three years, and then any remaining unsecured debt is written off.

Debt Management Plans

– Free-to-use Debt Management Plans negotiated by professional advisors cause creditors to be legally binded to reduced, affordable monthly payments.

– Sticking to these DMPs means people can repay debts in full over a longer term with less pressure. 

Benefits of Debt Advice Services

Avoid High Cost Credit

– Advisors can help people to meet basic living expenses whilst they’re repaying, without resorting to additional high cost short-term loans and creating further debt for themselves. 

– Providing support in saving money, and guiding them to the best value services for daily costs can protect them against predatory lending practices.

Financial Statement Assistance

– Completing financial statements accurately captures all incomes, outgoing expenses and assets to help give the full picture of a borrower’s financial situation. Debt advisors help make sure these reflect the true situation of this person.

– Full financial disclosure and cooperation is looked upon favourably by creditors, possibly proposing reasonable repayment offers.

Alleviating Financial Stress with Professional Guidance

Professional guidance can help alleviate any stress linked to high interest rates and mounting bills. A debt adviser can offer support here, helping you to understand your financial position and any choices available to you. 

With this assistance, you can start dealing with any financial issues in a structured and manageable way.

Advisers are aware of the dangers posed by loan sharks or illegal moneylenders. They can help you to avoid these high-risk options, often including very high interest rates and dangerous debt cycles. Instead of these traps, they can help you get safer, legal alternative loans.

By creating a clearer plan of managing your debt, you might start to see a way to get out of any financial issues. This brings a sense of hope which is crucial for people who might be struggling with any burden of debt. 

If they get some expert advice, you can start to repay what you owe without compromising any essential living costs.

"Help from debt advisers can help with navigation through tough times with more confidence, finding practical solutions to help manage and overcome any money challenges."

Creating a Manageable Debt Repayment Plan

A debt repayment plan is essential when looking to manage their finances more effectively. A debt adviser can help to create an organised plan that details how to repay your debts while still keeping your living standards reasonable. 

This plan considers all your costs, outlining a strategy for paying off what you owe.

Utilising budget tools is a core part of any repayment plan, allowing you to see exactly where your money goes every month. This clarity allows you to make more informed decisions on where you should and shouldn’t spend, increasing the likelihood of making repayments.

With a manageable plan in place, dealing with creditors becomes a lot less intimidating. You’ll know exactly how much you can afford to pay and when it is sensible to pay it. This reduces the chance of any accrual on additional interest, helping you to avoid further debt.

Understanding Debt Advice Services

Improving Financial Literacy and Future Decisions

Improving financial literacy is one of the lasting benefits of debt advice, because understanding how to manage your money effectively helps to make informed financial decisions in the future. 

This knowledge can help you to avoid any pitfalls of high interest rates leading to unmanageable debt.

With a supporting debt adviser, you can increase awareness of how to budget successfully. You’ll learn how important savings are, allocating funds for future repayments as you need it. 

This can empower you to take back control of your finances, reducing the likelihood of future money problems or further debt.

Being financially literate allows you to have the right tools to handle unexpected costs. You’ll understand the vitality of having some savings to fall back on if emergencies come up. 

This can help to avoid the need for emergency borrowing, often coming with high interest rates that exacerbate debt issues.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Seeking Debt Advice

Seeking debt advice can be pivotal in gaining more financial stability for many borrowers. The following section will explore some of the key advantages and disadvantages coming along with seeking out debt advice services, and particularly how they can impact one’s financial journey.

Advantages of Seeking Debt Advice

1) Expert Financial Assessment

– A debt adviser offers a professional evaluation of your financial landscape, helping you identify the main underlying causes of your debt problems. This often includes assessing spending habits and recurring payments.

– After doing this, advisers can offer tailored advice on how to manage your money, helping you to make more informed financial decisions and avoiding future debt.

2) Customised Repayment Strategies

– Debt advisors help to create personalised repayment plans reflecting your current income and living expenses. This makes sure that repayments are manageable and sustainable over the long term.

– Prioritising debts with the highest interest rates, such as ones from loan sharks, means advisors can help you reduce the total amount you have to pay back in interest, saving you money overall.

3) Access to Free Help and Resources

– There’s a lot of debt advice services in the UK offering free advice, making financial support accessible to everyone, regardless of their finances. This gets rid of the economic barrier some might think they face if seeking money help.

– Free services can include access to budgeting tools or educational materials on how to manage your money more effectively, which can act as instrumental in changing financial behaviour.

Importance of Professional Debt Guidance

4) Negotiation with Creditors

– Advisers can often be intermediaries between you and your creditors, helping to negotiate more favourable terms for debt repayment. This can involve lower interest rates or extended payment contracts.

– These compromising on the creditor’s part can prevent situations where you might feel forced to turn to a loan shark, and this avoids illegal moneylenders taking advantage of people in need by offering them very high interest rates.

5) Improved Mental Well-being

– Dealing with debt can be a significant source of stress and worry. However, debt advice services offer support in alleviating these feelings, providing a clear path to becoming debt-free.

– Knowing there is a plan in place to manage your debts can provide some relief and improve overall mental health.

6) Prevention of Legal Action

– Professional advice also helps individuals to understand their rights and responsibilities when borrowing money, reducing the likelihood of facing legal action against creditors.

– Communicating with mortgage providers or other creditors helps advisers to arrange payment plans before accounts become delinquent. This protects credit scores and legal standing for the client.

7) Long-term Financial Stability

– The skills and knowledge you get from debt advice services can help you get better money management practices over the long term. This helps you get a more stable financial future, with the ability to build up your savings.

– Implementing effective budgeting strategies can also help make sure that any future payments, like mortgage instalments, are made on time, avoiding additional charges, further trouble or interest.

Disadvantages of Seeking Debt Advice

1) Time Commitment Required

– Engaging with debt advice services often calls for quite a bit of time investment to fully understand and implement the advice you’ve been offered. This can be difficult to fit in for people with busy schedules.

– The process of gathering financial information or attending meetings and workshops can be time-consuming, but it’s essential if you want to create an effective debt management plan to overcome financial struggle.

2) Potential Impact on Credit Score

– Some debt solutions that are advised by debt counsellors, like debt management plans or insolvency, could actually have a negative impact on your credit score, affecting your ability to borrow in the future. 

– It’s important to be aware that whilst these solutions may provide more short term relief, they may restrict access to financial products such as loans or credit cards in the short term.

3) Emotional Difficulty

– Acknowledging debt problems, and seeking help requires confronting the stressful financial realities of your situation, which can often be an emotional challenge for many.

– Discussing personal finances and debts can feel invasive and uncomfortable, but it is necessary if you want to resolve financial issues.

4) Dependence on Advisers

– Some individuals might become overly reliant on their debt advisers, hindering their developing independent money management skills.

– It is crucial that those seeking advice also engage in self-education, taking responsibility for their financial decisions.

5) Misleading or Fraudulent Services

– Not all debt advice services are reputable, with some misleading clients to get financial gain, so make sure you’re getting advice from an accredited service to avoid scams. 

– Conducting a good amount of research and checking for advisor certifications can help ensure that the advice you’re using is legitimate and in the client’s best interests.

6) Short-term Sacrifices

– Adhering to a debt repayment plan means individuals may need to make significant short-term sacrifices, like reducing non-essential spending or adjusting their lifestyle to fit their realistic income.

– These changes can be difficult to maintain, possibly impact one’s quality of life, but are often necessary to get healthy finances in the long-term.

7) Limited Options for Complex Debts

– Occasionally, individuals in particularly complex debt situations might find that standard debt advice services don’t fully address their needs. This can lead to a need for specialised support.

– High-value debts, like large mortgage payments, could require specific expertise that not all advisers offer, which might mean their complex issues are not met effectively through advisors.

Impact of Debt Advice on Credit Control

Debt advice services often play a crucial role when helping individuals gain back control over their credit situation. They offer valuable guidance on managing debts effectively, advisors can help to prevent any escalation of debt into unmanageable levels. 

People can prioritise their debts, focusing first on high-interest options, protecting their credit rating in the long term. This proactive method can maintain access to financial products and services such as mortgages.

Role of Debt Advice in Avoiding Illegal Lending

There’s a serious risk of falling prey to loan sharks when in financial distress. Debt advice services can help to educate individuals on the dangers of illegal moneylenders, or those with very high interest rates. 

Presenting legitimate alternatives and providing free help can allow these services to protect people from harmful financial decisions. They also support the public to report any loan sharks, contributing to enhancement in the wider community safety.

Strategies for Efficient Money Management

Effective money management is at the core of what debt advice services provide. They provide individuals with the tools and knowledge they need to create a solid budgeting plan. 

This education helps people understand how to allocate their income wisely, making sure that bills and repayments are fully covered whilst also allowing some spare money to save for the future. With these strategies, individuals can build security in their financial circumstances.

Debt Advice and Mortgage Management

Mortgage payments often account for a significant portion of a homeowners monthly outgoings. Debt advisers can offer valuable advice on how to manage these mortgage commitments alongside any other debts. 

This support is instrumental in preventing defaults on mortgage payments, potentially having serious long-term consequences. With the proper guidance, homeowners can manage their mortgage responsibilities alongside other financial obligations and necessities.

A Case Study on the Positive Outcomes of Debt Advice Services

The following example aims to illustrate the real impact of debt advice services, showing a relatable case of UK money debt advice.

John, a 35-year-old from Manchester, found himself overwhelmed by credit card debt and a personal loan after being unemployed for a time. 

Despite finding a new job, he found his debts heavy, along with the high interest rates, made it very difficult to meet his monthly payments. He started to get warning of legal action from creditors,  which made him realise he needed help to manage this situation.

He reached out to a debt advice service offering free help. The debt adviser worked with him to create a more realistic budget that prioritises his debts and explored different ways to limit his outgoings. 

They also contacted creditors to discuss John’s situation professionally, which led to an agreement involving a repayment plan lowering his monthly payments to a more manageable level.

Thanks to the debt advice on offer, John learned plenty of valuable money management skills. He began using budgeting tools to track his daily spending, making adjustments to his lifestyle to cut out unnecessary costs he could see on this app. 

Over time, he repaid his debts and even started to save a small amount on a monthly basis. This case shows the transformative power of seeking professional, supportive advice when coming under financial hardship.

Key Takeaways and Learnings

The following summary highlights the crucial aspects of seeking out debt advice services, providing help to financial burdens when most needed.

– Seek free debt advice as soon as you start to feel overwhelmed by any financial obligations.

– You can utilise budgeting tools on offer by debt advice services to gain back control over your expenditure.

– Be aware of the risks associated with loan sharks and illegal moneylenders that may scam you with unfavourable repayment plans.

– Work with a debt adviser to create a manageable repayment plan that’s fit for your individual circumstances.

– Learning and applying money management techniques will prevent any future debt problems.

– Understanding your rights whilst dealing with creditors will help you know how to negotiate terms if possible.

– Prioritise debts that have high interest rates, reducing overall financial strain.

The services and support offered by debt advisers can help to significantly improve an individual’s financial situation. 

The guidance given not only helps to immediately solve debt problems but also offers valuable knowledge and skills to managing finances going forward, such as advice for saving up. 

By taking proactive steps and utilising all available resources, individuals can work towards increasing their financial stability and peace of mind.

The case study of John’s experience demonstrates the transformative effect that professional debt advice can offer. It shows that with the right support and tools, overcoming financial challenges is achievable for anyone, regardless of their economic circumstances. 

This article has outlined the different options for support and the range of benefits that can be gained when engaging with debt advice services, illustrating the importance of taking action and seeking assistance when you most need it.

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Meet the author

Jane Parkinson

Jane Parkinson

Jane is one of our primary content writers and specialises in elder care. She has a degree in English language and literature from Manchester University and has been writing and reviewing products for a number of years.

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