Are you struggling to keep up with your debt repayments?
There are lots of ‘debt management’ companies who will offer to deal with all your creditors for you “in one simple, monthly payment” in exchange for a monthly fee. Although this can seem tempting, it can be quite expensive and take you longer to pay off your debts, so you should think carefully before using one of these services.
There are several debt advice services who offer free, independent advice on your options, and in some cases may even be able to offer you a debt management plan without any monthly fees. This means that everything you pay goes towards paying off your debts.
If a debt advice service cannot offer you a managed plan, they can still help you negotiate your own arrangements with creditors directly. Here are two companies who offer online and telephone advice services:
Many consumers are paying over the odds for their gas and electricity, simply because they haven’t got around to switching to a better deal. The good news is that it’s really easy to switch providers these days – there are several comparison sites where you can compare tariffs and in many cases make the change there and then.
If you know how much energy you use in a year (this information can be found on your most recent utility bill) you’ll get the most accurate results, but even if you don’t most sites have estimated usage calculators. These are some of the comparison sites you could use:
Uswitch also offers price comparisons for other items like tv, broadband, mobiles and credit cards.
Once you’ve registered, MSE Cheap Energy Club will automatically let you know if a cheaper tariff becomes available.
Looking for other ways to save money?
MoneySavingExpert is an excellent website, with tips on how to save money in all areas of life. It is also a great place to go for information on consumer rights and debt advice. Their active forum will give you advice and suggestions from other users on a range of issues.
Loan sharks are unlicensed money lenders, who often charge very high interest rates and can use violence or threats of violence to make people pay. If you think you, or someone you know, has borrowed money from a loan shark you can get confidential help and advice from the Stop Loan Sharks campaign by calling 0300 555 2222, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org