Further information from the Money Advice Service

Dealing With Debt – 5 Things You Should Know

1. There are sources of free debt advice and services.
You can find out more by contacting the Money Advice Service on 0300 500 5000 (8-8 Monday to Friday, 9-1 on Saturday) or follow this link: MAS: Help if you are struggling with debt.

2. You should have been advised on all the options for dealing with your debt.
Your debt advisor will explain all the options that are open to you (which may include bankruptcy, debt relief order, individual voluntary arrangement, debt management plan). Your advisor will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option with you so that you can make an informed choice.

3. You will know how much the arrangement will cost you and the time it will take for your debts to be paid.
If your debt advisor does not you must ask to find out. If you have approached a firm that complies with the DMP Protocol you will always be given this information. You will not be charged any up front fee to set up a debt management plan. Any money you pay to your provider to cover their fees will not be used to repay your debts. Think carefully about your options if more money is being used to pay your DMP provider than your creditors.

4. Your provider will go through a full and accurate budgeting process with you.
This is vital to make sure that the payments you are asked to make are affordable for yourself and fair to your creditors.

5. If you are not happy with the service you receive, you can complain.
You should refer such complaints to the provider first to give them a chance to put things right. They should tell you clearly how to do this.

If the advisor’s company is a member of a trade body the advisor will tell you how you can complain to the trade body as a second step.

If you are still unhappy happy with the outcome, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). They are an independent Government run service who will look into your complaint and can award you compensation if they decide in your favour.

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