Who Can Help With Debt Problems?
When debts become a serious problem, it can easily seem like there’s no way out and no one to turn to for help. While someone going through the trauma of severe debt may feel alone, there are in fact several ways of getting help.
Keep Your Creditors Informed
Your first port of call should be your creditors, even if this seems like the last thing you want to do in your current situation. If you owe someone money and are having trouble meeting the repayments, you’ll find that in nearly all cases your problems will be viewed more sympathetically if you’re honest and upfront about them.
Contact Your Mortgage Lender
This is especially true when it comes to mortgage arrears – if you avoid talking to your mortgage lender, then there’s really only one likely outcome: repossession. By contacting them and explaining your difficulties, you may well be able to arrange a way of easing the burden, such as by temporarily moving to an interest only mortgage to enable you to clear the arrears. In fact, the government is now putting heavy pressure on banks and mortgage lenders to give as much help as possible before considering repossession proceedings.
Independent Debt Advice
Next, it always helps to get some independent advice from an unbiased debt advisor. In many cases this will be free of charge if you go to a charity such as the Consumer Credit Counselling Service or Citizens Advice. It should be pointed out though that these charities are finding themselves under a very heavy workload because of the current economic climate, and so there may be quite a waiting list.
Debt Management Agencies
A final option to consider is to approach a debt management company, who will take a look at your situation and discuss ways of easing the pressure. You can usually get a free consultation from these agencies, and you should definitely avoid companies who charge a fee for even speaking to you.
Avoid Pressure Selling
Another thing to watch out for if talking to a management agency is not to be pressured into taking out a consolidation loan, entering into a debt management program, or even going into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement. While all of these can be effective ways of solving debt problems, they can also be very damaging if taken out for the wrong reasons. Make sure that before you make any decisions you get a second opinion from an unbiased advisor.
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