There are an increasing number of Christian and non-profit debt advice services
available to UK consumers at the moment. This is, in part, due to the fact that there is a genuine need for debt help in the current economic climate. But, it is also due to the fact that both the Christian and non-profit/charitable sectors are bound by their principles to offer help and advice to those that need it in difficult times. Given the rising problems we have with debt in the UK at the moment, this certainly is one of those times!
But, a lot of people will think twice before consulting these kinds of agencies when they need debt advice. Some people, for example, will simply feel that they cannot consult a Christian help service if they are not regular churchgoers or practising Christians. Others feel that they will not get the best levels of help and advice from a non-profit charitable organisation in comparison to a commercial concern – often here the concern is that you don’t get the best services for free.
The fact is that these viewpoints are a little outdated.
Both Christian and non-profit organisations are more than willing to help out anybody who approaches them for advice. The point is that these kinds of agencies are there to help and not to judge so it is better to have an open mind here. The advice that you get from a Christian charity on how to cope with debt will be impartial and useful and, in many cases, if you look at advisory websites here you would not even realise that they were run on a faith basis.
The point to consider here is that Christian and non-profit debt advisory organisations have different aims to many commercial advisors. For example they are:
The advice and help you get here
- Doing this because they want to help, not because they want to make money out of you either by taking a fee from you for the advice they give or by getting a cut if they refer you to a lender.
- Not doing this for the money but from a genuine desire to help people out of a sticky situation.
- Not affiliated with any companies, products or services – their ‘loyalty’ is to you, as the person approaching them for help.
- Willing to give up their time freely to give you advice or to help you find a solution with no strings attached.
will vary according to your circumstances and the services on offer. Some advisory services here, for example, may run a website that offers advice sheets and downloads, some may offer telephone advice and some face to face counselling. In some cases the service may also help you work out how to implement the best debt management solution once you’ve chosen one to go with and will even help you talk to your creditors to sort the situation out.
The whole point of these services, whether they have a religious affiliation or not, is not to preach and to make you feel even worse about your situation. At the end of the day they are simply there to help make you feel better and to take action to ensure that you can solve any problems that you might have.
So, if you are looking for debt advice and practical help then these kinds of organisations could be the best choice for you to start with. Consulting with a debt advisory service of this kind will not cost you money and will not put you under any obligation. Let’s take a look at some of the best known options you can look at in this sector:
- The Citizens Advice Bureau – this is perhaps the best known of the non-profit advisory services in the UK. You can either arrange an appointment to talk to somebody at your local office or you can consult the advisory guides on their website (www.adviceguide.org.uk).
- The National Debtline – the National Debtline is a free and confidential telephone advisory service. You can call the service completely anonymously on 0808 808 4000. The organisation’s website (www.nationaldebtline.co.uk) is also a useful source of online information that you can view or download for reference.
- The Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) – this charity offers both an online and telephone based counselling and advisory service. You can find details of their services at www.cccs.co.uk. The website here is also a useful source of information and general debt advice.
- Christians Against Poverty – this is a charity dedicated to help give community based debt advice. It runs a series of centres across the country which are based in local churches but, when you ask for advice here, you get the added bonus of having one of their trained advisors visit you at home for a completely confidential service. You can find out more at their website – www.capuk.org.
- Credit Action – this is a Christian charity which offers a full range of debt and money management advice for individuals in all kinds of circumstances via its website at www.creditaction.org.uk. The site also links to many useful sites that can also be useful if you are looking for help with debt problems.
So, the key thing to focus on here is that these Christian and non-profit organisations will give you non-judgmental and impartial advice at no cost. Remember, if you are having debt problems then getting free advice is really what you should be looking at. Paying more to find out that you really do have money problems from an expert is not a route you want to be taking!
And, most importantly, the majority of these organisations can help you find more than just advice. In many cases they can also give your practical guidance on how to manage your debts and can even help guide you through the complex process of dealing with creditors to try and help you sort your situation out once and for all. So, this could well be an option worth looking at if you are worried about how much you owe.