Although the average family is now in 2010 almost twice as much in debt as they would have been around 5 years ago many people still do not know what their options are or indeed how to find help and get advice with their debts. The one place many look to is the Citizens Advice Bureau this can be for many a big mistake. Whilst Citizens Advice Bureau is a well meaning charity with good people giving their time free, those people are in the main lay people who may not know much more than you yourself regarding debt. their last appointment may have been with somebody with say an immigration problem and their next may be somebody with a rent dispute with their landlord. It is totally beyond reason to expect these people to know everything about everything.
It has been said in recent reports that around 100,000 calls are being made each month to UK debt charities from people seeking advice on debt. These debt help lines can not cope with the traffic they are receiving at present, so service levels have fallen to an all time low.
The charities themselves are presently overwhelmed by the number of people seeking advice on debt. The Citizens Advice Bureau and CCCS are simply snowed under. People are having to wait sometimes up to two weeks simply to speak to an advisor. The other major downside of using charitable or free debt management companies is that you are using a service which is funded by the very people you are having your problems with ie the banks and credit card companies and of course because they are funded by donation they are usually understaffed, sometimes under trained and when you need their attention most it is often difficult to get hold of them.
Debt is a serious and stressful matter and waiting times like this are simply not acceptable. So where else can one go for debt advice. An viable alternative to these well meaning but overworked charities are the paid for debt advice companies.
Whilst the charities are largely funded by the creditors the fee charging companies are free to give totally impartial advice. Many of the fee charging companies offer both IVA and debt management solutions and can be very worthwhile speaking to. Most if not all of these companies offer free advice at consultation stage and only charge fees once you sign up to their service, so valuable advice is certainly available free of charge.
Once on-board with these companies they will charge a modest monthly fee from your subscription and pay the balance to your creditors. The main advantage to you as a paying customer is that you never have to wait for an appointment to speak to somebody about your account. Because the companies charge fees they are properly funded and are therefore able to employ the correct number of staff to provide you with the service you require and deserve.