Where to go to get free debt advice

free debt adviceFacing up to debt can be a tough process. But there is lots of free, confidential help and advice available, so there’s no need to pay a debt management company to sort out your money worries.

Watch out for companies that aren’t charities

Look out for companies with misleading names that sound like debt charities but are actually commercial businesses.

Never ever pay for services from this type of company.

Here is our selection of genuine sources of free, independent and confidential help.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice.

Advice offered

Debt and money, benefits, housing, legal, discrimination, employment, immigration and consumer advice.

Services provided

  • face-to-face
  • home visits
  • telephone
  • online

Find your local bureau to arrange an appointment, view a list of phone numbers or get advice online by following the links below:

England and Wales – Citizens Advice Bureau website

Scotland – Citizens Advice website

Suitable for

Everyone.

StepChange Debt Charity

StepChange Debt Charity is a registered charity that provides free and anonymous advice over the phone and online to over 350,000 people per year. They provide free debt management plans and other debt solutions.

Advice offered

Debt and money, bankruptcy, Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), debt relief orders (Insolvency Service approved), trust deeds, the debt arrangement scheme, bailiffs, charging orders, employment, benefits, money management, mortgage and repossession support, and equity release.

Services provided

Telephone

  • Phone the StepChange Debt Charity Helpline for free on Tel 0800 138 1111 (Monday–Friday, 8am–8pm; Saturday 9am–3pm)

Use the StepChange Debt Charity call back service

Online

Create a budget using StepChange Debt Remedy, a free online debt advice service. It will identify the extent of your debt problems and provide you with a tailored recommendation to resolve your situation. It's free and you don’t have to give your name.

StepChange Debt Remedy online debt help tool

England and Wales – Debt information and advice

Scotland – Debt information and advice

Northern Ireland – Debt information and advice

Start a live web chat with StepChange Debt Charity (Monday–Friday, 8am–8pm; Saturday 9am–3pm)

Suitable for

Everyone.

National Debtline

National Debtline provides a free, confidential and independent helpline for people with debt problems in England, Wales and Scotland. They give expert advice over the telephone and via email, and will send you a free self-help information pack.

Advice offered

Budgeting, money and debt issues including rent and mortgage arrears, debt solutions such as bankruptcy, Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), debt management plans, debt relief orders, trust deeds, the debt arrangement scheme and advice and support if creditors take court action. 

Services provided

Telephone

Phone National Debtline free on Tel 0808 808 4000 (Monday–Friday, 9am–9pm; Saturday 9.30am–1pm).

Online

For debt advice and information, visit the National Debtline website

National Debtline’s My Money Steps website is a secure, confidential and free online self-help debt advice service. My Money Steps can help you to work out a budget and give you personalised advice about the options available to you.

Visit National Debtline’s My Money Steps website

Suitable for

Everyone in England, Wales and Scotland.

Debt Advice Foundation

Debt Advice Foundation is a registered national debt advice charity offering free, confidential support and advice to anyone worried about loans, credit and debt. Expert advice is available via a free telephone helpline or online.

Advice offered

Budgeting, debt consolidation, free debt management plans, Debt Relief Orders, Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), Trust Deeds and debt arrangement schemes (in Scotland), administration orders, bankruptcy and sequestration (in Scotland).

Services provided

Telephone

Call the free Debt Advice Foundation helpline on Tel 0800 043 40 50 (Monday–Friday, 8am–8pm; Saturday 9am–5pm).

Use the Debt Advice Foundation call-back service

Online

For information on debt solutions and tools to help with budgeting and debt, go to the Debt Advice Foundation website.

Suitable for

Everyone throughout the UK.

Christians Against Poverty

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a national debt counselling charity with 252 centres based in local churches across the UK.

Advice offered

Debt, money management, budgeting, and paying bills through a CAP account.

Services provided

Face-to-face

To find all the services in your area offered by Christians Against Poverty – and to sign up to one of their money courses – go to their website:

Put your postcode into the Christians Against Poverty website to find local services

Online

Go to the self-help service on the Christians Against Poverty website

Suitable for

Anyone who lives within the catchment area of a CAP debt centre.

Civil Legal Advice

Civil Legal Advice (formerly Community Legal Advice) can provide free and independent help for anyone who qualifies for legal aid in England and Wales. Be aware, however, that debt problems only qualify for legal aid if you’re at immediate risk of homelessness.

Advice offered

Family, debt, benefits, housing, education or employment problems.

Services provided

Telephone

Suitable for

Anyone living in England and Wales who is eligible for legal aid.

Shelter

Shelter is a housing charity offering confidential advice on a range of financial issues.

Advice offered

Housing, debt, benefits, care, health, disability, prisoners/ex-offenders, council housing, property repairs, family, neighbourhood issues, eviction and homelessness.

Services provided

Telephone

  • If you’re in England, you can call free on Tel 0808 800 4444 (Monday–Friday, 8am–8pm; Saturday–Sunday, 8am–5pm)
  • If you’re in Wales, you can call free on Tel 0845 075 5005 (Monday–Friday, 9.30am–4.30pm)
  • If you’re in Scotland, you can call free on Tel 0808 800 4444 (Monday–Friday, 8am–5pm)

Online

Shelter England website

Shelter Cymru website

Shelter Scotland website

Suitable for

Everyone in England, Wales and Scotland.

Business Debtline

Business Debtline is a charity helpline that offers free, confidential and independent advice to self-employed people in England, Wales and Scotland on how to deal with debt problems.

Services provided

Self-help advice with supporting written pack and factsheets and assistance in accessing appropriate repayment or insolvency options

Online

Telephone

  • You can call Business Debtline between 9am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday on 0800 197 6026

Suitable for

Self-employed people in England, Wales and Scotland.

Debt Action NI 

Debt Action NI offers free, confidential and impartial debt and money advice services across Northern Ireland. 

Services provided 

Professionally trained money and debt advisers providing advice on dealing with priority debts such as mortgage and rent arrears, as well as credit card debt, bank loans, store cards, payday loans and doorstep lenders. 

Face-to-face

To find all the services in your area offered by Debt Action NI go to their website: 

Online

Visit the Debt Action NI website

Telephone

You can call Debt Action NI on 0800 917 4607

Suitable for 

Everyone in Northern Ireland.

Housing Rights Service 

The Housing Rights Service provides free, independent and confidential mortgage debt advice to people in Northern Ireland. 

Services provided

Specialist Mortgage Debt Advice Service helping people to remain in their homes or find suitable alternative accommodation. 

Face-to-face

Drop into Middleton Buildings, 10-12 High Street, Belfast, BT1 2BA between 9.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday. 

Online

Visit the housingadviceNI website

Telephone

You can call the Housing Rights Service on 0300 3230 310 between 9.30am and 5pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and between 9.30am and 8pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Suitable for

Everyone in Northern Ireland.