CITIZENS’ ADVICE BUREAU
More Month than Money
People generally manage their finances with some juggling from month to month. Then something happens like illness, losing a job or reduced working hours. The balancing act fails. Bills are overdue, credit cards are maxed out and nasty letters start appearing in the post.
What can be done?
Firstly, a DON’T
DO NOT use the Debt Management companies that advertise on TV or pop onto your phone. They are friendly and helpful but their help is limited and they are expensive.
One poor chap came to me who had been with one of these companies for a year and struggled to give them £300 each month to pay his debts. At the end of the year £600 had been thinly spread between his creditors, £3000 had gone in fees to the debt company and he had received a Summary Warrant from the court for Council Tax Arrears.
DO use the Citizen’s Advice Debt Advice Service.
They will charge you no fees and are available if you live in the P&K Council area. They can give you telephone or e-mail advice but the simplest way to contact them is to drop in at the CAB Offices between 10am and 1pm on a weekday morning and say you would like to speak to the Duty Debt Adviser. Once you have made the initial contact appointments will be scheduled to suit you. You may be seen right away or may have to wait if someone else arrived before you. Your visit is completely confidential. You will be given a number so your name does not have to be called out if you have to wait.
The Debt Adviser is a specialist. He or she will not be shocked or accuse you of over-spending. You will be helped to complete a form which contains your incomings and outgoings so it will help if you bring a Bank Statement and the latest letter from each creditor, or as many as you can manage. Some people are embarrassed to confess all their debts or think they won’t mention the ones where they are managing minimum payments but it is best to list them all and then see which need immediate action
Once you have been brave enough to face the situation do keep appointments and take advice. Some people feel so much better just for talking to a Debt Adviser that we don’t see them again for six months and then they appear and things have got worse.
The Money Advice team are in the job because they like to help and use their talents and expertise. They do not judge you They are rewarded by seeing their do not judge you They are rewarded by seeing their clients start to sleep at night and get back on their feet.
DEBT ADVICE MANAGER; David Ogston email; firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone; 01738 450587
The Citizen’s Advice Bureau is completely confidential. The articles I write for the Crier are always based on true stories but I disguise the client so they could never be identified.
The Citizen’s Advice Bureau is at 7 Atholl Crescent. Drop in is 10am-12 noon, Monday to Friday or phone 01738 450581 for an appointment in the afternoon. If the line is busy you can leave a message and you will get a call-back. The number will come up as “Withheld” to protect your privacy.
01738 450580 is the Advice Line. This line is often busy but if you leave a message your call will be returned.
Everything is confidential, even the fact that you visited the bureau.
There is also a web-site run by the CAB. Adviceguide.org.uk covers many topics and is easy to use.