- Isn't debt management the same as debt consolidation?
- Will you manage all my debts?
- If I join the plan, will it take me longer to pay my debts off?
- Why would I need help talking to my creditors?
- How much does it cost?
- What does the management fee pay for?
- How do I know my creditors will accept the arrangements?
- If I join the debt management plan, will it damage my credit history?
- Is there a debt management trade association?
- Will I have to pay if I withdraw from the plan?
1. Isn't debt management the same as debt consolidation?
A. Not at all. It's a repayment plan, which means we provide ongoing help and guidance so you can pay off your debts without a loan. We look at your income and expenditure, helping you figure out what you can afford to pay every month. Then, once we've spoken to your creditors, we do all the administration, handle all letters and phone calls and distribute your payments among them.
2. Will you manage all my debts?
A. No. We manage your non-priority debts: your unsecured credit, from credit cards and store cards to overdrafts and personal loans.
We won't deal with your priority debts, such as your rent / mortgage, your utility bills and any loan secured against your home. These are the most important debts, as the consequences of not paying them can be so severe. It's essential you keep making these payments yourself, so we take them into account when we're calculating how much you can put towards your unsecured debts every month.
3. If I join the plan, will it take me longer to pay my debts off?
A. Yes. When you join the plan, we ask your creditors to accept lower payments – making your life a lot easier and greatly reducing the risk of incurring charges by missing payments. However, because you’re paying your debts back more slowly, it will take longer to put them behind you.
Our plan aims to help people who find it very hard to make their minimum monthly payments. But it's a flexible plan, so if your situation changes we can talk to your creditors about accepting higher or lower payments.
4. Why would I need help talking to my creditors?
A. Many people find it hard to talk to creditors when they can't afford to make the minimum payments. Feeling stressed, depressed or embarrassed can make it very difficult to talk calmly about such a serious subject, especially if their relationship with their creditors has broken down in the past.
That's where we come in – we care about your finances, but we're not emotionally involved! Plus, we've spent 15 years talking to creditors and dealing with debt on a daily basis.
5. How much does it cost?
A. Every month, you’ll send us the amount we’ve agreed on and we will pay it to the companies you owe money to. We don't charge a fee.
6. Can anyone qualify?
A. Of course! Anyone is completely free to use a charity or 3rd party to help negotiate their debts. This is their legal right.
7. How do I know my creditors will accept the arrangements?
A. Like us, creditors know that an affordable payment proposal is in everyone's best interests, and a huge range of creditors trust us to act as a 'go-between' and negotiate agreements that benefit them as well as you.
Creditors are not legally obliged to accept different repayment terms, but with over 15 years of experience behind us, we’ve built up excellent working relationships with organisations throughout the credit industry – in most cases, we are able to negotiate reduced payments and frozen / reduced interest on our clients debts.
8. If I join the debt management plan, will it damage my credit history?
A. If your creditors agree to accept reduced payments and freeze / reduce interest charges, there is always a chance they will issue a default notice, as you've not maintained your original agreement with them. However, if you are currently in financial difficulties, this may already have happened – and it's generally better to accept a default notice than to let debts continue growing until creditors start considering more serious steps such as applying for County Court Judgments or issuing final demands.
9. Is there a debt management trade association?
DEMSA was formed to promote good practice and look after the interest of everyone who needs debt management. All members must meet the high standards laid down in DEMSA's own code of conduct. For more information, visit www.demsa.co.uk.
10. Will I have to pay if I withdraw from the plan?
A. No. Please inform us in writing two weeks before you leave, giving us time to tell your creditors they should deal with you from now on. But we don't charge you for leaving early.