Weighed down by

debt!
Free debt counseling in your community
from your local charity.

Do you need help with your debts?

Keep receiving letters from your creditors? Want to pay off your credit card? Fallen behind on rent? Recently received a Council Tax bill you can’t afford to pay? Just need a hand creating a monthly budget for the family?

If the answer to any to any of these questions is yes, you’ve come to the right place!

We are here to help get you back on track and get creditors off your back. The biggest step you can take when dealing with debts is to come and get debt advice. Having debts can be scary, and consequences can be serious, but once you have an advisor on your team creditors can be more co-operative than you might think.

We are here to support you in whatever way is most comfortable for you. We will listen to your side of the story and help you decide a solution that works best for your situation. We also provide general money advice to help increase your income and reduce your outgoings!

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THE ISSUES

Rent Arrears

Lots of people fall behind on paying their rent if they have financial worries. If you start to miss payments the best thing you can do is seek debt advice. We will help you get in contact with your landlord and arrange an affordable solution. Even if your landlord has given you a Notice of Seeking Possession (NOSP), there is still time to fix the problem.

It is important to deal with your rent arrears as quickly as possible. It is a priority debt and If neglected for too long you could be evicted.

Water

If you have water payments overdue, try not to worry too much as water companies can never disconnect your supply. However, it is still important to get it sorted!

We can help reduce your water bill through the Severn Trent Big Difference Scheme. We will also help you create a monthly budget for your family so you can agree an affordable arrangement with your supplier.

Council Tax

Big Council Tax bills are overwhelming… but we can help make it more manageable. You may be entitled to Council Tax support from the council. This will reduce your bill. If you can afford to pay in instalments then you could have a reasonable amount deducted straight from your benefits.

If you can’t afford to pay your Council Tax call us for a free debt advice appointment. Council Tax is another priority debt. The ultimate consequence of not paying is going to prison.

Gas & Electric

Gas prices have recently gone up, which could be adding to your financial worries. Come and see us for help to ensure you don’t have a pre-payment meter fitted or get disconnected.

Gas companies usually accept a small minimum payment to repay arrears if you are struggling. Most large energy companies also have trust funds provided by Auriga that could help you get out of debt!

The Big Difference Scheme is a social tariff funded by Severn Trent which offers significantly reduced water rates to customers with a low monthly disposable income.

The Scheme could offer you up to 90% off our average yearly bill. You don’t need to be behind on your bills or on benefits to apply. The scheme is available to Severn Trent customers who may be finding it difficult or struggling to pay their water bill and need a little extra help.

We encourage clients who are having trouble with paying their water bills to access the scheme.

HERE ARE SOME SOLUTIONS

Debt Relief Order (DRO)

Get out of debt for £90!

A DRO is a formal debt solution that wipes your debts after one year. You won’t have to make payments during this period and creditors won’t be able to contact you either.

If you have:

  • Less than £30,000 of debt
  • Assets worth less than £2000
  • Less than £75 per month surplus income

You could be eligible!

There are restrictions to comply with and a DRO could affect your work or accommodation. A DRO will stay on your credit report for 6 years but don’t worry there is no blacklist.

Breathing Space

Fallen behind with payments and need some time to get back on track?

Breathing space is a formal debt solution that places your debts on hold for 60 days. Once you have entered breathing space your creditors must stop all collection and enforcement procedures for 60 days.

This is a great option for people that need time to seek debt advice and work out the best long-term solution…

Affordable Repayment Plan

Do you have some spare income? Are creditors asking you to pay too much?

If so, we can help you negotiate an affordable plan to pay off your debt and ease your financial worries.

Our money advice team will help you create a monthly budget and work out how much spare income you have at the end. We will then work out how much to offer each creditor – they are much more likely to co-operate once you have received debt advice!

Bankruptcy

Believe it or not, it can be the right option…

Bankruptcy is a formal way to get out of debt if you cannot afford to pay each month. Either you can apply to go bankrupt or one of your creditors can apply to make you bankrupt if you owe over £5000 (they rarely do).

Bankruptcy can affect your job and accommodation and will affect your ability to take out more credit. Also, if you have any assets these will be dealt with by insolvency services and be sold off to pay towards your debts.

It may sound scary… but most clients are discharged after the one-year bankruptcy period and are then debt free!

Debt Management Plan (DMP)

This is an official way of paying off debts in affordable instalments.

If you have a least 2 creditors and at least £50 per month spare, then this is a great way to get out of debt. It reduces stress as you just make one payment every month towards a Debt Management Company, who then distribute the money amongst your creditors.

The downside is that you will repay your debt in full – which can take a very long time! (Creditors usually accept any offer that repays the debt within 10 years).

About the team.

Free and impartial advice service which was set up to help with money advice, problems and your financial future.

We have the only language line interpreters in the county, and we can access them for every client who does not speak English as their first language.

Helping people in a time of crisis, we have a close relationship with Gloucester and Stroud foodbanks, clients who are in food crisis may be assisted by granting access to these foodbanks. An adviser is generally available to assist with emergency advice on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

We operate a Food Parcel service for those in immediate need including support for parents with babies and toiletries.

As a small caring organisation we pride ourselves on seeing every single person who show up on the day they attend.  We will never turn anyone away.

Meet The Team

All members of the Money Advice Team hold Money Advice qualifications and are accredited members of the Institute of Money Advisers (either fully qualified MIMA(Cert) or Associate Members, AIMA) gaining their qualifications from the University of Staffordshire. We are Debt Relief Order Intermediary registered. We hold a current Advice Quality Standard (AQS).
Sandra Day

Sandra Day, Adviser

Donna

Donna Davies, Administrative Support

We are members of

AQS
IMA
Advice UK
We provide advice to the public which has been certified as quality practice. The certification is awarded by an independent body, Recognising Excellence, who assess advice centres through a rigorous process which provides a framework for continuous improvement.

Information

We facilitate the connecting of residents, local business, and local services in becoming thriving and aspiring communities. We support local community development, advice, education and training activities to increase residents’ confidence, skills levels and reliance.

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