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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Andrea
    • By MSE Andrea 18th Nov 16, 1:05 PM
    • 8,325Posts
    • 20,421Thanks
    MSE Andrea
    Struggling with debt? Ask a debt advisor a question
    • #1
    • 18th Nov 16, 1:05 PM
    Struggling with debt? Ask a debt advisor a question 18th Nov 16 at 1:05 PM
    If you need help with your debts, this is the thread for you.

    Trained advisors from StepChange Debt Charity (formerly CCCS) are here and waiting to answer your debt questions. Theyíre a friendly bunch so please donít be shy!

    There are three ways to get in touch:

    1 - Simply post your question below and Richard, Allen, Rachael, Linsi or Kirsty will reply. If your question is about bankruptcy, then pop over to the Bankruptcy board.

    2 - If you would prefer to ask a question in private, feel free to send a message to StepChange Private Messages.

    3 Ė StepChange Debt Remedy is a free and confidential online debt advice tool. You can put a budget together at your pace, and you can also talk it over with an advisor through online chat.

    If you're a StepChange Debt Charity client already, please contact its Aftercare team rather than posting in this thread (their contact details are in your Welcome Pack).

    This is discussion thread part four, see parts one, two and three.

    Finally, follow @MSE_Forum on twitter for debate and discussion on all things MoneySaving and more.

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Page 16
    • rcunningham87
    • By rcunningham87 4th May 17, 9:51 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    rcunningham87
    Hi Guys,

    I've got myself into a bit of a pickle and have an "Average" credit score according to Experian. My aim is to improve this ASAP and look to get a mortgage in the next few years (But only after my cards and debts are paid off etc.)

    I have 2 credit cards I currently pay the minimum (I'm able to pay off more each month but this could take longer than I'd like). I'm looking to get a P2P loan to pay off the cards and get a newer car. But I'm worried that I'll be refused the loan and it'll affect my rating even more.

    My question is, is it better to keep one of the cards and pay it off in full each month to improve my credit rating?

    I guess my question is, what is the quickest way to improve my credit rating considering my situation and get debt free?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by rcunningham87; 04-05-2017 at 10:17 AM.
  • StepChange_Linsi
    Hi Rachel

    Thanks for your post and welcome to the forum.

    An IVA is a legally binding arrangement so Iíd recommend speaking to your IVA provider directly. Theyíll be able to answer this question for you.

    All the best,

    Linsi

    Hi I have just paid a settlement figure to my IVA company as creditors agreed to let me settle early! Can I now sell my house or do I need to wait for my completion certificate
    Originally posted by Rachel2475
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
    • HoneyOnThePavement
    • By HoneyOnThePavement 4th May 17, 3:15 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    HoneyOnThePavement
    Hello, I also have a similar situation. Would appreciate your piece of advice)
  • StepChange_Linsi
    Good afternoon,

    Thank you for your post and welcome to the forum.

    Credit applications are shown on your credit file and can impact your credit rating, especially if your application is declined.

    Whilst I canít say what the likelihood is of you being accept for a loan, there is an eligibility calculator you can use on the MSE website. The calculator uses a soft search, so doesnít affect your credit file, and will give you a better idea of which loans youíre more likely to be accepted for.

    Building a credit history is also a good way to improve your credit score. So keeping one credit card (providing you pay it off in full each month) should improve your credit rating over time, usually within 6 to 12 months.

    There are other ways to improve your credit file and you can find more information about this here. If youíre privately renting at the moment you may also want to look into signing up to the Rental Exchange scheme. This can help to improve your credit file as long as you pay your rent on time each month.

    When applying for a mortgage lenders will look at your credit file but theyíre also going to look at, and take into consideration, your affordability and deposit amount.

    I hope this helps.

    Linsi

    Hi Guys,

    I've got myself into a bit of a pickle and have an "Average" credit score according to Experian. My aim is to improve this ASAP and look to get a mortgage in the next few years (But only after my cards and debts are paid off etc.)

    I have 2 credit cards I currently pay the minimum (I'm able to pay off more each month but this could take longer than I'd like). I'm looking to get a P2P loan to pay off the cards and get a newer car. But I'm worried that I'll be refused the loan and it'll affect my rating even more.

    My question is, is it better to keep one of the cards and pay it off in full each month to improve my credit rating?

    I guess my question is, what is the quickest way to improve my credit rating considering my situation and get debt free?

    Thanks in advance.
    Originally posted by rcunningham87
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
  • StepChange_Linsi
    Hello,

    Thank you for getting in touch.

    Please feel free to use the links we've provided in previous responses to find further information about dealing with debt.

    If you'd like more tailored advice then I'd recommend you use are free Debt Remedy tool. The online tool will help you to create a budget and we can then recommend a solution to make managing your debts easier.

    If you have a specific question that you cant find the answer to, post the question here and we'll do our best to answer it.

    All the best,

    Linsi


    Hello, I also have a similar situation. Would appreciate your piece of advice)
    Originally posted by HoneyOnThePavement
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
    • djpailo
    • By djpailo 5th May 17, 8:29 PM
    • 353 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    djpailo
    My partners parents are in disarray.

    So her dad had originally gambled away money from a mortgage reserve joint account, including gambling the overdraft limit. Her mum claims that her Dad was moved from the joint account, but his name could not be removed from the overdraft reserve. Her mum requested to cap the limit, but they subsequently increased it by 4k, which her dad then took out.

    My question is, is this all actually possible, I am confused about how someone can have their name removed from a joint account, but still have access to its overdraft facility. The bank told her mum that its too much money for his name to be removed.

    Please advise.
  • StepChange_Kirsty
    Hi there,

    Thanks for your post.

    I can see this is a very difficult situation for your partnerís parents. First of all, is your partnerís Dad seeking help for his gambling? If heís not already seeking help I would recommend he contacts an organisation called Gamcare who provide free advice and support for those with problem gambling.

    I canít say for sure what has happened here but as the joint account is linked to the mortgage Iím surprised that they would have agreed to take his name off the joint account. It is usual that the bank would not agree to take his name off the overdraft reserve whist there is a debt outstanding because he would be liable to pay any monies owed. To remove him from the account would remove his legal responsibility which would not be wise for the bank to do.

    Your partnerís mum might want to look into why the bank has extended the overdraft limit instead of capping it as she requested. She would need to follow the bankís complaint process which most banks will detail on their websites. If she hasnít received a response within 8 weeks or has received a final response she is not happy with, she can refer the matter up to the Financial Ombudsman Service. You can find their details here.

    If your partner parents are now finding themselves having difficulties with debts, we can certainly offer them some help and advice. They can either contact us by telephone or complete our online Debt Remedy tool.

    I hope this information is helpful.

    Kirsty


    My partners parents are in disarray.

    So her dad had originally gambled away money from a mortgage reserve joint account, including gambling the overdraft limit. Her mum claims that her Dad was moved from the joint account, but his name could not be removed from the overdraft reserve. Her mum requested to cap the limit, but they subsequently increased it by 4k, which her dad then took out.

    My question is, is this all actually possible, I am confused about how someone can have their name removed from a joint account, but still have access to its overdraft facility. The bank told her mum that its too much money for his name to be removed.

    Please advise.
    Originally posted by djpailo
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
    • fatuesque
    • By fatuesque 7th May 17, 1:37 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    fatuesque
    Debt advice please
    Hi,

    Need some debt advice please.

    1. I have a number of very old small debts for things which i disputed at the time & just left. Nobody is chasing me for them & the last letter received was in 2011. I also never made any contact or payments. Just things like phone bills etc.

    These are not on my credit file. Am I okay to just forget them?

    2. Do old bank accounts without debt or money in them harm credit if it appears on my credit file?

    3. Whats the quickest way to improve credit rating of someone with 3 defaults & a CCJ (all totalling around £500) plus a very large water bill which is under arrangement?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Karl
  • StepChange_Linsi
    Hi Karl

    Welcome to the forum and thank you for your post.

    Iíve answered your questions below but if youíre struggling to repay any of your debts and need further tailored advice you can use our free online Debt Remedy tool. Thereís also more information specifically about CCJs and water arrears on our website.

    1. Even if a debt isnít visible on your credit file it doesnít mean the creditor canít take further action to recover the debt. The exception to this would be if the debt was statute barred; if this was the case the debt would be unenforceable. Thereís more information about statute barred debts on our website including a template letter you can use to inform your creditors if this is the case. If any of your creditors obtained a court judgment before the limitation period passed the debt can never become statute barred.

    2. Having access to too much credit, even if it isn't being used, can impact your credit rating and make it harder to get additional credit.

    3. Thereís lots of ways to improve your credit file such as making sure youíre on the electoral roll. You can find more tips about improving your credit file on the MSE website.

    I hope this helps.

    Linsi


    Hi,

    Need some debt advice please.

    1. I have a number of very old small debts for things which i disputed at the time & just left. Nobody is chasing me for them & the last letter received was in 2011. I also never made any contact or payments. Just things like phone bills etc.

    These are not on my credit file. Am I okay to just forget them?

    2. Do old bank accounts without debt or money in them harm credit if it appears on my credit file?

    3. Whats the quickest way to improve credit rating of someone with 3 defaults & a CCJ (all totalling around £500) plus a very large water bill which is under arrangement?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Karl
    Originally posted by fatuesque
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
    • debby
    • By debby 9th May 17, 1:21 PM
    • 69 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    debby
    Iva
    Hi currently drowning. Been talking to husband about Iva. Just want to know if they cover it on all your debt, as we don't want to include the car...or does the car have to be part of it too. Thanks
    DEBBY
  • StepChange_Richard
    Hi Debby

    Thanks for getting in touch. We can help with this.

    An IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) is a legally binding agreement and method of insolvency that can be used to partially pay debts off by installments with any remaining debts written off after a given period of time (typically 5 or 6 years).

    An IVA will cover most debts, but some are always excluded. Our website gives you a list of debts included and excluded.

    For your car, it's important for us to know what type of agreement (if any) your vehicle is on and how much it is worth. To give you the best advice on this you can call and speak with our advisers. All our contact details are here.

    If you are looking for advice on the best way to deal with your debts you can use our free Debt Remedy tool that will show the best options for you.

    I hope this helps and we look forward to hearing form you soon.


    Richard.





    Hi currently drowning. Been talking to husband about Iva. Just want to know if they cover it on all your debt, as we don't want to include the car...or does the car have to be part of it too. Thanks
    Originally posted by debby
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
    • jsyscotia
    • By jsyscotia 13th May 17, 3:56 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    jsyscotia
    Credit Cards & Credit Rating
    Hi
    Due to several factors I have c£2.8k of credit card debt spread across 4 cards and other loans that I am trying to pay off. I am making the minimum payments each month but not even making a dent in the overall amount.
    I work in the finance sector so going on to a DMP/ DRO etc is not really an option as it could put my job at risk and any future jobs in this area. So I wondered in your experience how you think the CC companies would react if I wrote to them explaining my situation and asking them to freeze interest so that I can repay the debt in full ? And also how would this appear on my credit record if for instance my employer looked at it as they do background checks on us from time to time ?

    Thanks
    • Anniee88
    • By Anniee88 13th May 17, 8:11 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    Anniee88
    Hello.

    I am just wondering as I am in 15 k worth of debt all in my name, if I went for a DMP can I keep my husbands finances separate from this? We have seperate bank accounts and he sends me what he can afford for rent/bills ect every month. He's got his own debt and fuel to pay and owns his own car but I don't want to start something like a DMP if it's going to affect him also? Thanks in advance.
    • heidi1977
    • By heidi1977 13th May 17, 8:58 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    heidi1977
    Help please, my landlady miss placed some of my post. I've just opened it and it's dated 4th May regarding the county court a claim against me for £1461.93. I have only in the last year gone back to paid employment after years on the sick due to mental health problems. I've stuck my head in the sand and ignored all debt collectors letters so I've only myself to blame! I earn £120 a week I work part time what do I do?? This has completely stressed me out. I don't have much and I'm really worried about this. thanks in advance.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 13th May 17, 10:12 PM
    • 11,175 Posts
    • 10,839 Thanks
    sourcrates
    Help please, my landlady miss placed some of my post. I've just opened it and it's dated 4th May regarding the county court a claim against me for £1461.93. I have only in the last year gone back to paid employment after years on the sick due to mental health problems. I've stuck my head in the sand and ignored all debt collectors letters so I've only myself to blame! I earn £120 a week I work part time what do I do?? This has completely stressed me out. I don't have much and I'm really worried about this. thanks in advance.
    Originally posted by heidi1977
    Stepchange won't be back till Monday, you need to check out this link now, and respond correctly to the claim forms:

    https://debtcamel.co.uk/worried-about-debt/ccj/
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there.
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • heidi1977
    • By heidi1977 14th May 17, 12:51 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    heidi1977
    [QUOTE=sourcrates;72545306]Stepchange won't be back till Monday, you need to check out this link now, and respond correctly to the claim forms:





    Thank you, is it possible to get an extension on the time allowed as I may as well face all my debts no point in making an offer for one when the rest are chasing me! So I need time to get paper work together and see citizens advice or something similar. Thanks in advance.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 14th May 17, 2:06 PM
    • 11,175 Posts
    • 10,839 Thanks
    sourcrates
    Thank you, is it possible to get an extension on the time allowed as I may as well face all my debts no point in making an offer for one when the rest are chasing me! So I need time to get paper work together and see citizens advice or something similar. Thanks in advance.
    Originally posted by heidi1977
    Look at the paperwork, you can acknowledge service online to give yourself 28 days in total, you may still be able to do this.

    Don't worry they won't make you pay more than you can afford, but it's important to fill in and return the forms on time.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there.
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • CIS
    • By CIS 14th May 17, 4:03 PM
    • 9,863 Posts
    • 5,637 Thanks
    CIS
    As long as the particulars of claim are acknowledged within 14 days of it being served you can gain the further 14 days to lodge a defence.

    If you don't acknowledge within the 14 days (or lodge the defence in that time) then they can apply for a default judgement and you'd need to ask (and pay) for a set-aside.

    Craig
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery as I'm now a self employed Council Tax advisor and consultant with my own Council Tax consultancy business. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • StepChange_Allen
    Hi
    Due to several factors I have c£2.8k of credit card debt spread across 4 cards and other loans that I am trying to pay off. I am making the minimum payments each month but not even making a dent in the overall amount.
    I work in the finance sector so going on to a DMP/ DRO etc is not really an option as it could put my job at risk and any future jobs in this area. So I wondered in your experience how you think the CC companies would react if I wrote to them explaining my situation and asking them to freeze interest so that I can repay the debt in full ? And also how would this appear on my credit record if for instance my employer looked at it as they do background checks on us from time to time ?

    Thanks
    Originally posted by jsyscotia
    Hi there

    Thanks for posting.

    I'd imagine that your creditors freezing interest and charges would affect your credit rating and is likely to eventually result in your credit agreement being broken. This is because having a break in interest and charges is unlikely to be mentioned as an option in your credit agreement.

    It might be worth speaking with your HR department; anonymously if necessary; to ask whether certain debt solutions would cost you your job. For people working in the finance sector, it's common that types of insolvency like bankruptcy or debt relief order (DRO) can affect jobs, but it's less common for a solution like a debt management plan (DMP) to cause a problem (though it can on occasion).

    Perhaps once you've found out about what would and wouldn't affect you you'd like some free advice. If so, you can find our contact details and ways to register here: www.stepchange.org/Contactus

    I hope this is helpful.

    Allen
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
  • StepChange_Allen
    Hello.

    I am just wondering as I am in 15 k worth of debt all in my name, if I went for a DMP can I keep my husbands finances separate from this? We have seperate bank accounts and he sends me what he can afford for rent/bills ect every month. He's got his own debt and fuel to pay and owns his own car but I don't want to start something like a DMP if it's going to affect him also? Thanks in advance.
    Originally posted by Anniee88

    Hello

    Thanks for posting.

    You can certainly do a sole budget just with your income, the expenses you pay for and your debts yes. When you mention about it affecting him, it depends exactly what you mean. If you mean not affecting his credit rating for example, I can't say for sure because you may have some financial links such as a mortgage or tenancy agreement.

    If you register with us free of charge we can have a look at your situation, what debt solutions are suitable for you and can discuss everything around effects, risks and consequences of anything we recommend. You can find the two ways of registering with us on our contact page: www.stepchange.org/Contactus

    I hope this helps.

    Allen
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
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