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Struggling with debt? Ask a debt adviser a question

edited 24 July 2018 at 2:41PM in Debt-Free Wannabe
1.3K replies 268.3K views
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  • Hello DashDotCom and welcome to the Forums. Sorry to intrude but thought I might be able to offer some suggestions to help with your energy bills.

    Do you pay with a Monthly Direct Debit? If you don't, you can save about £35 per fuel per year by paying this way. These can be set up through our website and there's also an online tool called the Direct Debit Manager that gives you more control over the arrangement. You can track what you're paying against the energy being used and make changes to the monthly amount to better suit different circumstances.

    Keep on top of bills by letting us have regular meter readings. Helps stop unexpected high bills once we receive an actual reading after a series of estimates. You can do this online through our website. If you wish, you can even create your own bill through our online Real Time Billing tool.

    Is there an outstanding balance on the account? If there is, talk to us about a payment arrangement to spread this over a longer, more manageable period. If there are arrears, we might be able to help with these through the E.ON Energy Fund. The fund can also help with replacement white goods like cookers, fridges, freezers as well as helping to repair or replace gas boilers. There's more information on our website including what's needed to qualify and an application form.

    Make sure you're on the best deal for you. Pop your annual usage in kWh into the Price Comparison sites. See what's best.

    A great way to save money is by saving energy and we can help with this too. There are lots of tips on the Saving Energy pages of our website. There's also the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). This is a Government led scheme that aims to cut usage by providing help with energy saving stuff like loft and cavity wall insulation. Again, more about this on our website.

    Sorry if you're already doing this stuff and I'm trying to teach you how to suck eggs. Hope it helps, though, and congratulations on your engagement.

    Best of luck DashDotCom.

    Malc

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply Malc. Appreciate it.

    We are indeed already paying by direct debit. I'm quite intrigued to hear that you feel we're paying a bit too much though?

    We live in a mid terrace mews(very small) home. We pay £66 a month for gas and electric. We also both work full time so goes without saying we're not at home in the day.. that said, at the beginning of September I think it was Eon took a double payment from me. When I queried it they said this was because it was now the winter and this was our predicted usage? £120 a month?

    I have actually been meaning to get one of those smart meters to keep a better eye on our usage actually..

    Would you advise I take a little look around for the best deals then?
  • I had a phone call to try & pays my debts off.

    1) IVA

    2) Secured loan

    As you will see from number 2 I was shocked they would suggest it.
  • E.ON_Company_Representative:_MalcE.ON_Company_Representative:_Malc Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    6.6K posts
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    You're welcome DashDotCom. Glad to help.

    I don't know enough about your particular account and circumstances to understand if you're paying too much. My advice was more of a general nature to point you in the direction of potential savings. It's important to make sure bills are accurate by always using actual meter readings. If they're based on actual readings then they'll be right. This, though, doesn't mean there aren't things that can be done to cut future costs.

    Smart meters are a great way to make sure bills are accurate. They send us readings remotely via electronic messages. Saves you having to mess about reading meters. There's no charge to fit one and they come with a display to help you keep track of how much energy you're using. They're not available everywhere yet but you can register an interest on our website. We'll be in touch to let you know when you'll be able to have one.

    Energy usage differs widely between properties. Things like the size of the property, type of construction, number of occupants, levels of insulation, heating, lifestyles, appliances etc all impact on how much energy is used. Any areas you can cut back will help you save money. A smart meter by itself won't do this but it will give you lots of information to help highlight where and when energy is being used.

    It's good you've a Monthly Direct Debit as this means you'll be paying lower daily standing charges. Must admit, not sure why we would've taken a double payment one month unless you had asked us to do this. Have you missed a payment at some time? Customers who do this often ask us to double up later to keep accounts on track for as near as possible to a zero balance by the annual review.

    We review these arrangements every quarter but will only ask to change the payments at the mid-term or annual points. At the other times, we'll let you know if we think a new amount is needed but leave it up to you to make any changes. Going forward, are your payments still £66 a month or have they gone up to £120?

    It's always important to make sure you're on the best deal for your particular requirements and using the independent Price Comparison sites is one way of seeing what's available. Our tariffs are on our website and any new ones usually appear there first so it's good to keep an eye out for anything new. Although, if you're on one of our fixed deals and have signed up for Price Alerts, we'll email if a new version of the tariff is released.

    Sorry to ramble on DashDotCom but hope it's of some interest.

    Malc
    Official Company Representative
    I am an official company representative of E.ON. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to [email protected] This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
  • Hi there,

    Thanks for your post.

    It’s great to hear you’re staying positive even if Santa did miss you off his list this year. Hopefully he’ll make it up to you next year.

    You’re right, both IVAs and DMPs involve making affordable monthly payments through ourselves. With a DMP you repay all your debt but with an IVA any remaining debt is written off after an agreed period of time (usually 5 or 6 years).

    An IVA is a bit more complex so I can understand why it seems the scarier option, but when its the right solution it has lots of benefits too.

    The majority of people can have an IVA without it effecting their employment, but there can be some exceptions for example you can't be the trustee of a charity. It’s always worth checking your contract of employment for before you decide what to do next.

    If you have any other questions or if you'd like to discuss your options in a bit more detail then I’d recommend getting in touch. You can find our contact details in your personal action plan or on our website.

    All the best,

    Linsi
    DashDotCom wrote: »
    Thanks for getting back to me.

    It's been a lovely Christmas thank you.. even though Santa didn't leave us any presents this year I refused to let that put me in a bad mood.

    I have gone through the debt remedy tool and have been recommended an IVA...

    Must admit an IVA sounds alot scarier than a DMP. As mentioned in my previous post, I don't really know what they both entail but am I right in thinking they're both very similar arrangments in that I would give a monthly amount to SC. SC then distribute that money to my creditors. The only difference with a DMP/IVA is that the IVA will only be paying back a portion of the debt? Whereas the DMP pays it all back?

    There also seem to be alot more repercussions with an IVA in that some employers do not allow you to enter into one?

    Thanks for all the help everyone.
  • Hello,

    Thanks for your post and welcome to the forum.

    Unfortunately if you’re able to maintain your minimum payments your creditors are unlikely to stop interest. It may be worth putting a budget together to see if there are any areas of spending you can cut back on. This way you could pay more than the minimum payment and clear your debts in a shorter period of time.

    I wouldn’t recommend a consolidation loan as these usually involve higher interest rates and higher monthly payments, often making a situation worse.

    Your credit score and financial situation will impact your ability to get credit, but you can use the credit card eligibility calculator on the MSE website to gauge your chances of success before applying.

    Balance transfer cards can be a good option, but it’s only worth considering if you can cover your household bills and living costs and the only issue is the interest and charges.

    If you’d like help putting a budget together then I’d recommend using our Debt Remedy tool, it’s completely free to use and anonymous.

    I hope this helps,

    Linsi
    ElJayEss wrote: »
    Hi!

    I have 2 credit cards and a PayPal Credit account. I owe £220 on 1 credit card (NatWest) and £2000 on the other (Capital One), and £1000 to the PayPal account.

    I'm able to keep up with minimum payments with all but the interest on the Capital One card is ridiculous. I was sent a lovely letter from Capital One telling me if I kept up with the minimum payment I'll have my card paid off in 24 years!

    I'm thinking of getting a consolidation loan, but due to being part time and having a low credit score I'm limited to where I can borrow, same goes for balance transfer cards.

    What would be the best course of action? Myself and my partner are looking to save for a house, and I really don't want to be paying off my credit card until I'm in my 50's!

    Many thanks!
  • Good afternoon,


    Thanks for your post.


    I can understand your feelings about the advice you’ve received. Taking out a secured loan to repay unsecured debts isn't something we’d normally recommend because your home would be at risk if you ever fell behind with the repayments.



    I can’t say which debt solution is best for you without knowing more about your situation. If you’d like more advice you can use our online Debt Remedy tool. It’s free to use and takes about 20 minutes to complete. Once you’ve put in the details of your income, living costs and debts you’ll be able to access your tailored advice online and we’ll let you know which debt solutions are best for you.



    All the best,


    Linsi

    I had a phone call to try & pays my debts off.

    1) IVA

    2) Secured loan

    As you will see from number 2 I was shocked they would suggest it.
  • Hi there,

    Thanks for your post.

    It’s great to hear you’re staying positive even if Santa did miss you off his list this year. Hopefully he’ll make it up to you next year.

    You’re right, both IVAs and DMPs involve making affordable monthly payments through ourselves. With a DMP you repay all your debt but with an IVA any remaining debt is written off after an agreed period of time (usually 5 or 6 years).

    An IVA is a bit more complex so I can understand why it seems the scarier option, but when its the right solution it has lots of benefits too.

    The majority of people can have an IVA without it effecting their employment, but there can be some exceptions for example you can't be the trustee of a charity. It’s always worth checking your contract of employment for before you decide what to do next.

    If you have any other questions or if you'd like to discuss your options in a bit more detail then I’d recommend getting in touch. You can find our contact details in your personal action plan or on our .

    All the best,

    Linsi

    Hi Linsi,

    Thanks for the quick explanation.

    I must admit, although it sounds scary I'm sure it wont be too bad for too long.

    I have spoken to a colleague of yours this morning who has run through the preliminary criteria I assume (Not trustee of charity etc) and was then offered an appointment to speak to an IP Specialist? The only times given for this phone discussion are Monday - Friday. As I am in such a predicament with my finances I currently work 8 - 5 Monday to Friday and some Saturdays. I understand these discussions can last up to an hour and a half which is time I cannot commit to. Would there be any alternatives you could recommend at all?
  • StepChange_KirstyStepChange_Kirsty Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    180 posts
    Hi DashDotCom,

    Thanks for your reply.

    The initial appointment you have with the IVA advisor is an extremely important one as it covers a lot of information you’ll need to know. Also the advisor will be able to work out if the IVA would definitely be right for your situation and you’ll be able to decide if it’s something you want to go ahead with, having heard more information.

    I’m not sure of an alternative to this phone call apart from speaking to them to see if they can do the call in two separate sessions rather than one long phone call.

    I’d recommend giving our IVA team a call to see what the options are for your appointment with an advisor. They're very friendly and will want to help you the best they can to make the process as easy as possible for you. The phone number can be found on your paperwork.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Best wishes,

    Kirsty
    DashDotCom wrote: »
    Hi Linsi,

    Thanks for the quick explanation.

    I must admit, although it sounds scary I'm sure it wont be too bad for too long.

    I have spoken to a colleague of yours this morning who has run through the preliminary criteria I assume (Not trustee of charity etc) and was then offered an appointment to speak to an IP Specialist? The only times given for this phone discussion are Monday - Friday. As I am in such a predicament with my finances I currently work 8 - 5 Monday to Friday and some Saturdays. I understand these discussions can last up to an hour and a half which is time I cannot commit to. Would there be any alternatives you could recommend at all?
    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.
  • Hello,

    I was wondering what the options of debt repayment are if you are a mortgage holder? I have contacted by creditors to ask for them to accept the payments I can afford but they are now saying my accounts will go into default. My husband and I thought we could release some of our homes equity to pay off the debt in a lump sum but our bank refused so this is not an option. If I opt for a dmp or Iva would we be forced to sell our home in order to repay the debt?
    Weight loss 2015: -4lbs January (thanks flu)
    Debt: 68/10 000
    Not Buying It Because I Don't Need It!
    :wall:
  • Hello, I am new to this. Just wanting a bit of advice really and not sure where to go. We are currently in a DMP with Payplan with a payment of £270 a month to pay debt totalling £21K, we also have a mortgage with C&G, owing £98k, our house has more equity than it did when we started the DMP and has been valued at £160k. We are wondering if there is any way we would be able to remortgage the house and pay a lump sum to pay off the DMP, or even extending the term of the mortgage, as we have 13 years remaining and are 33 and 39, so many working years for us. We have 2 children and both work full time. We had a higher mortgage and less equity when we started the plan and now it looks like we are trapped in not being able to remortgage as we have poor credit reports due to the DMP. Thank you for any help.
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