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Bubbles2711

DMP with StepChange (CCCS) or go it alone??

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Hello all,

 

This is my first post and I have been reading other threads but I am still not quite sure what to do and need some help and advice please!

 

I have a few debts which total approx £16k and until now I have been managing it by myself but after several things happening over the last year we have had to reduce payments and I have had to start speaking to StepChange. They have come up with either a DMP or IVA but we are currently thinking against IVA.

 

I am contemplating DMP or just trying to go it alone with one of their letter templates and do not know which option is best!! I am not fussed about my credit rating as to me it is probably shot already and to be honest I would rather stay as far away from credit cards or loans etc as possible - for the foreseeable future anyway!

 

I am more concerned with how it is paid in a DMP - ie say our circumstances change then am I able to pay off more without it backfiring on me? say one month we are an extra £10 better off or £100 better off can I pay it to the creditors without having a comeback or am I better off going it alone and doing things on my terms with the creditors so that I can specify to them that if I have extra cash I can pay more off??

 

I am also worried about how the interest charges will be - I do not know if all of my creditors will freeze their charges - if anyone can help out with that question it would be very much appreciated!! I dont know what other peoples experiences have been with any of the following...

 

my creditors are:

 

Sainsburys (loan)

Barclaycard (credit card)

Santander (credit card)

Tesco Bank (credit card)

 

For the sake of freezing interest is it more recommended that I go for a DMP with StepChange or go it alone??

 

I have no idea and any views are very welcome and very much appreciated!!!

 

Thank you all in advance

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before you think about paying them, have you checked to see if the creditors have the correct paperwork needed to enforce the loans? Checked Statute barred status? Checked for any unlawful penalty charges or insurances on the accounts that you can reclaim?

 

Before you make the decision, check all that, then call stepchange and see what they advise. You dont have to sign up, and they can offer you a wealth of advice if you decide to go it alone.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Thank you for your reply.

 

Unfortunately they are all within 6 years - some of credit cards are from balance transfers done over the years then escalated etc so I dont think this would apply to me!??!? Also I never bought into the insurances in the first place always thought they would be a waste of money!! We stupidly got into debt but we thought we could pay it all off and was doing reasonably well until I had to give up work and my partner lost his job, which is how we got into the mess!! I just want to pay it all off as quickly and painlessly as possible but just do not have a lot of funds to do so!!

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If i were you, i would send them a CCA request for each account. This checks to see if they can actually enforce it through court or not.

 

If the debts are legit, and havent been sold on to a debt purchaser, and remain with the OC, then you can negotiate with them. We can help you with that, and can even state OFt guidelines to them.

 

If you are still unsure, give them a call in the morning and have a chat with them

 

 

One more thing, check your credit record and make sure these accounts are listed on there. If they arent, you need to be asking why.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Stepchange have no magic formula, they can only ask for interest etc to be frozen, something you can do yourself. I think going with someone like stepchange can make the creditors feel you really are genuine and determined to crack your debts.

 

The first thing to do is to make a full income and expenses sheet so you know exactly what is coming in and what is going out. You then list your debts in priority, ie rent/mortgage at the top and then council tax water gas and electricity living etc. From there you can see exactly how much you have to divide up amongst your creditors.

 

That really is the only way to do it. You might get some resistance from a couple of them asking for more, but never give in on that, what you have is all you can afford and they must take their share with all the others.

 

Don't do anything on the phone, there will be details you forget and they will also badger you and might even get you to agree to things there is no way you can keep to, so by letter and then you will have a record.

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It does worry me that StepChange advise IVAs. Our experience of them on CAG is they inevitably fail and cause more problems.

 

You could ask National Debtline to help you prepare a Common Financial Statement (Budget sheet) in the first instance and then go it alone with the help of caggers.

 

If you find at some point that you have extra funds you can either - pick off the smaller debts first or pay it to the one with the highest interest (assuming they refuse to freeze it).

 

IMHO, I have found that Self managed DMPs are more successful in getting the interest frozen (although you might need to be persistent).

 

Do any of the debts have default/penalty charges or PPI on them ?

 

If these agreements were entered into AFTER 2007, it is unlikely there will be any issues with the paperwork.


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Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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It does worry me that StepChange advise IVAs. Our experience of them on CAG is they inevitably fail and cause more problems.

 

Most of the IVAs that fail are usually set up by the more dubious end of the debt advice spectrum. That said with debts of £16k an IVA might be a boderline option. IVAs can work brilliantly - but, in my view, for a very slim amount of people in debt. For example if someone is in rented accomodation Bankruptcy is likely to be cheaper, easier and faster than an IVA.

 

Bubbles2711 are you a homeowner?

 

To answer your question, one-off ad-hoc payments are perfectly fine within a DMP - it's an informal option so has a significant amount of flexibility.

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Hello all,

 

This is my first post and I have been reading other threads but I am still not quite sure what to do and need some help and advice please!

 

I have a few debts which total approx £16k and until now I have been managing it by myself but after several things happening over the last year we have had to reduce payments and I have had to start speaking to StepChange. They have come up with either a DMP or IVA but we are currently thinking against IVA.

 

I am contemplating DMP or just trying to go it alone with one of their letter templates and do not know which option is best!! I am not fussed about my credit rating as to me it is probably shot already and to be honest I would rather stay as far away from credit cards or loans etc as possible - for the foreseeable future anyway!

 

I am more concerned with how it is paid in a DMP - ie say our circumstances change then am I able to pay off more without it backfiring on me? say one month we are an extra £10 better off or £100 better off can I pay it to the creditors without having a comeback or am I better off going it alone and doing things on my terms with the creditors so that I can specify to them that if I have extra cash I can pay more off??

 

I am also worried about how the interest charges will be - I do not know if all of my creditors will freeze their charges - if anyone can help out with that question it would be very much appreciated!! I dont know what other peoples experiences have been with any of the following...

 

my creditors are:

 

Sainsburys (loan)

Barclaycard (credit card)

Santander (credit card)

Tesco Bank (credit card)

 

For the sake of freezing interest is it more recommended that I go for a DMP with StepChange or go it alone??

 

I have no idea and any views are very welcome and very much appreciated!!!

 

Thank you all in advance

 

Hi

 

Following on from others

 

Many people successfully manage their own Debt Management Plan with the numbers set to sharply increase in my opinion.

 

If you are confident enough then, Self Managing is not that difficult after you have been given appropriate advice as DMPs are pretty straightforward.

 

Self managing is not for all however due to numerous circumstances and reasons.

 

Going with a free provider is a no brainer if you go with a provider, what is important is that you get full advice on your options and any arrangement be it a DMP or IVA is affordable & sustainable.

 

Creditors should treat you the same if you self manage or go with a provider, the OFT guidelines clearly state this.

 

Have you seen the award winning Citizens Advice online Debt Remedy & information tool?

 

http://mymoney.nedcab.org.uk/moneyadvice/

 

The above system is confidential, incorporates a FREE flexible online Debt Management Plan that does everything for you: the letters, financial statements (expenditure trigger figures included for guidance) - it saves everything, you can return and amend the figures as many times as you wish if there is a change in circumstances etc - You do not need an invite or an adviser to unlock it for you, basically you are in control with the backing of a CAB recognised system.

 

http://mymoney.nedcab.org.uk/moneyadvice/dmptour.asp

 

Before you decide on any course of action make sure you fully understand all the options available to you including the potential implications.

 

Have you considered or been advised on B/R or other potential options?

 

Could you put up your SOA as this will help and I am quite sure that there are people on here who could guide you further.

 

Best Wishes

 

My view

Edited by Wintry

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Hello All,

 

I am going to try to answer you all best as I can in this so here it goes...

 

I have signed back up to Experian today so I can look at my Credit Score and see if all creditors etc are on there but because it is reactivation and I also have a change of address it will take another 24 hours to check!!

 

Income and expenditure has been done - luckily I already went through this with StepChange a couple of weeks ago but had to redo some today as some amounts were wrong - been through it twice today with 2 different people and hoping that the second one is the one that will stick!!

 

The lady that called me today was IVA in StepChange and I have to admit she seemed quite pushy for us to go IVA even though we had previously said several times we dont really want to go down that route!! I know they only really push it so much now cos they get money out of it but as we dont know what our circumstances are going to be in the future I do not want to get tied down to something that might end up backfiring later on!! I did not find her very helpful and she almost put us off StepChange entirely!

 

As far as I am aware there is no ppi on them because i always thought that was a con from the start - I am very wary about taking out insurances like that!! There are probably defaults in the way that I have been paying lower than the agreed amounts but I do not think there are any charges on them - I tried to handle it myself up until now and found all creditors really helpful although they were only talking about freezing interest for 40 days on one, 2 months on another and about 9 months on another!!

 

They are all after 2007 unfortunately!!

 

Not a homeowner - renting at mo. Do not really want to go down bankruptcy route - this would be absolute last resort for us.

 

I have had a look through the citizens advice link thank you - which seems really useful and have used the tools on there briefly today - will need to look more in depth on there!!

 

I phoned StepChange again today after telephone meeting I had with them this morning as I wanted unbiased information regarding my options. 2nd phone call was very helpful - spoke to a man that went through the reasons for dmp but also said that it is something I can opt out of at any time - in his words it is more like a gentlemens agreement. He explained again that every bit of money I pay to them goes to the creditors. He went through my i&e again and I changed what I wasnt happy with - the lady this morning made me feel like I shouldnt be changing it whereas he was more than happy to help and was only interested in doing what was best for me!! I gave him the amount I think I can afford - after going through i&e I am sure we can manage £100 a month - when I changed it with the lady she came back with a ridiculously low figure which I think she inputted the information wrong!! whereas I was only £11 off with him! I asked about freezing the interest and he did seem quite hopeful but said he would advise a dmp as at least it all then goes through them and we do not have to worry as much! he said they will usually listen more to them as they have been running so long and I suppose also because they know more of what they are doing!! he did say that I can do it on my own if I wanted to and went thorugh the options there of things to send to the creditors ie i&e report etc. I asked him if one month I have a bit of money left over can I pay it or will it go against me - he said that if there are any months that think I can pay a bit more then just call them and they will up the payment just for that month for me and will pay all the creditors with it evenly. I asked quite a few questions and overall I was very happy with what we discussed and he made me feel very comfortable and put me at ease!! I am 99% sure after that conversation that I will be going through dmp with StepChange rather than doing it myself - I think that just having that extra bit of support there will help as well rather than thinking I am doing it all on my own! Hopefully it will relieve some of the added stress!

 

Thank you to everyone that has replied I really have found everything you have all said helpful - I hope I have answered you all!!

 

Thanks again!

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Stepchange are a charity so will always pay all your payments to the creditors.

 

Just be certain that what you are offering on a monthly basis is sustainable. It's not the amount that is important, it is paying without missing any months. Don't forget winter will soon be upon us and your fuel bills will be higher. Foreseeing things like that can make all the difference.

 

Good luck Bubbles and remember, we are always here should you need anything.

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thank you - I appreciate it!! Hadnt thought of gas bills through winter! will do some calculations and see if it all still works out!

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Hello All,

 

I am going to try to answer you all best as I can in this so here it goes...

 

I have signed back up to Experian today so I can look at my Credit Score and see if all creditors etc are on there but because it is reactivation and I also have a change of address it will take another 24 hours to check!!

 

Income and expenditure has been done - luckily I already went through this with StepChange a couple of weeks ago but had to redo some today as some amounts were wrong - been through it twice today with 2 different people and hoping that the second one is the one that will stick!!

 

The lady that called me today was IVA in StepChange and I have to admit she seemed quite pushy for us to go IVA even though we had previously said several times we dont really want to go down that route!! I know they only really push it so much now cos they get money out of it but as we dont know what our circumstances are going to be in the future I do not want to get tied down to something that might end up backfiring later on!! I did not find her very helpful and she almost put us off StepChange entirely!

 

As far as I am aware there is no ppi on them because i always thought that was a con from the start - I am very wary about taking out insurances like that!! There are probably defaults in the way that I have been paying lower than the agreed amounts but I do not think there are any charges on them - I tried to handle it myself up until now and found all creditors really helpful although they were only talking about freezing interest for 40 days on one, 2 months on another and about 9 months on another!!

 

They are all after 2007 unfortunately!!

 

Not a homeowner - renting at mo. Do not really want to go down bankruptcy route - this would be absolute last resort for us.

 

I have had a look through the citizens advice link thank you - which seems really useful and have used the tools on there briefly today - will need to look more in depth on there!!

 

I phoned StepChange again today after telephone meeting I had with them this morning as I wanted unbiased information regarding my options. 2nd phone call was very helpful - spoke to a man that went through the reasons for dmp but also said that it is something I can opt out of at any time - in his words it is more like a gentlemens agreement. He explained again that every bit of money I pay to them goes to the creditors. He went through my i&e again and I changed what I wasnt happy with - the lady this morning made me feel like I shouldnt be changing it whereas he was more than happy to help and was only interested in doing what was best for me!! I gave him the amount I think I can afford - after going through i&e I am sure we can manage £100 a month - when I changed it with the lady she came back with a ridiculously low figure which I think she inputted the information wrong!! whereas I was only £11 off with him! I asked about freezing the interest and he did seem quite hopeful but said he would advise a dmp as at least it all then goes through them and we do not have to worry as much! he said they will usually listen more to them as they have been running so long and I suppose also because they know more of what they are doing!! he did say that I can do it on my own if I wanted to and went thorugh the options there of things to send to the creditors ie i&e report etc. I asked him if one month I have a bit of money left over can I pay it or will it go against me - he said that if there are any months that think I can pay a bit more then just call them and they will up the payment just for that month for me and will pay all the creditors with it evenly. I asked quite a few questions and overall I was very happy with what we discussed and he made me feel very comfortable and put me at ease!! I am 99% sure after that conversation that I will be going through dmp with StepChange rather than doing it myself - I think that just having that extra bit of support there will help as well rather than thinking I am doing it all on my own! Hopefully it will relieve some of the added stress!

 

Thank you to everyone that has replied I really have found everything you have all said helpful - I hope I have answered you all!!

 

Thanks again!

 

Hi

 

Thank you for the update

 

I found this post of yours very interesting given the current climate and the fact that I come across many people who contact Stepchange, but enough said about that.

 

The main thing here is what is best for you.

 

You can never get too much advice, help & support

 

Keep us updated if you can and ask away on anything as in my opinion there is a genuine cross section wealth of knowledge & expereince on this forum.

 

Take care and I hope things work out OK for you

 

W

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