debt dispute complaints, bank dispute advice, UK bank lenders

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Free Debt Counselling/Advice Links (also see below link to debt forums)

DEBTWISE is unable to provide debt counselling or debt adjustment advice. The aim of this page is to provide links to those organisations who may be able to.

Before taking any action please see the Government Insolvency Service leaflet available online (in pdf format) which covers options in dealing with debt and the implications of each option.

The following offer free debt counselling giving guidance to help re-organise household budgets and set up debt repayment programmes. NOTE : IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT ADVICE IS TAKEN FROM AN INDEPENDENT NON CHARGEABLE DEBT COUNSELLING SERVICE BEFORE ANY DEBT CONSOLIDATION LOANS ARE TAKEN OUT.

Personal debts including unsecured loans, catalogues, bank overdrafts are all non priority although setting up low payments can impact on your credit reference record. The benefit is making repayments that can be afforded and often persuading creditors to completely suspend interest charges. (NOTE : For SCOTLAND, Money Advice Scotland (0141-572-0237)
For NORTHERN IRELAND, Association of Independent advice Centres(028-9064-9519) )

NOTE : Stop House Re-possession Companies  : A number of companies offer a service to find a buyer to purchase a house, and possibly rent the house back to the owner who wishes to sell. Before making a commitment to such a company please take advice from a reputable Debt Counselling Service. (see below Sale and Rent Back)


PAYDAY LENDERS Payday lenders are subject to the same regulations as other unsecured lenders. Advice should be sought from the following where debt repayment problems occur. If you have a complaint, then the lender is obliged to follow complaints procedures. These include putting action on hold, and treating the client fairly and reasonably. The Financial Ombudsman Service report a big increase in the number of complaints about Payday lenders. Any unfair pressure by Payday lenders in seeking repayment is also subject to the OFT Debt Collection Guidance. Anyone with debt repayment problems should take advice before making payments that cannot be afforded. Govan Law Centre have compiled an information note, including sample letters. and  OFT Payday Lender Compliance Review  For complaint to OFT re Payday Lender, Complaint Form but OFT will not report back to complainant. The OFT report states ' The payday loans market is not working well for many consumers. Our review has found evidence of widespread non-compliance with the Consumer Credit Act and other legislation' . The OFT also refer to the failure of payday lenders to follow OFT Debt collection Guidance

WHICH? magazine has payday lender information and a campaign against the high level of charges by payday lenders.

Step Change Debt Charity (formerly Consumer Credit Counselling Service)

(0800-138-1111/08442 641919 )

Initial telephone advice covering all personal debt problems including actions threatened by debt collectors, bailiffs, catalogue companies (whose debts are not enforceable without a signed Consumer Credit Act agreement !). In certain circumstances a Debt Management Plan can be set up where one payment is made via Step Change to creditors (free service). Step Change can also advise on Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA). Open 8am to 6pm Mon to Fri.

A Step Change Leaflet - '7 days to Deal with Debt-One week-Make it count' is available at many banks and is often in display.

National Debtline

(0808-808-4000) (England and Wales) , (Scotland)

Similar to above although do not have facilities for Debt Management Plan. More of a self-help service. Can also advise on Bankruptcy.

National Debtline have several specimen letters on their site which are very helpful in writing to creditors

National Debtline has produced information guides on Bankruptcy, Debt Relief Orders, Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA's ), Debt Arrangement Schemes, and Bankruptcy/Sequestration in Scotland. See their website for further information.

Debt Support Trust

(0800 085 0226)  

Debt Support Trust is a UK debt advice charity providing support on a range of debt solutions including IVA's (individual Voluntary Arrangements), Trust Deeds, and Bankruptcy.

Credit Action Group
2 Ridgmount Street
 (0207 436 9937)

Linked to Consumer Credit Counselling Service (0800 138 1111). Advice about money management. Credit Action is a national money education charity and this website will tell you everything you are looking for.

Citizens Advice Bureau

(National number consumer advice line 08454 04 05 06 )

As above but can sometimes write letters direct to creditors where only token payments can be afforded i.e. min payment 1 per month. Advice depends on finding a local CAB and the waiting time!

NOTE: Be wary of newspaper adverts for companies offering to reduce debt or charging for a service to make one monthly payment - CCCS can do the latter without charge. ALWAYS check what charges are involved !

Payplan 0800 280 2816 : Free debt management plans, IVA and debt advice

Christians Against Poverty

Christians Against Poverty  Free Debt Counselling email Telephone 01274 760720

General Advice:

Advice UK : The voice of independent advice (lists debt advice site help). Also covers advice on numerous consumer issues.


Advice should be taken from a free debt counselling organisation before making any commitment. Any offer for a house below current market value should be treated as an undervalue.  If you decide to do a sale and rent back you should carefully check the rental conditions as these may be be short term and the new buyer may decide not the renew any lease.  see information  (The OFT site is essential reading)


It is best to take advice from free debt counselling services first. The Insolvency Service produce a free 'Guide to Bankruptcy'. Contact the Department of Trade and Industry for a copy.

Also obtain free advice on IVA's and Bankruptcy from

Piggy's Bankruptcy Information website with lots of bankruptcy related information and advice

Debt Advice/Voluntary arrangements/ Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)/Scotland (Trust Deed)

For formal personal or business Voluntary Arrangements contact a licensed Insolvency Practitioner. It is recommended that a phone call be made to The Bankruptcy-Insolvency Debt Advice Service Helpline - Freephone 0800 074 6918  for advice first. It is important to avoid insolvency practitioners who charge and 'up-front' or 'set-up' fee. If further information is needed send an email to for the 'DEBTWISE IVA Help Sheet'.

Check costs as a formal Individual Voluntary Arrangement can cost 1500 to set up and creditors may still reject any proposals! Many of the companies advertising to 'reduce debts' or 'make one monthly payment over 5 years' actually set up an Individual Voluntary Arrangement.

Debt Watchdog Provide independent debt advice and information or Debt Management and IVA.

IVA123 provide IVA advice and also general debt help including a blog.

For personal debt try CCCS (who can now set up IVA's) or National Debtline (above) first to get free advice. Advice from a free debt counselling service is strongly recommended before 'Debt consolidation loans' are considered.

SCOTLAND: Trust Deed Advice (Voluntary Arrangement in Scotland): Administered by a qualified Insolvency Practitioner, this allows those in Scotland up to 6500 to write off 90% of the debt with the rest spread across a period of 36 months. See .

Business Insolvency

See your Accountant and if necessary contact a licensed Insolvency Practitioner to take professional advice. Care must be taken in dealing with Banks. Whilst in theory the bank might be supportive to overcome short term difficulties it might be tempting for them to call in the business overdraft !! NOTE: It is strongly recommended to request any advice from an Insolvency Practitioner, including agreement on fees to be confirmed in writing when that advice is to be acted upon.

Debt Forums (for exchange on information, views etc on debt related subjects)

Consumer Action Group :

What Consumer : What consumer Forum for consumer issues

Debt Forum UK :  (Debt Forum is a support board allowing people with debt problems to 
share their experiences with each other. Members help and offer mutual support and advice to others facing bankruptcy and similar debt 
related issues)

Debt Watchdog : forum at

SCOTLAND: Trust Deed information .Scottish trust deed advice forum.

Other Debt Help/Advice

Counselling - To search for a registered counsellor to go through debt or other problems, The Counselling Directory may help.

What Consumer has advice and information concerning consumer issues, including debt management and debt collectors

Money Saving Expert . This site gives helps about numerous financial matters and deal including changing credit cards to gain an intererest concession.

Guardian Money Advice Help

Daily Mail Newspaper Help 

Advice Links

Advice UK - 020 7469 5700 (  )

Business Debtline 0800 197 6026 (  )

Citizens Advice - You can get the phone number of your local bureau from the phone book, the local library or

Citizens Advice Scotland - 0131 550 1000 (

Federation of Small Businesses -

Financial Conduct Authority 0800 111 6768

Money Advice Scotland - 0141 572 0237 (

Govan Law Centre 0141 440 2503 Payday Lender Help Guide

Free advice service The Money Advice Service:  Free Government sponsored service. Tel 0300 500 5000

National Federation of Enterprise Agencies - 01234 831623 (

Northern Ireland Citizens Advice Bureau - 028 9023 1120 (

The British Chambers of Commerce 024 7669 4484 (

The Insolvency Service - 0845 601 3546 (

The Forum of Private Business 0845 612 6266 (

The Institute of Directors 020 7766 8866 (