FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
There are several options for anyone looking to consolidate their debt. However, some are better than others – so it is important to carefully consider what is right for you.
One option is the Debt Arrangement Scheme. This is a Government backed debt payment programme which allows you reasonable time to repay your debts back in full, by making one affordable monthly payment. Creditors have to freeze interest and are unable to take legal action against you while you remain in the Debt Payment Programme. Due to this protection, DAS is often the best route to go down.
Another option is a consolidation loan. There are various companies that offer ‘easy monthly payments no matter your credit history’, but it is necessary to think about the downsides. For example, they are often offered secured against a property to limit the company’s risk, but this in turn increases your personal risk. Taking on additional debt is not recommended, unless you have exhausted all other avenues.
There is also a third option, a debt management plan. These are similar to the debt payment programme under DAS but offers no protection from legal action should a creditor change their mind – and they are also not obliged to freeze interest and charges.
If you’re unsure about your options, get in touch for some friendly and understanding advice.
A debt relief order is only available in England, Wales & Northern Ireland. They are not available in Scotland.
DROs are a way of having the debts you can not repay, written off however have very strict eligibility criteria. Your debts must be less than £15,000, you need to have less than £300 in assets and you can’t be a homeowner. Furthermore, you will only qualify if you have less than £50 worth of income after your expenses have been paid.
If you are granted a DRO you don’t have to pay towards your debt for 12 months, and then it will be written off. Your creditors also can’t contact you for repayments. Keep in mind you need to pay a fee of £90 to begin this process.
For more information, speak to our friendly and understanding debt advisors.
Debt Management Plans allow you to repay your debts in full at an affordable rate. However, Debt Payment Programmes under the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) also allow you to do this with the added benefit of freezing interest and charges and protecting you from creditors taking action against you for recovery of the debt. DAS is backed by the Scottish Government and affords you more protection than a DMP.
Under DAS, homeowners are protected as long as payments are consistently made. Your property is not taken into consideration and is kept out of the programme. Furthermore, creditors are not permitted to pursue you from the day you apply for DAS.
Finally, if you fall into arrears with your mortgage, you can add your arrears into a DAS and repay them at an affordable rate, which could save any possible repossession threats.
If you want to learn more about Debt Management Plans or Debt Arrangement Schemes, get in touch now for advice.
Negative equity occurs if loans secured on your property are more than the value of the property. This means your secured debts will not be cleared in full if you sell your property for its value.
To deal with negative equity, ideally you would reduce the outstanding balance on your secured loans and, over time, the value of your property would rise. Obviously this depends on the housing market in your particular area and is hard to predict, and circumstances can change meaning repayments can be difficult to make.
Get in touch with our friendly debt advisors now for more information on negative equity and your options.
If you have mortgage arrears, you could be worried about repossession of your property. However, the following route would be your best option should you be unable to repay the arrears in the timescale and at the level required by your mortgage lender.
A DAS is often the best choice. You can repay your mortgage arrears along with your unsecured debts over a period of time, at a rate you can afford and as long as the DPP becomes approved, they can’t change their mind as long as you continue to make the agreed payment.
Instead of paying many lenders, you will make only one payment to a payment distributor who will then divide this between your lenders depending on the size of each individual debt. The monthly payment will usually be less than what you were currently paying.
If you’re worried about house repossession or need advice about debt, speak to our understanding advisors.