We aim to make our website as accessible as possible. However if you use a screen reader and require debt advice you may find it easier to phone us instead. Our phone number is 0 8 0 0 1 3 8 1 1 1 1. Freephone (including all mobiles).
StepChange Debt Charity logo

Free advice on problem debt
based on what's best for you

Request a call back »
Or call us on 0800 138 1111Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-4pm

Home visits from debt collectors

Your creditors can contact you in several ways to ask you to pay debts. One way is to visit your home in person.

If you've missed payments, your creditors may tell you they'll send a debt collector to your house. Although they can do this, it's not common. Most creditors will stick to contacting you by phone or letter.

A debt collector is not the same as an enforcement agent or bailiff. Debt collectors have no special legal powers.

Debt collectors may work for your creditor, or they may work for a separate debt collection agency. They're sometimes known as doorstep collectors or field agents. Larger debt collection agencies have debt collectors working all across the country.

Worried about home visits?

Get expert debt advice & a personalised debt solution

FREE online debt advice   20 mins

Try Debt Remedy

What can a debt collector do?

A debt collector can:

 ✔ Visit you at home

 ✔ Speak to you discreetly about your debt and try to set up a payment arrangement

 ✔ Ask you to make payment to them

But they can’t do any of the following:

 ✗ Visit you at your workplace

 ✗ Act in a threatening or intimidating way, or cause a disturbance

 ✗ Force their way into your house or refuse to leave when you tell them to

 ✗ Take any of your belongings or clamp your car

 ✗ Pretend they're a bailiff or enforcement agent - this is a criminal offence

 ✗ Speak to neighbours, family or flatmates about your debt

If you feel you've been treated unfairly by a debt collector, you can make a complaint. Most debt collectors are members of a trade body like the Credit Services Association, which has a code of conduct setting out standards they expect their members to meet.

What should I do if a debt collector visits?

First, ask to see proof of ID and make a note of their name. All debt collectors should carry this.

Explain to the debt collector what you can afford to pay them, and give them a copy of your budget if you have one.

We recommend paying creditors directly rather than paying debt collectors on the doorstep. If you do pay the debt collector, make sure you get a receipt. You may find if you pay them once they're likely to come back for further payments.

You don't have to open your door if you feel uncomfortable. If you don't want to speak to the debt collector, ask them to leave. You can deal with the debt over the phone or in writing after the debt collector has left.

A visit from a debt collector is a sign that you need help with your debts. If you've not contacted us before, call us on 0800 138 1111 (Free from all landlines and mobiles) for expert debt help, or complete our online debt advice tool.

Helping you become debt free...

“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

*This is the average rating of our service on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2016