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When Maria* was struggling she did what many of us do these days and went online for help...

Photo of older couple sitting on sofa

Our online advice tool, Debt Remedy, helped Maria take control...

When Maria’s husband died suddenly she found it difficult to manage the household expenses on her sole income. She began to rely on her credit cards and catalogue accounts to cover unexpected expenses and bridge the gap when she didn’t have enough money for food or petrol at the end of the month.

Maria was just managing to meet the minimum payments, until her son moved out of home and she lost the income from his board. Having recently been signed off from work with anxiety, the stress and worry of falling behind on the repayments and receiving multiple telephone calls and collection letters each day really hit her hard.

Maria realised that she needed to take control of her finances but didn’t know where to turn for help. So she did what many of us do these days and went online, and through a search engine she found Debt Remedy, StepChange Debt Charity’s free, anonymous debt advice tool.

A sense of relief

After completing a full debt advice session through Debt Remedy, Maria was recommended a debt solution, and within minutes she had received her personal action plan.

After reading through the personal action plan Maria felt a sense of relief that there was a solution available to suit her circumstances. Although, after reviewing this she realised that she’d forgotten to include some expenses in her budget. She could have logged back into Debt Remedy and made the changes herself or used the live web chat service, but instead chose to call and discuss her budget with one of our Web Helpline advisors.

The advisor explained that creditors are looking to see a realistic budget that allows her to repay her debts, while also maintaining a reasonable standard of living. With this in mind, Maria went back through her budget and included amounts for dentists and opticians, hairdressing, and sundries and emergencies. This meant that her repayment offer was much more sustainable in the long term.

Back in control

With her updated budget complete, Maria went ahead with the recommended solution of a debt management plan (DMP), which will allow her to repay her debts at an affordable monthly amount.

Using Debt Remedy helped Maria to access the debt advice she needed, at her own pace and without having to talk about her financial situation. She has now taken control of her finances and is taking the first steps towards a debt-free future.

Feedback from clients

Maria's story is just one of many we see every day and with more and more people looking for debt advice online we've highlighted below a few of the reasons why some clients prefer this approach.

"I found being able to input details about my debt online much more comforting than having to discuss even over the phone. It is embarrassing to find myself in this situation but the advice given and support offered is much appreciated. Thank you." Paul, Derbyshire.

“Thank you, I was so nervous about this but knew I needed help. This is the first step and it’s so much easier online than talking to someone.” Amie, Devon.

"Great calculator and online services - love the fact that I can do this at 04:20 in the morning, when I'm at work and not having to be tied to a phone call/interview at a time that would be inconvenient to me." Shaun, Yorkshire.

"The faceless approach of doing it all online is definitely best for me because embarrassment is a major stumbling block. Or it has been...time to face up to reality and get things sorted." Kirsty, Norfolk.

If you’d like to find out more about Debt Remedy and how it can help your customers, please email us.

*Name has been changed to protect the client’s identity.

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Contact our team

0113 235 5997 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Please note: these contacts are partner enquiries only.

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