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In adverts, some debt management companies use phrases like:
These companies want you to think that they are backed by the government. But in fact, there is no such thing.
Adverts like this aim to trick you into thinking these debt consolidation services are free or official. But these companies charge a fee to provide the same services that are free from charities like us.
Similar companies will ask for fees to set up an IVA. They might do this without telling you all of your options.
There are some government backed ways to deal with debts. The UK and Scottish governments have introduced some formal debt solutions.
These debt solutions include:
Read our guide to the differences between debt management and debt consolidation.
These adverts are misleading.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulate the debt advice sector. They have:
This means you should not see any more fee-charging companies advertising debt consolidation in this way. But if you do, please remember that:
Some companies pretend to be us online and on social media. They have names like 'Step to Change' or 'Step Changing’. They can also pretend to be other charities. They do this to make it seem like you can trust them.
Make sure it is us you are dealing with.
Get free debt advice online. We will help you find the best solution for your situation.