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).

Our cookie policy

What are cookies and why do we use them

Our privacy policy for website users

Cookies are small data files that are sent to your browser. We use these to collect information about your use of the site and to optimise your experience while browsing.

No personal details are collected from them unless you explicitly provide it to us. For example, you fill in an online contact form, apply for a job, or provide information through webchat.

For further information on our use of cookies, including a detailed list of your information which we and others may collect through cookies, please see below.

Who we are

This website is operated by Foundation for Credit Counselling trading as StepChange Debt Charity, for more information, please visit our Legal section.

Our website

This cookie policy relates to your use of our following domains:

start.stepchange.org, cvpp.stepchange.org, advice.stepchange.org, security.stepchange.org, jobs.stepchange.org, wellbeing.stepchange.org, onlinedmp.stepchange.org, m.stepchange.org, and www.stepchange.org.

Throughout our website we may link to other websites owned and operated by certain trusted third parties to make you aware of additional products, information and services available to you. These other third-party websites may also use cookies or similar technologies in accordance with their own separate policies. For privacy information relating to these other third-party websites, please consult their policies as appropriate.

Consent to use cookies and changing settings

We will ask for your permission (Consent) to place cookies or other similar technologies on your device, except where they are essential for us to provide you with a service that you have requested.

You can withdraw any consent to the use of cookies or manage any other cookie preferences by updating your preferences here. Click on ‘Settings’ to view and untick the cookies by category in the ‘Cookie declaration’ tab, then press OK to confirm. It may be necessary to refresh the page for the updated settings to take effect.

Different types of cookies

Session cookies: These are temporary cookies that are automatically deleted when you close your browser.

Persistent cookies: These cookies stay on your computer for a set period or until you manually clear your browsing data.

First and third-party cookies: Whether a cookie is ‘first’ or ‘third’ party refers to the website or domain placing the cookie. First-party cookies are set by a website you’ve visited, the website shown in the URL window. Third-party cookies are set by another domain. For example, when you view or share our content on Facebook, they’ll set a cookie.

Cookies that are essential to the service we offer are categorised as ‘Necessary’. You can’t opt out of these. For all other types of cookies, including those placed by third-party services, we need your permission. You can change your settings at any time, use the guides below to find out how to do this.

Google Analytics cookies

We have implemented Google Analytics on our website. This is a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (Google).

Google Analytics uses cookies to analyse how the website is used.

The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States.

Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage.

Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.

You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser (see below) however please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website.

Managing Your Cookies in your Browser

If you do not want to accept any cookies, you may be able to change your browser settings so that cookies (including those which are essential to the services requested) are not accepted. If you do this, please be aware that you may lose some of the functionality of our website. Below we have provided guidance on the steps to take.

Browser Process change Further Resource
Google Chrome
  1. On your computer, open Chrome
  2. At the top right, click More Settings
  3. At the bottom, click Advanced
  4. Under 'Privacy and Security' click Site Settings
  5. Click cookies see all cookies and site data remove all
  6. Confirm by clicking Clear All
Further, more detailed instructions are available from Google Support
Internet Explorer 8,9,10 and 11
  1. Select the Tools Menu
  2. Select Internet Options
  3. Click the Privacy Tab
  4. Select your Preferred Settings
Further, more detailed instructions are available from Microsoft Support
Microsoft Edge
  1. Select the More Button
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select Privacy & Security
  4. Click on the Choose what to clear button
  5. Make sure the checkbox with Cookies and saved website data is selected
  6. Press the Clear button
Further, more detailed instructions are available from Microsoft Support
  1. Click on the word Safari
  2. Select Preferences
  3. Click the Privacy tab
  4. Use the Block Cookies option to stop cookies
  5. To check which specific site stores data, click Details
Further, more detailed instructions for Safari on Mac are available from Apple Support

Further, more detailed instructions for Safari on iPhone, iPod or iPad are available from Apple Support
Chrome - Android Phone/Tablet
  1. Select Settings
  2. Select Advanced Settings
  3. Select Privacy tab
  4. Select Clear Browsing Data

Please be aware that the launch of new devices and regular browser updates may lead to these options changing. If you’re unsure, you may need to check with the device manufacturer or browser provider.

Managing cookies in emails

Changing your email settings to stop images from automatically loading will disable a lot of cookies.

Email host Process Change Further Resource
  1. Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner to access your Settings
  2. In the General tab (the first one), scroll down to Images
  3. Select Ask before displaying external images
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Save Changes
Please note, this will also turn off Gmail’s dynamic email feature, which makes emails more interactive.
Microsoft Outlook (Office 365)
  1. Click on File > Options
  2. In the Outlook Options window, select Trust Centre
  3. Click on the Trust Centre Settings button
  4. Check the boxes labelled Don’t download pictures automatically in standard HTML messages or RSS items and Don’t download pictures in encrypted or signed HTML email messages. You can make a number of exceptions to the first item if you want by checking the boxes underneath it
Microsoft Mail
  1. Click on the gear icon on the bottom left
  2. From the Settings menu on the right, select Reading pane
  3. At the bottom of the menu on the right, turn off Automatically download external images and style formats except S/MIME Mail and Automatically download external images and style formats for S/MIME Mail
  4. If you’re using Mail with more than one email account, make sure Apply to all accounts is checked
Apple Mail
  1. Select Mail > Preferences
  2. Click on the Viewing tab
  3. Uncheck Load remote content in messages
Android iOS Gmail
  1. Tap on the hamburger (three lines) menu in the upper left corner
  2. Scroll down to and select Settings
  3. Tap on the email account that you want to work with
  4. Scroll down to and select Images
  5. Tap on Ask before displaying external images
Google iOS Gmail
  1. Open Gmail for iOS, tap the hamburger (three lines) menu in the upper left, and scroll down to Settings
  2. Tap the account you want to personalise, and tap Images
  3. Switch from Always display external images to Ask before displaying external images
Please note, for those wishing to do this on Gmail’s mobile client, it appears it will only work for personal accounts and not enterprise ones managed through G Suite, for now.

Managing social media cookies

If you don’t want to see adverts on your social media channels for StepChange, you can update your settings.

Hide Ads from Specific Advertisers

When you see and ad, click or tap on the dots in the upper right-hand corner. Then, choose ‘Why am I seeing this ad?’ from the menu. There will be a button on the right side that says Options, tap it and choose ‘Hide all ads from this advertiser’.

Hide All Ads

To opt out of ads, log on to your account, and click on ‘Settings’ in the upper right-hand corner of your homepage.

You will then get the option to update your advertising settings.

How to contact us

Please contact our Data Protection Officer, if you have any questions about this cookie policy or the information we hold about you.

To contact, our Data Protection Officer, please send an email to DPO@stepchange.org.

Do you need extra help?

If you would like this notice in another format (for example: audio, large print, braille) please contact us (see ‘How to contact us’ above).

Changes to this policy

This policy was published on 28 January 2022 and last updated on 28 January 2022.

We may change this policy from time to time, when we do we will inform you via this page.

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