Where to find free debt advice

When you are being chased for debt by debt collectors, it can be a terrifying experience. What you really need is free debt advice from sources that can be trusted and that don't cost you anything.

This page is a resource of where to go for free debt advice.

The first port of call for many people is the internet. There are plenty of decent sites that will guide you on what to do, but there are also sites from lenders who hope to make a profit from you by persuading you to consolidate your debts with them. So where do you look for help?

I would join the Motley Fool, which has US and USA branches - they are a giant forum where you can chat to other people about problems. Most participants are generous with their advice and support, and you should know you are not alone. If you want to simply read advice on how to cope, see this site on How to Become Debt Free, which should cover all aspects of getting out of debt.

If you would rather talk to someone about your problems, the debt charities are the first port of call. They all offer a free and confidential service and some will even help you to negotiate arrangements with your lenders.

Here are the best charities in the UK and the USA:

UK

National Debtline This is an industry funded organisation, and is free to use. As indicated in their name, they have a call centre, where you can call on a free-phone number 0808 808 4000, and speak to someone in confidence about your problems. The call-centre is open Monday – Friday from 9am-9pm and Saturday 9.30am-1pm.

CCCS They are a charity that offers a service similar to National Debtline

USA

Consumer Credit Counselling Service They are a non-profit organisation that offers online counselling to people in the United States. They do have branches in each state, and the umbrella website should point you to the website of your home-state org.

Most of them have phone numbers on their site and are happy for you to call them and speak to someone in confidence. Some will negotiate with lenders on your behalf

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