How to find trustworthy debt advice: a summer campaign
This summer we’re supporting a StepChange campaign to help people get trustworthy debt advice. It’s also a warning about the dangers of trusting unregulated advice organisations.
Working in partnership with National Debtline and StepChange we want to show people how to check the advice they’re getting is trustworthy, reliable and right for them.
What to spot
Also, BEFORE taking advice, people should be able to spot untrustworthy organisations. They might be firms cashing in on people’s vulnerability, overcharging and giving bad advice. Or they might be scammers and clone firms posing as trusted organisations to steal from their victims.
The partners are using social and mainstream media to spread their campaign messages. For example, Citizens Advice contributed to a BBC Panorama detailing the harm caused by unqualified and unscrupulous debt advisers*.
Four key checkpoints, packaged in a short fact sheet are at the heart of the campaign:
- Check they’re approved. Search online for the ‘FCA register’. Local councils aren’t on the register but are trustworthy.
- Check what they say. Good debt advice is never too good to be true.
- Check it’s honest. Some companies pretend to be us.
- Check your details are safe. Take care with personal details.
* Debt Trap: Who’s Cashing In? Investigation of the booming debt management industry and the offering of IVAs (individual voluntary arrangements), BBC, July 2023.