Before you enter into a Debt Management Plan, there are key areas that should have been covered with you.
- There are sources of free debt advice and services. You can find out more by contacting the Money Advice Service on 0800 138 7777 or by visiting their website.
- All debt management companies offering debt counselling and adjusting must be regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority, FCA and must adhere strictly with their rules and guidelines. Check your provider is regulated by the FCA. If not do not deal with them.
- You will know the estimated total cost to you of the arrangement and the time it will take for your debts to be paid. If your provider does not, you must ask to find out. Any money you pay to your provider to cover their fees will not be used to repay your debts. Think carefully if the fees you are paying are higher than the sums going to creditors.
- You need to have done through a full and accurate budgeting process with your DMP provider. This is vital to make sure that the payments you are asked to make are affordable for yourself and fair to your creditors.
- You will have been told what to do if you are not happy with the service you receive and how, and who you can complain too. You should refer such complaints to the provider (us) first to give them a chance to put things right. They should tell you clearly how to do this. If you are still not happy with the outcome, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service(http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/) which is an independent service who will look into your complaint and can award you compensation if they decide in your favour. You can be repaid any fees charged and may be awarded compensation by these schemes.