Debt advice

Below you will find some self help materials around the subject of debt advice. If you can't find what you are looking for, some of our ACFA member agencies offer free, confidential support and advice; their advice is impartial and they’ll help you understand the options suitable for your situation. Simply search for advice near you using the box to the right of this page.

Advice and information is available on a full range of debt solutions including Bankruptcy, Debt Relief Orders, Free Debt Management Plans, Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), Administration Orders and Debt Consolidation. They can also offer help with:

  • reducing debt liability
  • increasing income
  • negotiating repayment plans
  • halting disconnections, repossessions and evictions

Debt Relief Orders 

A Debt Relief Order (DRO) is a way for you to have your debts written off if have a relatively low level of debt and have few assets. A useful factsheet has been produced by National Debtline and can be viewed here.

Bailiffs - Right of Entry

You usually don’t have to open your door to a bailiff or let them in. Specifically, bailiffs can not enter your home:

  • by force, eg push past you
  • if only children under 16 or vulnerable people (eg, disabled) are present
  • between 9pm and 6am

The only time bailiffs are allowed to force their way into your home is to collect unpaid criminal fines, Income Tax or Stamp Duty, but even then this is only as a last resort.

Citizens Advice has a useful section on their website; it explains what a bailiff is and the process they must follow. You'll also find information about how you can prevent or stop bailiff action, what to do if a bailiff is due to visit, what you need to do if you've received a bailiff's notice, and how to complain about bailiffs. Full details are available here.

Credit Card Debt

Using a credit card for your spending can have many benefits, from added legal protection to cashback or collecting loyalty points at your favourite retailer. However, credit card debt can quickly mount up if you don’t pay your card off in full each month. The Money Advice Service offers useful information on how to stop that happening - read it here

Help paying your Water Bill

Wessex Water has created the following video to explain the help they can offer customers having trouble paying their water bills; options include switching to a meter, free water saving devices, flexible payment plans, paying their bill directly from benefits and assistance for metered customers on benefits who have unavoidably high water use due to a large family or medical condition.

They also offer a low rate tariff, Assist, to help those on benefits who are in real financial difficulty - if you think this might apply to you you will need to seek financial advice and complete a financial budget first. A debt repayment scheme called Restart helps those in debt get their finances back on track.

To find out more visit or call 0345 600 3 600 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm).

If you are not a Wessex Water customer please contact your local water company to see what schemes they can offer you.

Debt Advice Factsheets

A wide range of factsheets covering a variety of debt and money issues have been produced by National Debt Line and Citizens Advice - they are available to download:

National Debtline - Debt Advice Factsheets

Citizens Advice - Debt Advice Factsheets

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