The Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) is the biggest debt advice charity in the UK. It is fundamentally an advisory service for individuals or families who have got into financial difficulties, although it also offers professional debt management services when appropriate.
One of the core features of the CCCS is its free telephone helpline and email service. This is designed to provide free and impartial advice to anyone who is facing financial difficulties, and allows people to get access to professional help and advice for their particular problem. The service is completely confidential, and users do not even need to provide their names if they don’t want to.
There are 10 centres across the UK offering support and advice on aspects such as debt, credit, budgeting and debt management. The idea originally came from the US, where the practice of helping people with advice on their debts had proved successful, and the first CCCS branch was opened in the UK in Leeds in 1993. After this it began to open branches in more regions across the country in order to reach a wider group of people.
When people contact the CCCS, they are provided with free professional advice on their individual problem. They will be able to speak to a trained counsellor who can offer them help and advice, and if the problem is more serious then they can arrange an appointment or the prospect of emergency debt help if it is really serious. The online service, which is run by emails instead of on the phone, works in a very similar way.
The CCCS aims to help people prioritise their debts to allow them to pay them back more easily. They will discuss the debts with the user, and if necessary will arrange for a debt management plan (DMP) to be set up in order to help the user pay back their debts.
The CCCS has excellent relations with a large number of UK creditors, and they will then arrange with the creditors how the individual will pay back the debt, and will also negotiate with them and make proposals regarding payments, interest rates and the reduction of charges and fees. They can do this because the creditors know that the debt is being handled with professional advice, and it is in their interests to get their money back.
The payment plans set up by the CCCS lead to a greater likelihood of recovering the money that has been leant, and the debtors may also come through the experience with a better idea about how to stay out of debt. In fact, many creditors will often advise their debtors to contact the CCCS for help.
Essentially, the CCCS provides an invaluable service for its users. Whether they just use the website to find professional and updated advice about loans and budgeting, or whether they use it to contact a professional and end up setting up a payment plan, the CCCS is a great service that is non-judgemental and tailored to the individual needs of the user, allowing it to find solutions to complex debt problems.
You can get in touch with the cccs by visiting their website:
www.cccs.co.uk www.stepchange.org or by phoning them on their Freephone number: 0800 138 1111