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Debt Advice Sessions

What we do

The Cambridge Money Advice Centre exists to help those struggling with problem debt to regain control of their finances. If you are in debt and unable to manage it or see a way out, we could help. Please do not hesitate to ring or email us if you think we could assist you.

We deliver free, expert counselling from fully trained advisers, online or in person. We will help and support you for as long as this takes. Our advice is entirely unbiased and we help everyone in debt in the Cambridge area. Although our founders were Christian, we help people of all faiths and none.

We will help you maximise your income, reduce your expenditure where possible, liaise with your creditors and come up with a debt solution. We will also give support if you find yourself in traumatic situations such as having been served an eviction order, or being threatened by bailiffs.

Every case is individual, but typically the process of helping someone reach financial stability looks like this.

First contact

When you get in touch with us - by phone or email - we will take some basic details from you. We will ask whether you prefer a daytime or evening appointment and will assign a pair of experienced advisers to you. We will contact you to arrange your first meeting.

First meeting

Two of our advisers will meet you online - or at our office when we are offering face-to-face meetings again. For your first meeting, we ask you to bring as much information as you can about your income and outgoings. This first meeting may take a couple of hours.

We will give you an Agreement, which sets out what we will do you for and lets you know about our Data Protection and Complaints policies.

If you are happy for us to act on your behalf when contacting creditors etc, we will ask you to sign an authorisation form.

Further meetings

We will contact you from time to time to review your case or ask for further information as we work through the steps below. Of course, you are welcome to ask for additional meetings with us whenever the need arises or if there is a change in circumstances.

Financial Statement

We will work with you to compile a Financial Statement. We will ask you to sign it to confirm that it is accurate.

Liaising with creditors

With your permission, we will negotiate payments with your creditors. Usually while dealing with us, they will no longer contact you directly. We will then set up a repayment plan that you and they agree to.

Reviewing your case

We will continue to review your case throughout and will stay in touch with you for as long as you need us.

Possible solutions

Every case is unique and your advisers will work with you to establish the best solution to your difficulties. Some possible outcomes are listed below.

Breathing Space

The Government brought out a new scheme called “Breathing Space” on the 4 May 2021. This allows accredited advisers, such as MAC advisers, to apply for this scheme for our clients. It gives the client a 60 day moratorium from their debts. The creditors are not allowed to contact the client during this period, and it gives the adviser time to find a debt solution. The client has to meet certain criteria and we have already submitted three clients for this scheme. It is done online via a Government portal and is handled by the insolvency service. The insolvency service will contact all creditors so the client will have peace of mind.

Debt Management Plan

A Debt Management Plan (DMP) service simplifies making payments to your creditors, saving you the hassle of separately paying your creditors on different days throughout the month. You are not charged for using this service.

All you need to do is set up a standing order sending funds to your Debt Management Plan account. The Debt Management Plan provider then distributes the money to your creditors on an agreed date.

If you wish to set up a Debt Management Plan account, please speak to your advisers.

Debt Relief Order

A Debt Relief Order (DRO) is a means to have your debts written off if you are unlikely to ever be able to meet them, and you meet certain conditions (e.g. owe £20,000 or less and have little spare income). If you feel this may be suitable for you, please speak to your advisers. Not all debts can be included in a DRO but most are. You need to meet certain criteria, such as not owning your home or having assets greater than £1,000. From the 29th of June 2021 you are allowed a car whose value should be less than £2,000 and your debts can be up to £30,000. There is a £90 fee to pay. If your application is approved, your debts will be written off after one year.