DebtPersonal Finance

Who Can You Trust For Debt Advice?

Elderly women speaking to banker

With inflation in the UK at a 40-year high, and the cost of living crisis keeping a tight grip on the nation’s wallets, it’s little surprise that the amount of UK adults with debt issues is rising. 

The Insolvency Service’s latest quarterly data (released 28 October 2022) reported that the total number of individual insolvencies in England and Wales so far this year is 8% higher than in the same period in 2021. The data also shows that the number of registrations in Q3 2022 for Breathing Space, a debt respite initiative, has increased by 18% compared to Q3 of 2021.

At Smart Money People, the UK’s dedicated financial review site, their recent analysis found that certain Google searches for debt-related terms have also increased over the past 12 months. Search queries that have more than doubled in volume include  ‘breathing space scheme’ (126%) and ‘debt consolidation loan’ (124%). Other terms that have seen a significant increase include ‘bankruptcy’ (23%), ‘debt management plan’ (22%) and ‘IVA’ (22%).*

Clearly, debt issues are on the rise with more people actively searching for solutions. Unfortunately, it can be easy to become overwhelmed when looking for a suitable company to assist you with clearing your debts. A Google search for ‘help with debt’ returns 917 million results, so with such a wide range of options, how can you be confident that the provider you choose can be trusted?

The value of customer reviews

Smart Money People is an independent review site that allows members of the general public to rate their experience with financial service companies, including debt management providers. All reviews are from UK adults who have first-hand experience with the provider, sharing any pros and cons that they’ve found throughout their journey.

By reading customer reviews, you can be confident that you’re making an informed decision when selecting a debt management provider. One aim of a debt solution is to reduce the stress and worry often brought on by unmanageable debt, so finding a provider that is reputable, trustworthy and has a proven positive customer service track record can help alleviate some of the stress from the situation.

The top-rated debt management providers

The four debt management organisations with the most reviews on Smart Money People are PayPlan, StepChange, CreditFix and Back2Credit. All ratings are out of 5. The numbers of reviews and ratings are correct as of November 2022.

PayPlan – 15,932 reviews with a rating of 4.94

PayPlan offers:

  • Free debt help and advice
  • Debt help for the self-employed
  • A variety of debt solutions
  • Resources for financial education and financial wellbeing

StepChange – 6,648 reviews with a rating of 4.97

StepChange offers:

  • Free debt help and advice
  • Calculation tools for card repayments and debt consolidation
  • A variety of debt solutions
  • Financial advice to help increase your money knowledge

CreditFix – 784 reviews with a rating of 4.86

CreditFix offers:

  • Debt help and advice
  • Support to help you understand your credit score
  • A variety of debt solutions
  • Information about different types of debt with tips on how you can avoid them

Back2Credit – 567 reviews with a rating of 4.91

Back2Credit offers:

  • Debt help and advice
  • A variety of debt solutions
  • A simple online questionnaire to determine your recommended debt solution

Seeing a rating out of 5 can be a great indicator of how highly people have rated their overall experience with the provider, but by reading the reviews you can gain further insight into what specific details have led people to leave such a rating, helping to determine if it’s the right provider for you.

*All Google search data was extracted using Keyword Tool.

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