Free debt advice – Why get debt advice?

When you’re in debt, it can be hard to know what to do for the best. At PayPlan, we’re committed to making debt advice simple. 

Getting clear, calm advice about your debts doesn’t just take the stress out of your situation; it helps you to see the best way forward, and shows you the options available to you that can give you a clear plan of action for getting your debts under control.

Getting debt advice from PayPlan

All our advice is 100% free, impartial, and confidential. We’ll steer clear of using tongue-twisting terms and give you all the information you need in a way that makes sense.

At PayPlan, we’ll…

  work with your creditors on your behalf
  offer you help and advice in the way that works for you
  recommend the best solution for your circumstances
  support you every step of the way, for as long as you need us

Get debt advice online

Our advisers give you the same help, support, and guidance that you’d get over the phone through our digital channels: live chat, email and our step-by-step debt solution too, PlanFinder.

Another bonus of online debt advice is that you can save your details and complete your session later if you’re pushed for time. Our online debt service is also never ‘out of office’ meaning you can access your client account online through PlanFinder, 24/7.

Here’s how getting our debt advice online works

We’ve made getting debt advice from us online from us easy, quick and discreet. You can start by completing our debt help form and checking the ‘online’ option at the end of it.
Doing this will take you to PlanFinder, our step-by-step debt solution tool which takes about 15 minutes to complete. Here you’ll enter a bit more information about your debts, income and outgoings, so try to have details like bank statements with you before you start. If you don’t know the full details of your debts, you can use our handy credit report option within PlanFinder.
Once you’ve completed PlanFinder, one of our advisers will look over the information you’ve given us and see if they need any further details from you before making a recommendation. You’ll be able to chat to them via email, live chat or by phone, whichever you’d prefer.
One of our advisers will get in touch with your personalised debt advice and will let you know your options when it comes to Breathing Space. Our advice will include a recommendation on which debt solution best suits your situation, plus any other options we think could help you. This may be a managed debt solution, or we may feel that managing your debts directly with your creditors in a Repayment Arrangement for example, is the best solution for you.
If a managed debt solution is right for you, we can begin setting it up as soon as you’re ready – the same day if you like! You’ll be looked after by one of our in-house teams, such as our Debt Management Plan (DMP) team or one of our Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) associated companies, PayPlan Partnership Limited or PayPlan Bespoke Solutions (if you’re self-employed).
Once in your debt solution, you’ll be able to easily manage your account online through our online portal, PayPlan+. Here you can make payments, keep track of how your debt solution is going and speak with your case officer about any questions you’ve got about your plan.

Get debt advice over the phone

Sometimes it’s easier to get things off your chest, confidentially, to someone you don’t know rather than speaking to a friend or family member.

It doesn’t matter how much debt you’re in or how many lenders you owe money to; when you speak to us over the phone you’ll always be listened to with the compassion and respect you deserve from one of our trained debt advisers. After you’ve told one of our advisers about your situation, they’ll let you know what the best solution is to get you debt-free. 

Here’s how getting debt advice over the phone works.

When you first call us on 0800 316 1833 , you’ll be put through to an adviser in our helpline team who will ask a few questions to understand your circumstances. They’ll help you get a better understanding of your budget and look at ways to get your finances back on track.
If it looks like you’ll need to consider a debt solution, you’ll speak to one of our assessment experts. Don’t worry, they’ll have all your information in front of them – so you won’t need to go through things twice!
As part of your advice session, our adviser may talk to you about Breathing Space if they feel you would benefit from it. This is a new initiative which will give you a 60-day period where interest, fees and charges for qualifying debts are frozen, and enforcement action against you is temporarily suspended. Find out more about Breathing Space.
Once you’ve spoken to our adviser, we’ll be able to tell you about all the options available to you. And, based on what you’ve told us – we’ll be able to tell you which option we recommend for you.

If we think there are better ways to help you manage your debts, like setting up a Repayment Arrangement with your creditors, then we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to do that. This means that even if you don’t enter into a debt solution with us, you’ll still benefit from getting debt advice.

If a managed debt plan is right for you, we can start setting it up and contacting your creditors as soon as is right for you – sometimes, the same day! We go at your pace, and our specialist in-house teams will explain the process in full, so you have all of the information before making a decision.
You’ll be able to easily manage your account online through our online portal, PayPlan+. Here you can make payments, keep track of how your debt solution is going and speak with your case officer about any questions you’ve got about your plan.

Need help managing your money? Use our online debt tool to find out your options

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How to prepare for debt advice

Being in debt can be daunting, so we’re here to make sure our help is as simple as possible. Before you get debt advice over the phone or online, it’s best to get a few details to hand first.

This makes it easier for our advisers to understand your situation and give you the best advice possible. It means we can give you the help you need much quicker too.

You don’t need mountains of paperwork – just some information about who you owe money to, how much you owe them, plus your monthly incomings and outgoings should be enough to get started. All of this information can be found by logging in to your online bank account or looking at your latest bank statement.

It’s helpful if you know…

  • how much money you have coming in
  • what you need to pay for
  • how much money you owe

We’ll help you to work out a household budget, understand which payments you need to prioritise and explain all the solutions that are available to you.

What are IVA fees and what do they cover?

There are three main charges involved when setting up an IVA that are payable throughout the duration of your repayment plan:

Nominee fee

The nominee fee is the cost incurred while assisting you when putting together your proposal to creditors. The Nominee (who is also a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner) will go through your income and expenditure and help you work out how much you can afford to repay each month. They will also consider your assets, discuss with you whether an IVA is right for you, check you meet the criteria and help you put together a proposal that is likely to be accepted by your creditors. An IVA requires a specialist, qualified practitioner to set up the IVA which is why there is a cost. The actual fee largely depends on which practitioner you use and who your creditors are, but it will usually either amount to the value of the first five months of your IVA payments or £1,000, whichever is the greater.

Supervisor fee

The Supervisor fee is there to cover the ongoing costs of the IVA and is usually set at 15% of payments into the IVA. This fee is usually paid once the nominee’s fee has been paid in full. Your Nominee will become your Supervisor once your IVA is approved and they will be on hand to answer any questions or concerns you may have throughout your IVA. They will also conduct annual reviews to check your income and expenditure is correct and you can still afford your monthly payments.


Disbursements are payments made to third parties involved in your IVA, to cover essentials such as the registration fee that comes with being added to the insolvency register.

There is no available legal aid to assist with the setting up of an IVA, but PayPlan don’t charge upfront fees. You won’t have to worry about these fees as these will be deducted from your monthly repayments.

In the unlikely event that you find you are able to pay the full amount of debt owed at any point throughout your IVA, bear in mind that you will then be liable to pay these fees on top of your outstanding debt.

Although there are fees associated with an IVA, PayPlan offer free debt advice so if you want to talk about the debt solutions available to help you, you can get in touch with us for free. Simply call our freephone number on 0800 316 1833 or request a callback. Our advisers will discuss your income and expenditure and look at the debt solutions that might be available to you. They will then make a recommendation based on your circumstances and assist you through the next steps.

How can debt advice help?

One thing that we regularly hear from the people we’ve helped over the years is how relieved they feel after getting debt advice.

Even if they don’t go into a debt plan straight away, for many people just finding out their options and knowing they have a plan of action for dealing with their debts can be like a weight off the shoulders, especially if it’s something they have been worrying about for a long time.

Whether your first conversation with us is online or over the phone, we’ll be able to reassure you and put your mind at ease straight away.

Here are Rhiannon and Kristina’s stories…


Generally, it takes around half an hour to get debt advice over the phone from one of our advisers.

This is usually enough time for our advisers to learn enough about your situation to give you informed, quality debt advice about what you should do next, and what the best solutions are for you.

If you choose to get our debt advice online you can complete it at your own pace, and you can save your session and come back to it another time if it’s more convenient. If you complete the online session in one go, it’ll usually take around half an hour, same as the phonecall would.

Part of our debt advice service is to recommend the best debt solution or option for you, and there are some debt solutions that can stop creditors from contacting you in any way, including sending bailiffs to your home.

We can only do this once we’ve spoken to you first though, and will only recommend a debt solution if we think it’s suitable for you.

During your debt advice session, we’ll ask for the following information. If you have a number of debts, you may have lost track of the amounts and the details. Try to gather as much information as possible from your credit card and loan statements, but don’t worry if you can’t remember everything because we’ll be able to get the rest of the information from your credit report (with your consent) whilst we’re advising you.

  • Details of your debts (who you owe money to, how much etc.)
  • Your income, including:
    • Wages
    • Benefits
    • Pensions
  • Your outgoings, including:
    • Bills
    • Travel costs
    • Living expenses

Some debt solutions we offer, like Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), and Debt Relief Orders (DROs) can write off large amounts of debt.

Debt write-off isn’t always right for everyone though, and it might be that other debt solutions, such as a Debt Management Plan (DMP) are more suitable for your situation. When you come to us for advice, we’ll use the information you give us to suggest what the best solution or option is for you.

Yes, 100%. Whenever you speak to us, anything you tell us about will be fully confidential, and any debt advice you receive will be given to you by a qualified, trained debt adviser.

We also know that money is only part of the problem. So, if you’re worried about letters from your creditors or your family finding out you’re in debt, or even something more serious like illness or an addiction, you can trust us to be confidential at all times.

There’s no obligation to enter into a debt solution either if you just want to get debt advice first; a lot of the time, it can help to just talk to someone about your debts, find out what your options are and then give yourself some time to think about what you want to do next.

If you’re in debt, then the chances are you’ve got letters or emails asking for payment from whoever you owe money to. These will usually include details about how much you owe, and what you owe the money for.

If you’ve lost or can’t find these, though, you can always contact your creditors and ask them to send you up-to-date balances for your accounts.

You can also use the three credit reference agencies in the UK, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, to send you a copy of your credit report. ClearScore will show you your Equifax credit score for free.

Of course – we help everyone who comes to us for debt help, regardless of their financial situation. It doesn’t matter if you’re in debt to multiple lenders, are unemployed, are on benefits or so on, we’ll always give the same quality debt help and advice.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a professional body that regulates debt advice in the UK.

In order to legally provide debt advice to the public, a debt advice company has to operate in line with FCA regulation and guidance. This ensures that debt advice companies give correct help and advice to people in debt, and prevents fake or scam businesses being set up that might give false advice in order to try and trick people into giving their details away.

If you come across a debt advice company and aren’t sure whether it’s real or not, you can check the FCA register to make sure the company is legitimate.

Our debt advice is free and always will be; it doesn’t matter whether you decide to enter into a debt solution with us or not.

In order to set up an IVA you require the expertise of an Insolvency Practitioner and because of this there are always fees associated with an IVA, regardless of the company you chose.

The fees for administering your IVA are funded out of the money you pay into your IVA each month.

You pay the agreed amount you can afford each month, and no extra charges are added.

The amount you pay each month covers the IVA fees and charges and then the rest of the money goes to your creditors.

The amount you pay each month would not change even if there weren’t any IVA charges, as that money would still go to your creditors.

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