Debt management advice

Getting your finances in order can be difficult, but don’t worry, there is plenty of support available. On this page, you’ll find useful tips and details of debt advice charities and organisations to help you manage your money.

Contact Novuna Personal Finance

If you’re worried about your finances, please call us on 0344 375 5488 as soon as possible. Our lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays). Our specialist team will listen to your circumstances and run through what plans and additional support may be available.

You might also find it beneficial to complete our digital income and expenditure questionnaire. This will help us to suggest the most appropriate and affordable repayment plans for you.

How to access free debt advice

Asking for help can be hard. However, one of the best things you can do is seek debt advice as soon as possible.

The below independent organisations will be able to provide advice on budgeting and debt solutions. Debt advice charities such as StepChange will look at your finances and offer advice on how to get them back on track. Their free Money Health Check is quick and easy to complete, and will give you a personalised recommendation on what to do next.


Free online debt advice, available 24/7


Free guidance online, over the phone and face-to-face

Citizens Advice Bureau

Knowledge and advice to help you deal with debt

National Debtline

Free, impartial debt advice

Debt Advice Foundation

Free advice and support on any aspect of debt

When applying for free debt advice, it’s also possible to see if you’re eligible for Breathing Space (England and Wales). This is a government scheme which provides a break from interest, fees, and court action for up to 60 days, giving you protection while you seek debt advice and work towards finding a suitable solution. In Scotland you may be able to apply for a ‘debt moratorium period’ while you set up certain debt solutions.

Look out for scams

We’re seeing an increase in the number of fraudsters pretending to be legitimate companies, such as Novuna Personal Finance or debt advice organisations like StepChange and National Debtline. Always make sure that any financial or debt advice organisation you deal with are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Please be vigilant. Never give away any sensitive information (such as card details or passwords) and never make upfront payments in return for a loan or debt advice from a charity.

Visit our security hub or the StepChange website for more information about spotting a scam.

Dealing with unexpected life events

We’ll all have to deal with an unexpected event at some point in our lives. It may be a serious illness, death of a loved one, loss of a job or other changes in your circumstances. If you are going through a difficult time and finding it hard to manage your money, please reach out to our team or to a trusted debt advice organisation. There will always be support available.

Managing your budget

Working out a budget to cover your living costs and debt payments can help you feel more in control of your finances. It helps you to see where your money is going, so you can make financial plans and spot ways to make savings.

Get started by following the below steps:

  • Work out your total monthly income. Add together wages, benefits, pensions and any other income to get a firm idea of how much money you have coming in each month.
  • Put together a list of all your monthly outgoings. This should include your rent or mortgage payments, council tax, utility bills, food shopping, debt repayments and any other living costs.
  • Subtract your monthly outgoings from your income. This will show you how much money you have leftover each month, giving you a clear picture of your finances. You may wish to set aside some of this leftover money to pay down your debt.

Visit StepChange’s advice on making a budget for more information.

How to prioritise your debts

A ‘priority debt’ is a debt or bill that can cause you serious problems if you don’t pay on time, such as impacting your home or health, causing legal problems or leading to more debt. If you’re struggling to pay all your debts each month, it’s a good idea to pay off these important debts first before working your way through other bills.

Generally, priority debt includes your rent or mortgage, council tax, energy bills and court fines though this may vary depending on where you are in the UK.

Examples of lower priority debt include ‘unsecured’ debt that does not require you to put up valuable assets such as your house or car as collateral. Credit cards and personal loans are types of unsecured debt.

About debt consolidation

If you’re struggling to manage multiple debts, you may find it beneficial to take out a debt consolidation loan. This allows you to take out a loan to pay off all your existing debts, leaving you with just one monthly payment to think about.

This could make your debts more manageable and could even save you money if you have credit agreements with higher interest rates than the loan. That said, do remember that you may end up paying a higher rate of interest, and/or increasing the term of the loan which could mean you’ll pay more overall. For more detail, read our guide on consolidating debt with a personal loan.

If you’re considering debt consolidation, you may wish to get free and impartial debt advice first. Contact StepChange for more debt consolidation information.

Please note: there’s a big difference between debt consolidation and debt management. Debt consolidation involves taking out a new loan to pay off your debts, whereas debt management involves either yourself or a debt management plan provider negotiating affordable payment plans with the companies you owe money to.

Understanding your credit report

It’s a good idea to get an overview of your debts and history of managing money. You’ll be able to request a free copy of your credit report from each of the main credit reference agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. This will give you (and prospective lenders) an indication of how you’ve managed debt in the past.

Make sure you check your credit report thoroughly for any errors or inaccuracies and if you spot something not quite right, contact the credit reference agency as soon as possible to ask for a correction.

You may also be able to use a free credit score checker to find out where you stand. While you do not have just one universal credit score, the credit scores you see online will give you a general idea of how lenders might view you should you wish to apply for credit in the future.

Please note: speaking to Novuna Personal Finance or any debt advice charity will not impact your credit file.