Debtline NI

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Debtline NI

Post by Christopher on Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:08 am

Debtline NI is a free service to help people in Northern Ireland with debt problems via a dedicated helpline and website. It's a joint initiative between the Foundation for Credit Counselling (FCC), responsible for administering the UK's leading debt charity, and the Limavady based Community Development Initiative (LCDI). It is the substantial expansion of an existing operation, following recommendations in a report which looked at the availability of money advice in Northern Ireland.

The report recommended that the pilot operation for consumer credit counselling which has been run by the FCC and the LCDI in Limavady since 2001 should be "welcomed and encouraged". People normally reach consumer credit counselling through recommendations from friends, lenders and the media. Debtline NI is keen to reach all borrowers in financial difficulty who might otherwise be entrapped by for-profit debt management companies and unscrupulous loan consolidators.

The Limavady office, which provides consumer credit counselling in Northern Ireland, currently employs two full-time counsellors. It is shortly to be expanded with the addition of two more counsellors and a researcher, thanks to money received through the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland. This means that Debtline NI should be able to deal with any demands generated.

Debtline NI assists borrowers in difficulty in a variety of ways: emergency help and advice, suggestions for better money management and budgeting, in-depth advice sessions and Debt Management Plans.

The first point of contact for people ringing the service is a duty counsellor at the Foundation who assesses the degree of need. People needing in-depth advice are referred on to the counselling centre in Limavady. Although face-to-face counselling is available, the vast majority of counselling is carried out by phone.

Practical assistance as well as checks for over-indebtedness are available via the website.

Debtline NI helplines are open 8.00am to 8.00pm Monday to Friday on 0800 027 4990 or http://www.debtlineni.org/about/storysofar.htm

Christopher

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