Debt Advice Foundation Reviews

On this page you’ll find genuine reviews from real people that have called the charity for debt advice. Hopefully they will give you a better understanding of what to expect when you contact us and how we’ll be able to help you.

If you've called the charity's debt advice helpline and would like to share your experience with others, please visit our helpline feedback section by clicking on the link below.


    Submitted: 9th November 2010

Before we found out about the Debt Advice Foundation we were struggling to live, we had loans and credit cards we were struggling to pay. I didn't want to do Bankruptcy for many reasons and it was actually our mortgage advisor that got us thinking about doing the IVA.

We didn't know about the DAF and called several different companies who were charging so many different fees and who were trying to get us to do either a debt plan or bankruptcy, neither of which we wanted to do we didn't feel at all safe with the information we were given. Then Kate remembered about the charity schemes and that's where we found the DAF details. To be honest Kate did the whole thing from the initial phone call right through to the end. We found the attitude of the staff at DAF to be amazing, never at any point were we made to feel bad for being in debt or treated like an idiot like the other places did. I still remember the person who helped us the most (Rachel Jepson) who was so helpful and saw us through it all.

Since doing the IVA we make one payment a month and we can manage our finances much easier. The staff are very precise in what they need and if you can be organised like Kate was/is and you do what is needed it is very simple. We will be always grateful to the DAF for the help they gave us.

We were given 3 options to look at : 1. Debt Management Plan. 2. Bankruptcy 3. IVA. We were informed of ALL the negative and positive effects of all the options and for us and with the guidance we received we chose the IVA.

I don't really see any draw backs of the IVA as long as you are made aware at the start of the constraints and you understand for 5 years the IVA will govern what you do - moving house,pay slips,pay increase, needing a new car etc,bad credit, and so on and that you effectively have to answer to someone for the 5 years then all will go smoothly.For us its no problem but maybe some people won't like the hold that the IVA has over you.

We have only praise for the DAF.

    Barry and Kate, Bedford


    Submitted: 10th November 2010

I hadn't sought advise before I spoke to Debt Advice Foundation as I think like many people in my position I was in denial.

Once I had faced up to my situation I felt very frightened and sick with worry.

I spoke to a wonderful advisor called Rachel who was amazing, she was very understanding and patient, explained everything clearly and was not at all judgemental about the mess I was in, she re-assured me that everything could be dealt with confidentially as my husband was unaware of the situation at the time, whilst she urged me to try and tell him she was not pushy when I said this was not an option (my husband has since found out and the reaction I received was not at all the one I had feared!)

She clearly explained all the options and advised that a debt management plan was probably the best way to go.

She re-assured me that all the expenditure I HAD to pay each month would be allowed, even extra things for my children - school dinners, dance/music classes.

I spoke to her several times in the first few weeks and never did I feel like I was bothering her no matter how small the query seemed. After speaking to her the first time I was almost excited that finally I would be ”free” from my nightmare and it felt good - although very scary to say out loud how much I actually owed.

I would thoroughly recommend the DAF as they seriously have turned my life around, I am no longer scared of the post being delivered - I am on the road (all be it a long one) to getting control over my finances back and I can't ever thank you enough for that.

    Samm, Bournemouth


    Submitted: 9th November 2010

I do feel alot better after seeking help with my money problems. Before contacting Debt Advice Foundation, I had a financial advisor looking into my options; I did not have enough income to remorgage, a trust deed was not going to work and he suggested a monthly repayment plan where I would have to pay the company £500.00 to set it up and at least £40.00 a month would be a charge the company made for this service.

They did tell me that I could get this help free, but would have to wait a long time to get help, he said it was like the NHS or going for private health care. I did give it alot of thought and decided not to go with them, they did phone me a few times.

I was having sleepless nights over my monthly payments, as I was beginning to find it hard to make the payments and also realised how much I was paying in interest on my credit cards. I found a phone number for DAF and it took alot of courage to dial the number. The person I spoke to was very understanding and helpful and was able to reduce my outgoings by £600.00 a month. I feel much happier now.

What I find really hard about all of this is not having the back up of a credit card, I still find that hard even after 4 months.

    Evelyn, Livingston


    Submitted: 8th November 2010

Myself and my partner found ourselves in a terrible finacial situation steming from him losing his job and his new job not eqauting the old wages. We found ourselves paying bills with credit cards and although we had not yet reached the limit we could not see how we could carry on at this rate.

After the initial phonecall, which was one of the hardest calls I have ever had to make, going through our income and outgoings as it made me realise exactly the situation we were in, I know this is a cliche but it really was like a weight had been lifted. My advisor was really helpful and the thought that we could be debt free in 5 years was something that we can really focus on. All contact with the advisors have been really positive experiences, they havent judged or made me feel that I was inferior in anyway which is important for your own self worth.

I am really glad that my family gave me the number to call as it makes life much more pleasant not being afraid to answer the phone or open the post.

I am confident that my programme is managed professionaly with my best interests at heart. I would recommend them to anyone and would urge others to help themselves as my quality of life has improved knowing that I am in finacial control.

    Anonymous, Telford


    Submitted: 8th November 2010

I contacted Debt Advice Foundation after 18 months of increasing stress over finances that despite living very carefully and working very hard I was unable to manage.It all felt as if it was getting out of control and I was feeling depressed and constantly worried.I couldnt understand how I had ended up like this.

I had already been to see the Citizens advice Bureau face to face and received help with my budget which clarified that my outgoings and earnings didnt match.All the negotiating with the organisations I owed money too was left to me and advice to move to a new bank.This was very stressful and time consuming and the phone calls from each organisation were increasing,trying to get payments from me that I couldnt meet.

I contacted Debt Advice Foundation in desperation.

As soon as I made contact and each subsequent contact I have had has always left me feeling respected,immediately responded to,reassured and practical advice has been given.

A debt plan was a greed and a set amount negotiated that would come out of my account. Payplan, the organisation DAF recomended, would then negotiate payment with the individual companies.I have been consulted and updated at every step.The responses have been prompt and personal...and I havent felt judged at any point.

    Anonymous, Bournemouth


    Submitted: 8th November 2010

Debt Advice Foundation helped me a lot.

I had been with another company and I paid them £400 to start the process of helping me reduce my debts, over the next 2 years I was paying them money and nothing had changed (my debts were not being reduced at all) until I saw your advert on the internet, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders truthfully.

I was feeling extremely stressed and overwhelmed with all my debts and calling your office was one of the best things I have ever done. Although I struggled a lot in the beginning (and am still now a little) with not having an overdraft, which I had for many years, I had to learn to live on what I had left after all my bills were paid. After having spoken to one of your colleagues and got the ball rolling I felt a great sense of relief.

Thank you very much for your help.

    Judith, Lewisham


    Submitted: 9th November 2010

I had always thought myself reasonably responsible with money, however, after a relationship break down which resulted in my outgoings nearly doubling, for a short while I did not have full control of my spending. To counter this, I borrowed from one card to another on various balance transfer deals, after a while, as interest charges increased, I could no longer meet monthly payments and was forever borrowing off Peter to pay Paul, and as each month passed, I incurred larger penalties due to late payments.

Although it may sound a cliche, it was true to say that I would lie awake at night worrying about money. I was angry and upset that the "lenders" were charging me such ridiculous (29% apr) rates of interest on cards which previously had been (for example) 3 or 4 % on initially transferring the balance, more importantly though, I was angry at myself for "digging myself into a hole", and felt miserable at working a 45 hour week yet reaping no benefit, in fact only seeing things get worse with each letter which dropped through the mailbox, and after a while, a pile of unopened mail rapidly increased.

Prior to contacting DAF, each paycheck was more than already spent.

The advisor at Debt Advice Foundation made me feel I wasn't alone. That my financial problems were something that could be faced. My initial conversation with Darren (the advisor) from DAF made me feel that it wasn't just blind stupidity that had resulted in my awful situation, just life sometimes, (lol) and that the important step of trying to resolve my problems had been taken by my calling.

The blame wasn't passed to the "lenders", and I do take responsibility for my debts. I know there were other options where the debt may of been wiped in 2 years etc, but for me, it wasn't that I was unhappy at paying what I owed, it was that I could no longer keep up with interest, charges etc once I'd got so far behind.

Admittedly, when I think that I will owe this fixed amount from my monthly paycheck for the next 5 years, I do wish this wasn't the case, but things are manageable now, I may have other worries, but money is manageable, in short, I open my mail.

    Liz, Manchester


    Submitted: 9th November 2010

The Debt Advice Foundation was the first and only organisation I approached. I had spent a sleepless night convinced that I would literally have to sell my house immediately to pay my debts in the middle of one of the worst recessions this country has experienced and was not sure that the revenue gained from my sale would cover what I owed.

I rang the free helpline at 8 am on a weekday and almost immediately, your advisor made me feel better by explaining matters to me and setting out the routes I could take. I was on the telephone for some time and your advisor made me feel that she had all the time in the world to listen to me and offer advice whereas in reality in the current climate your staff would probably have been extremely busy.

I would have no reservations in recommending that anyone finding themselves in difficulties with debt get in touch with your organisation immediately. I was particularly impressed with my advisor, Rachael Jepson.

Thank you for listening and please keep up the good work!

    Anonymous, Bradford


    Submitted: 7th November 2010

Having got to a point where even our bank were not helpful a friend who I'd been to University with suggested I give your company a ring just for a chat.

From even the initial conversation I felt like a huge weight had been lifted - maybe just from explaining our situation to someone who was prepared to listen.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Debt Advice Foundation to anyone in a similar situation.

With many grateful thanks.

    Karen, Burton Upon Trent


    Submitted: 6th November 2010

Prior to phoning Debt AdviceFoundation, we were wondering where we would get money from to pay for fuel to get to work the next day, going shopping with a calculator to make sure we didn't get a card refused and not going out anywhere as we couldn't afford it. We dreaded the children coming home from school wanting money for something.

After a discussion we decided that we had nothing to lose, but were still anxious about admitting our money worries. When we called, the advisor was very friendly and was at no point condescending of the sitiuation we were in. She was extremely reassuring and went through our finances and explained what options may be available to us.

We opted with the advice of DAF to go for a debt management plan, which runs for six years. The advisor explained the downsides to this, such as losing our credit rating, but to be honest we never intend to have credit again.

After speaking to DAF it felt as if a large weight had been lifted off of our shoulders. They organised for our accounts to go through payplan and this was all up and running within one month. Although we don't have loads of available cash now, our quality of living has improved ten fold. We also kept our house, which was our worry if we had to go bankrupt. DAF also advised on bank accounts etc. and insurances.

The downside of the debt management plan was that some of the creditors took a while to accept the agreement and in the mean time we still had quite a few phone calls from one creditor in particular, but other than that we have had no problems with it at all. A much better quality of life has been achieved.

    Anonymous, Warminster


    Submitted: 9th November 2010

Before i rang Debt Advice Foundation, me and my wife were feeling very rundown, stressed out , worried , lack of sleep, affecting family and work life because all we were thinking about was how we were going to survive the next week/months bills. This was a very worrying time for us and looking back now i don't know how we did it. Once we had spoken to someone it gave us a little hope that things could change for us. We can honestly say everyone has been very supportive and understanding towards our position.

    Anonymous, Alfreton


    Submitted: 9th November 2010

DAF were my first point of contact when I was looking for solutions. I found the web site very useful, and those I spoke to over the telephone helpful, polite and understanding.

I am currently with PayPlan, which Debt Advice Foundation put me in touch with, as they do not charge for their Debt Management Plans. I have found them helpful and approachable, and their website and other sources of help and support (finding cheaper household insurance eg) very useful.

The only thing I have found disappointing about the whole debt resolution situation, having now got a debt management plan in place, is that creditors often refuse to deal with the organisation helping you, saying they can only deal with the debtor.

This is not the fault of PayPlan and I imagine it's a similar situation with any other agency who helps people in debt.

Some creditors will agree to a plan then after a short time start hassling the debtor again with letters and telephone calls.

    Krystyna, Wolverhampton


    Submitted: 7th November 2010

I contacted the Debt Advice Foundation after researching Martin Lewis' website.

I found myself in a situation whereby my outgoings started to exceed my incomings and I was relying regularly on my monthly overdraft to live. This was due to various factors, which for personal reasons, I won't go into.

DAF were so supportive and understanding, as I was extremely distressed having never been in this situation before. They drew up a plan for me and that was the starting point and I have never looked back since.

My account is now always in the black, I budget for every single thing. I pay a regular amount to my creditors each month which is affordable to my budget. It has changed my life and has removed my stress and anxiety.

This is the way forward and it has been one of the biggest learning curves in my life, (positively life changing for ever).

Saving is the future NOT credit.

    Anonymous, Northampton