When you've become overwhelmed by the amount of debt you find yourself in, it may be time to consult a credit counselling agency. Credit counselling is advice from a previously uninvolved party on how to relieve your unmanageable debt and on how to avoid a repeat of your current situation. Credit counselling organisations usually advise you on managing money and debts, budget creation, and where to find educational resources, and they can also work out a debt management plan (DMP) with your creditors.
Many credit counselling organisations are non-profit which, however, does not necessarily mean that their services are free. Always ask upfront what the fees are and get this information and agreement in writing. There is also charity based credit counselling, such as the registered Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS). The CCCS has extensive online information about themselves and many facets of credit counselling. They also have a handy glossary of terms related to debt and credit counselling, to keep you from confusion at this stressful time. It is also wise to check the background of any credit counselling service you are interested in before divulging your personal information.
You should ask the following questions: What services are available to me? What educational resources do you offer? Will you help me come up with a short- and long-term financial plan? What are your fees and how are they set-up to be paid? Is there a written contract? Are you registered or licensed and by whom? Do you have references? How are your counsellors accredited? What are your privacy policies? Do your employers get commission?