A new interactive online tool, My Money Steps, is being launched today by debt advice charity the Money Advice Trust to help the growing numbers of UK consumers struggling with their finances.
Developed in partnership with Barclaycard, the My Money Steps tool provides personalised advice based on the answers to a series of questions. Solutions are tailored to individual need and circumstances and the website provides action plans and email reminders.
It also stores details securely, so that users can go back for ongoing help without having to load in all their information each time. People who are in situations which are too complex for My Money Steps will be directed to sources of one-to-one advice.
Demand for debt advice almost doubles
Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, said: ‘During the recession we saw demand for advice at National Debtline – run by the Money Advice Trust – almost double, so we needed to find other ways of giving advice. As people become more internet-savvy, banking and shopping online, it’s important that we enable them to get advice in a way that suits them best, too.
‘Your financial situation can change week by week, making it difficult to manage budgets and priority repayments. My Money Steps helps you to stay on top of changing circumstances and allows you to track your progress and develop good financial habits in the longer-term – in short, simple steps to a debt free future.’
Damian Hinds MP, of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Debt and Personal Finance, added: ‘Providing advice and guidance online for people struggling with their finances can go a long way towards reducing the cost of unmanageable personal debt. My Money Steps is going to be a very valuable tool in this.’
A practical and comprehensive source of debt help
Which? borrowing and debt expert Martyn Saville commented: ‘I’d heartily recommend that anyone struggling with their finances try out this excellent new interactive tool from the Money Advice Trust. Picking up the phone and speaking directly to a debt advice charity can be daunting for some consumers, so this website fills the gap perfectly.
‘The tool identifies practical actions that people can take to get their debt under control, prioritises the tasks you need to complete and provides further sources of help.
‘Of course, if you’d prefer to receive advice over the phone or face to face, this is still possible. CCCS, National Debtline, Payplan and Citizens Advice all offer independent, impartial advice that is free to the consumer. Whatever you decide, don’t contact a commercial debt management or IVA company – why pay for a service that is available better and free elsewhere?’
Which? debt advice
If you need help with tackling problem debts, read the Which? How to deal with debt advice guide.
Have you received shoddy service from a commercial debt management company? Email the Which? Money team with your experiences.
Which? Money when you need it
You can follow @WhichMoney on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our Best Rates and Recommended Provider product and service reviews.
Sign up for the latest money news, best rates and recommended providers in your newsletter every Friday.
Or for money-saving tips, and news of how what’s going on in the world of finance affects you, join Melanie Dowding and James Daley for the Which? Money weekly money podcast
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. And to find out how we work for you on money issues, visit our personal finance campaigns pages.