Advice Works Cheltenham



Training and consultancy in money, debt and benefits advice.
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Bite size success stories

Young women suffers stroke

34 year old Ms G suffered a stroke and was not well enough to work for a lengthy period. Her sick pay gradually reduced leaving expenditure higher than income.

With our help she arranged token payments of £5 pm on her RBS professional studies loan (contractual payments had been £340 pm!) She also changed to a basic bank account to help take control of budgeting and saved £600 per year by purchasing a prescriptions pre-payment certificate. She's now successfully pursuing a phased return to work programme

Widow has unaffordable debt written off

70 year old Mrs B with long term mental health problems was about to move from her housing association property into a care home due to her increasing level of disability. She had a historic debt to Barclays of £6,000 being collected by a debt collection agency at £50 pm. The debt was actually being paid by a friend (who had no responsibility for the debt whatsoever) in an attempt to help Mrs B with her financial difficulties.

We wrote to the debt collection agency using the Money Advice Liaison Group/ Royal College of Psychiatrists Debt & Mental Health Evidence Form and they agreed to our request to write off the debt.

Two incomes down to one means mortgage
and credit problems

Mr A, a 42 year old senior manager for a large company developed mental health problems and became long term sick due to his illness. Although his wife was in full-time employment, a big mortgage and credit debts of £65,000 became unaffordable on one income.

We worked out a sustainable family budget, maximised income by advising them to restart their Child Benefit claim and guided the couple to a fee-free debt management plan provider who set up and affordable DMP at £450 pm. We also helped deal with their mortgage lender to gradually clear two months mortgage arrears.

Pensioner getting into debt to due benefit error

67 year old Mrs P was in receipt of state pension and a very small NHS occupational pension. We looked at her Pension Credit claim and discovered that she wasn't getting help with her mortgage interest as the law allows. We helped her with a letter to DWP which resulted in ongoing help towards her mortgage of £210 pm and a backdated payment of over £3,200. She used this windfall to clear two expensive credit cards. She also switched her electricity and gas pre-payment meters to payment by direct debit so saving £70 per year.

Bankruptcy is sometimes the best option

Long term ill health meant Mr S eventually lost his job. £30,000 of debts in loans and credit cards became totally unmanageable when his income had reduced to £67 pw Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) plus Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

Having done an internet search for "debt help" he received poor advice from other sources before we suggested bankruptcy as an option. We also signposted him to for a "second opinion". With a new found confidence he petitioned in bankruptcy which left him debt free after twelve months. He has since returned to work in a new post.




Woman suffers financial fall-out from
abusive relationship

Ms F had two bank loans totalling £22,000, both now in arrears, as a result of the financial fall-out from a physically and financially abusive relationship which had recently ended. Bailiffs had also been knocking on the door in relation to council tax arrears and she had unpaid water rates and essential professional subscriptions.

With our advice Ms F successfully arranged reduced, affordable, pro rata payments on her banks loans. She set up a direct debit to repay council tax arrears over twelve months so the council called off the bailiffs. She also made regular payments to gradually clear her water rates bill and professional subscriptions. One of the banks were continuing to debit unaffordable loan payments from her current account, worsening her debt problems; she, therefore, arranged for her salary to be credited to a new basic bank account allowing her to budget properly and make fair payments to both banks.

£7,000 per year extra benefit income

44 year old Ms K was unable to continue working due to both physical and mental health problems. We encouraged her to appeal against being turned down for Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) and signposted her to local welfare benefits advice for help. The appeal was successful and she claimed Disability Living Allowance (DLA), on our advice, resulting in £2,500 in backdated benefit and ongoing additional income of £7,000 per year.

Please note – These case studies have been anonymised and are composites from a number of cases. They are shown for illustrative purposes only.