debt advice

Debt is something that has the potential to affect us all, leaving us feeling guilty and ashamed of getting into financial difficulty. Here, we look at how we can help you take more of an informed and proactive approach to managing debt.

Keep reading for guidance on a range of topics, including how to improve your credit score, how debt impacts your ICAEW membership, debt indicators to watch out for, plus more…

how we can help you with debt

  • free confidential debt advice
  • we'll help you work out a budget and maximise your income
  • we'll work with you to come up with a managable plan to tackle debt
  • we'll negotiate with your personal creditors on your behalf
  • we'll support you, for as long as you need us to

We're here to listen. We know being in debt can be a deeply personal matter, that's often difficult to talk about. Our friendly and non-judgmental debt advisers will give you the time and space to share your worries.

your debt advice questions answered

What happens when I contact caba?

One of our team will have a chat with you about your situation. They'll listen to you, and they may be able to identify other ways in which we can support you alongside our debt advice services. One of our debt advisers will then be allocated to you as your support officer, and they'll be your main point of contact at caba.

Your support officer will explore your financial situation in depth with you. They'll ask you to provide details of your monthly household income and expenditure, as well as your debts. You may find it helpful to begin preparing this information ahead of time.

Once you've shared this, your support officer will identify any ways in which you can increase your income, such as claiming state benefits you may be entitled to, and reduce your expenditure, such as switching energy tarriff or ensuring your tax code is correct.

Together you'll assess your options for tackling your debts, and choose a course of action that's right for you. Your support officer will support and advise you as you begin to address your debts.

How confidential is caba? Do you report members to the ICAEW?

Everything you tell us is kept in the strictest of confidence. We don't share your personal information with any third parties, and that includes ICAEW. caba is a separate organisation from ICAEW and is an independent charity with its own board of trustees. We do not have a duty to report anything to ICAEW.

Will being in debt affect my ICAEW membership?

You can find our guide on the implications of debt on institute membership here. Our debt advisers will help you weigh up the pros and cons of each option and empower you to make a plan that's right for you. Your ICAEW membership status has no impact on your support from caba, as we support both current and former ICAEW members.

Can I access debt advice outside of the UK?

Our debt advice service is only able to advise on debt in England and Wales. If you are outside of the UK and worried about debt, we'd still encourage you to get in touch. There may be other ways in which we can assist you.

not got the answer to your question?

“ I thought that my situation was so bad caba wouldn't be able to help much. They allocated me a Support Officer, and after listening to everything he offered to help me prioritise the debt and said he could negotiate with the creditors on my behalf. I was over the moon that someone was actually going to help me bear the weight of responsibility. ”


caba client


why you should speak to us about your money worries

In this article, senior support officer, Paul Day, our debt expert for almost ten years, explains the reasons why you should reach out to caba if you are experiencing financial issues.

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debt: warning signs & what to do

Debt can easily creep up on us. Here, we reveal the early warning signs to watch out for. We also explain how our dedicated debt service can help you proactively tackle your debt, as well as share best practice advice on getting to grips with your financial issues.

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implications of debt on institute membership

Being in debt can have a knock-on effect on many of areas of your life, including your ICAEW membership. Here, Nigel Howell, Head of Investigations at the ICAEW explains the impact escalating debt problems can have on ICAEW memberships.

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how to improve your credit score

What’s your credit score? Is it good or is it in need of improvement? We explain all you need to know about credit ratings, including the impact they can have on your financial footprint, as well as 10 practical measures for improving them.

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should you enter into an IVA?

What are Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs)? How do they work? How can you tell if you need one? Which debts can you pay off with them? Does having one mean you’ll lose your ICAEW membership? We answer all of these questions, and more, right here…

caba debt advisor, Paul Day

debt awareness week 2022: caba debt advisor Q&A

This Debt Awareness Week, we’re lifting the lid on debt with the help of one of our specialist debt advisors, Paul Day, who has been providing debt advice for almost 10 years.

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your questions answered 

Who is eligible for support?

We support past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW)1, ACA students2, ICAEW staff members3, and the family and carers of members and students4

  1. No matter where your career takes you, past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England Wales (ICAEW) are eligible for caba’s services for life, even if you change your career and leave accountancy 
  2. ACA students (ICAEW Provisional Members) who are either an active student or have been an active student within the last three years are eligible for caba's services 
  3. Past and present staff members of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's services for life, even if you leave either organisation. Please note, for former employees, our financial support is only available to those who have had five years continuous employment with either organisation 
  4. Family members and carers of either an eligible past or present ICAEW member, ACA student or past or present employee of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's support. We define a family member as a: 
    1. spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner 
    2. widow, widower or surviving civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    3. divorced spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    4. child aged up to 25. Please note, children aged between 16 and 25 are not eligible for individual financial support 
    5. any other person who is or was dependent on the eligible individual supporting them financially or are reliant on the eligible individual’s care 
    6. any other person on whom the eligible individual is reliant, either financially or for care 

You can find out more about our available support both in the UK and around the world on our support we offer  page. 

Are your services means-tested?

If you need financial support, we carry out a means test where we consider income, expenditure, capital and assets.  

*Please note none of our other services are means-tested. 

I’m an accountant, but not a member of ICAEW, can you still help?

Unfortunately not. We only support past and present ICAEW members, their carers and their families. If we are unable to support you, where possible we will point you to help elsewhere.

caba has supported me in the past; can I receive support from caba again?

We understand that circumstances change. If we’ve helped you in the past there’s no reason why we can’t help you again. You can contact us at any time. Please call us if you need our help.

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