understanding UK benefits
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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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Debt can impact us all. It can easily creep up on us too. Before you know it, what was a manageable financial situation has spiralled out of control. You’re struggling to sleep; you can’t stop worrying and you feel ashamed and guilty about the situation you’re now in.
The positive news is there are decisions you can take and measures you can implement that can help set you on the right path to tackling your debt. In order to do this, you must:
The first step in tackling your financial difficulties is being honest with yourself. This involves asking some straightforward, but potentially difficult, questions, including:
While having a more clear understanding of your financial issues is a key step towards assessing the scale of your problems, it can also make your situation feel incredibly daunting. However, there are certain tell-tale signs that can help alert you to the situation. Recognising any of the following signs early on, can potentially enable you to tackle your financial issues sooner.
The main debt indicators to watch out for:
It can be easy to lose track of how much you owe when you have multiple debts. But knowing exactly how much you owe is pivotal to addressing your financial issues. Plus, once you know the full extent of your debt, you can properly budget for it.
You can easily find out what you owe by checking your credit file, which takes just a matter of minutes. It’s also something you can do for free too. For more on your credit score and how to improve it, read this article.
caba are here to support you if you are an ACA student, an existing or former ICAEW member or a close family dependent. Whatever your financial worries, big or small, you’re not alone. We’ll support you so you can access the best options.
We’ll listen and offer advice and guidance in a safe and supportive environment. And if we aren’t able to help you ourselves, we’ll point you in the right direction to one of our partner organisations who can. Either way, we simply want you to access the best options quickly and easily so you can carry on.
As an independent charity, we don’t disclose any of the information you share with us to the ICAEW or your employer.
Everybody’s circumstances are different, but generally speaking, we:
Tackling debt is achievable, especially if you have a clear strategy for dealing with it. There are numerous proactive measures you can take, including:
Like many chartered accountants established in their career, I'm a contractor. That means when I'm not working, I don't earn anything. Normally I would have built up a bit of a surplus, but it was the start of the recession so our finances were stretched anyway. I wasn't getting as many jobs as usual, which, as the sole bread-winner in our house was quite worrying. We have 4 school-age children and it costs a fair bit just to keep our household ticking along.
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 and provide you with free, confidential guidance and support.
We support past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and the family and carers of members and students.
You can find out more about our available support both in the UK and around the world on our support we offer page.
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.