Coping with debt: Business Debtline

Business Debtline is a debt advice service run by the Money Advice Trust.

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Coping with debt: Business Debtline

One of the most difficult times as a business owner is seeing your cash flow dissolve, and debt accumulate, with, seemingly, no light at the end of the tunnel. Even if things look bleak at a certain point in time, by speaking to an expert business debtline adviser, you can formulate a plan, that might be the difference between saving your business and facing bankruptcy down the line. There is help out there though and one place you can check out is the Business Debtline.

What is the Business Debtline?

The Business Debtline is a free debt advice service run by the government. It functions as a charity offering struggling businesses free and independent debt advice via phone and online. Debtline is a debt advisory service for businesses that operate in England and Wales. Bear in mind that the Business Debtline will never cold call you or pass on your personal information to a third party, for example, HMRC. The trained staff act to support business owners in times of trouble with emotional support and with practical tips on how to improve the financial situation of their business without incurring further debt. You can find out more information about dealing with your debts on their homepage.

Four steps to deal with your debt

The most important thing to do when trying to make sense of your debt situation is to chat live to an expert on the Business Debtline. Followed by the following four basic steps:

  • Increase your income

  • Work out your budget

  • Deal with priority debts

  • Deal with non-priority debts

Remember that all calls to the Business Debtline are free from UK landlines. If you do not speak English, it may take a couple of minutes longer to get an interpreter on the phone, who will translate what you and the advisor are saying to each other. They also have a link to a separate website titled: advice in Northern Ireland, for individuals based in Northern Ireland.

Question chat live

If you are more comfortable texting, you can use the web chat feature on the website. The service is open to all business owners in the UK or individuals who are finding it difficult to repay their debt, which can have a detrimental effect on your mental health — feeling trapped by outstanding debt. Taking the first step to talk to somebody can have a positive impact.

Why not use their search function to find information that is directly related to your particular situation? This can be located in the Fact Sheet section. If you search for ‘bailiff’, for example, you can read an article about bailiff complaints and what you can do if you have a complaint or a dispute with a private bailiff. The fact sheet section provides advice and useful information across a range of debt issues. If you want to read up on a specific topic, perhaps before speaking in more detail to an agent. 

Business Debtline is a debt advice service run by the Money Advice Trust — a national charity, that helps people across the UK to tackle their debts and manage their money.

The Business Debtline is the UK’s only free debt advice service for self-employed individuals and small business owners. 

You can find out more by visiting businessdebtline.org, or reading the Government’s guidance on business debt and bankruptcy.

Please note: Funding Options does not offer debt advice.

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