Congratulations — you’ve now had your first appointment over the phone with your local Debt Coach!
The following downloadable document and video will explain everything you need to know about your journey to becoming debt free with CAP.
John: Hi there, my name is John Kirkby, and together with my wife Lizzie, we founded Christians Against Poverty. Firstly, before I say anything else, I want to say well done. Well done for overcoming your fears. Well done for taking the courageous first step of contacting CAP. We are here to help you.
I know some of what you might be feeling right now. About 20 years ago, my life was devastated by debt and the effects of poverty had had on me and my two little girls. It was that experience and realising that there was a hope and a future that led us to start CAP, so that we could help other people who were in the same place.
Hey, you may look at your situation now and think it looks hopeless. But I want to tell you that there is hope and there really is a future. I know this because we help over 13,000 clients, just like you, every single year.
Lorraine: Hadn’t paid my rent. Hadn’t paid my Council Tax. Hadn’t paid my car insurance. I hadn’t pay the dog’s insurance. I hadn’t paid anything, anything at all. Nothing.
Hazel: And the more I tried to get out of it, the deeper into debt I was getting.
Sharon: I said how am I going to get out of this situation?
Reg: We just didn’t know where to turn. I mean, we didn’t know what we were gonna do here. You know, we can’t go on like this.
Maurice: It’s an unreal situation and you run away and you put your head in the sand.
Paula: You might feel like there is no way out of your debt situation. But the truth is that no matter how bad it is, there’s always hope and a solution. At our headquarters here in Bradford, we have around 100 staff who are trained and experienced to deal with your case. They will build a budget and negotiate with creditors on your behalf.
Janice: They were just natural, authentic. They were just real people that were, had the skill to help us.
Sharon: I just felt so warm and I felt like how much they actually cared for me.
Tracey: And it didn’t matter how long or how short of a time, you know, it was going to take that they were going to be there.
Christina: And I started sort of thinking, there may be, there may be light at the end of this tunnel here.
Maurice: I honestly feel it now, there’s just this weight coming off and you think from being lost, in a downward spiral, to seeing a way forward.
Paula: The big thing that you need to do now is to get all of your financial paperwork together. This is things like wage slips, benefits paperwork, demand letters from your creditors, or current bills. Before your Debt Coach leaves today, they will give you a further list of paperwork that you need to get together so that we can start working with you to build a solution that will get you out of debt.
Hazel: We’ll go through all your paperwork, just bring all your paperwork, just give me all the paperwork.
Tracey: That was so liberating. It was just so good to open them, even if it was just to put them to one side.
Sharon: Shop for life bags and big bags, I had three of them, full of letters that’s not even been opened. And yeah, and Carol, Carol and Katherine said ‘don’t worry, we’ll sort through them’.
Lorraine: They just left with it and just like, ‘we’ll sort it all out for you and then we’ll get back to you’. And they just took it and, ‘any mail that comes just keep for me. Just put on the side, keep it we’ll come and get it and we’ll sort it all out’. So it wasn’t my responsibility anymore. I just felt like it had gone. Gone.
Paula: Once you have all of your paperwork together, your Debt Coach will come back for a second visit. They’ll take you through a Fact Find where we collect information that we need about your debts and financial situation. This is all then filled in and sent straight back to our head office in Bradford, where we get to work on your case, build a budget, and look at what options are available for you in your situation.
On the third visit, your Debt Coach will explain what options you have for getting out of debt. If there’s more than one, they’ll tell you the pros and the cons of each and help you make the very best decision. Some of these options may involve setting up a CAP plan for you, which you pay money into, so that we distribute it to your creditors. At the end of the day, though, it’s up to you to decide what you want to do.
Sharon: They gave me all the options. They gave me everything, every inch of the way they was just in contact with me.
Maurice: It was a case of, ‘here are your options. Here’s what we should do. What do you think?’
Janice: And it makes you very, very grateful and very humbled-
Reg: Very humbled, yeah-
Janice: People are doing that to help you.
Paula: As you work your way out of debt, there might be some challenges along the way. If this happens, just remember that we’re on your side whenever you need our help, and that you’re working towards that amazing day when you’ll be debt free.
For example, when we deal with your creditors, you may sometimes find that the amount you owe goes up, but do not worry. This is normally just a temporary thing as we start to negotiate on your behalf, and you should see that debt balance go back down before too long. We work really hard to get interest and charges stopped on your debts wherever it’s possible.
With some options you might choose, there’s a possibility your credit rating could be impacted. Of course, that’s if it hasn’t already been impacted by your debts. This is usually just a side effect of working your way out of debt and our clients generally agree it’s well worth it for the hope of a debt free future.
Once you have your budget and have decided on your option for getting out of debt, then we have teams here who will stick with you to help you become debt free. The thousands of clients we’ve already helped tells us that this takes away a massive amount of the stress that they were dealing with before they came to CAP.
Hazel: If you get any phone calls, tell them CAP’s dealing with it. I wasn’t bothered with anybody again. And the relief, that was just wonderful.
Paula: So what we need you to do is to play your part too. If you’ve arranged to pay into a CAP Plan, we need you to do that every month on the date you’ve agreed with us. And if there’s ever a reason why you can’t do that, please always let us know.
If you choose an insolvency option, such as bankruptcy, or sequestration in Scotland, then it’s really important you send us all the information that we ask, so that we can move forward with your case and sort out your debts. But whatever you choose, you need to answer our phone calls, read the letters we send, and respond promptly within the timeframe required.
Hazel: They’ll not pay anybody, that is down to you. But what they will do is they’ll negotiate with your creditors and work out a payment plan.
Maurice: All you have to do is be honest, tell the truth, invest your time, work with CAP, and they will work with you.
Paula: If you prefer to maintain control of your finances independently of CAP, then you can do this. The Independent Option is a route available for those who wish to make their repayments and deal with their creditors directly themselves. You won’t get a full CAP Plan, but you will be provided with a bespoke budget and advice on your next steps on how to best sort out your debts going forward.
If you do your bit, then we’ll do our bit and working together, we can absolutely be a winning team. Over 200 people go debt free every single month through CAP, and here at head office, we make a point of celebrating as we see our clients become debt free and know they have a hopeful future ahead of them.
I would really love it if you were one of those people who we get to phone and say ‘great news, you’re debt free!’
Sharon: Got a phone call to say like, ‘you’re now debt free’. And it was so amazing when you hear the bells ringing. Oh, and everybody cheering in the background going yay!
Tracey: I’m debt free! And I’m running around, you know, jumping around my flat going ‘yay’!
Lorraine: He was more excited than I was as well. We were both like, on the phone, going yay! It was such a relief.
Christina: When you’ve not got the debt, you’ve not got the worry. You’ve not got the tenseness. It’s just… really it was like, unzip myself, and that’s the old Christina there and this is the new Christina here, because, I’m just not that person anymore.
Maurice: There is a way forward. There is a way out. Don’t put your head in the sand. Just try. You’ve got nothing to lose.