Getting started with CAP: your first call

Find out what you’ll need to know before your first call with CAP and whether you’re eligible to access our debt service. 

So you’ve decided to get some help with your debt. Well done! This is the first step to becoming debt free. Now, you’ll need to give us a ring to start your debt free journey.

What to expect during your first call to CAP

When you call CAP for the first time, you’ll speak to one of our friendly and professional New Enquiries team members. They will take your contact details, ask you some questions to see if our service is suitable for you, talk you through the process of what will happen at your first appointment with your Debt Coach, and get you booked in for your first appointment. 

If there are no appointments available at your local Debt Centre, they can signpost you to other organisations that can help.

How to prepare for your first call to CAP

When you ring us for the first time, we’ll ask you some questions to see if our service is suitable for you. We’ll need to know:

  • Whether you live in a mortgaged or rented property, whether you own any other property and whether you live with anyone.

  • If you have a regular income and where it comes from. We’ll ask if you’re employed, claiming benefits or self-employed. 

  • If you have a partner and you live with them, we’ll ask if your partner is willing to work with us too.

  • Whether you are using another organisation to handle any current debts.

  • A rough estimate of your current debts and where they’re from. We’ll need to know if you have any bank debt with your current bank account.

  • Whether you have any accessibility or health needs so we can adjust our service to you.

Am I eligible for help from CAP?

If you live with a partner or spouse, we will need to work with both of you, even if your debts are only in one person’s name. You will need to attend appointments together and both take part in the process. This is because we will help you create a household budget that covers any bills that you both share. We want to see your household become debt free.

If your partner works abroad or your partner has been away for a long period of time due to being hospitalised or imprisoned we will work with you to enable us to progress your debt help. Please give us a call and we can clarify your specific situation.

Note: If you live with people that are not your partner, for example, in a house share or with a lodger, you are exempt from the above. Again, please give us a call and we can clarify for your situation.

Unfortunately, if you are self-employed our debt service will be unsuitable for you, as this is an area of debt advice we do not specialise in. 

If you have been previously self-employed and the business is completely wound down, we will be able to support you on your debt free journey if you meet our other criteria too.

You need to have some form of income for us to be able to create a budget for you. This could include earnings from paid employment, benefits, maintenance or child support, income from lodgers, or a pension. If you’ve not got any income currently but you’re due to get income soon, for example if you’re waiting for a job or benefits to start, we may be able to start you on your debt free journey.

Unfortunately, if you have no income and no income due soon, we won’t be able to help. We’d recommend you use our Benefits Calculator to see if you’re eligible for any benefits and then speak to a professional depending on your circumstances, for example a benefits advisor or immigration advice services.

If you’ve currently got an active IVA, unfortunately we won’t be able to help you at this time. You will need to speak to your insolvency practitioner to get debt help.

If you are unsure about any of the above, enter your postcode below. If we provide debt help in your area, give us a ring on the number provided and we can clarify your eligibility.

Find your local CAP Debt Help

Clare and her son, who were helped by CAP, stood next to one another and smiling

CAP debt help not suitable for you?

Don’t worry, there are other debt help options available. 

Other debt help options