CCCS/Stepchange - www.cccs.co.uk

CCCS/Stepchange

CCCS or Consumer Credit Counselling Service to give it it's full name, today is known as StepChange. It's a popular UK debt charity which has been around since 1993 and provides valuable, free, impartial and confidential debt advice.

What's impresssive about StepChange is that they use an independent review service called ReviewCentre which is real people rating the service that Stepchange provides. In June 2013, their average rating was 4.9 out of 5 which says a lot about the quality of advice provided and the trust people place in them.

They maintain that because they've specialised in debt for such a long period of time clients of theirs can be sure that they’ll provide impartial debt advice and the right practical solution for each individual. A useful service is that where a repayment plan has been set up, they provide aftercare and support through dedicated, what they refer to as 'guidance teams', so you're not left to your own devices. 

 

CCCS Reviews

There are lots of different variations of search terms used to find what was the CCCS and is now StepChange. Here's just a few: 'consumer credit council', 'consumer credit counseling', 'consumer credit counseling service'. If you have contacted or are currently using StepChange to help you manage your debts, please take the time to create a StepChange review using the button below. Sharing your experience with others helps them to decide who is best to help with their own particular problem.

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Average Rating:
3
Rated 3/5 based on 21 customer reviews.

What others have said

Please remember that these reviews are the opinions of people visiting our site and so can be very different from our own views.

I have been with the cccs for 3 months now, they have been very helpful
Reviewed by:
Rating:
0

Would reviewer recommend this organisation? Yes
I have been with the cccs for 3 months now, they have been very helpful to me everytime iv phone or e-mailed them, (and that has been a lot), as i am still a new customer i am still getting phone calls and letters from my creditors, which are very frightning, i am a single parent and have always managed to pay my own way, but one silly mistake and i found myself in financial difficulty, the only thing that keeps me going is the fact my kids depend on me, if it wasnt for them of the cccs i dont think i would be here today to tell the tale, the amount of pressure you get from creditors, who say they would like to help is horific, one of my creditors which i would love to name but best not, phone me up to 10 times a day, other wont accept the cccs offer and send threatning letters, cccs have told me it will calm down once the regular payments have been received, i just wish the creditors would take a minute to think about the individual and not just the number you become to them. I am trying to pay off my debts, it may take a bit longer than expected but they will get their money back. they right off large amounts every year, so why be so harsh with the people that are trying to pay back what the owe! I am glad that there is always an understanding ear at the end of the phone to talk to, and to take some of the fear away, if there wasnt that help as i said earlier i dont think i would be here. Thanks to all staff at the cccs, and keep up the good work
In reply to the reviews. I have worked for the CCCS for 4 years now. I h
Reviewed by:
Rating:
5

Would reviewer recommend this organisation? Yes
In reply to the reviews. I have worked for the CCCS for 4 years now. I have never worked anywhere before where their sole purpose is to do whats best for their clients whilst also being impartial and trying to be fair towards the creditors. CCCS do not just 'throw' people from a DMP due to a change in circumstances. They maybe removed from a plan for various reasons. Most common being missed payments. Four missed payments in 12 months. The success of a plan requires regular payments otherwise the creditors do not believe the clients to be serious and will not keep the plan in place. They may also be removed if we suggest other alternatives such as IVA, Bankruptcy or the selling of a property to repay outstanding balances. Most creditors will not accept a debt management plan if the client has a property that will clear the debts or if the equity will clear them and this just leads the creditors into applying for charging orders one by one or even petitioning for the clients bankrupcy. CCCS do not 'work for' or been 'set up' by credit card companies, the creditors simply pay the charity a percentage for recovering payments as most other methods do not work well and the creditors do not like to work with fee based debt management as they believe if the client is in a position to pay a fee they are in a position to pay higher payments to their creditors. NO DEBT MANAGEMENT COMPANY CAN FREEZE INTEREST OR CHARGES. Don't expect them to. The credit agreement signed says the client is willing to pay them on default, it is a law binding agreement. Its the creditors who decide whether or not to freeze interest. The budget set is set to guidelines that the creditors will find acceptable and generally speaking cannot be waved. Creditors ring on a daily basis saying the budget is too generous. Always remember they are free service and are there to help when a client gets themselves into financial difficulties.
In May 2010, we contacted the CCCS re our situation and debts. By July
Reviewed by:
Rating:
0

Would reviewer recommend this organisation? Yes
In May 2010, we contacted the CCCS re our situation and debts. By July 2010, a token payment arrangement was set up, giving us six months in which to think about what we wanted to do long-term re our debts. Each creditor was dealt with accordingly by the CCCS staff members, and in February 2011 our case was transferred over to an IVA practitiioner, who pays CCCS for their assistance. The IVA monthly payments are shared between the IVA practitioner, creditors and CCCS over a 5 year period, meaning that the creditors will get something as opposed to nothing (i.e. bankruptcy). We had no nasty letters from our creditors and no bailiffs turned up on our door - this is because they were dealt with properly in the first instance by CCCS. Our creditors were actually pleased that we had contacted CCCS with a view to sorting out the situation. Creditors like proactive behaviour in their customers. We were not afraid to telephone them to update them, or email CCCS to ask them to write to them. In fact, we chased the creditors with emails, letters and phonecalls as opposed to the other way around. We consider ourselves fortunate: we were told verbally and in writing what we can do, what CCCS can / would do, etc, before actually doing anything. I am amazed to hear that people have had bad experiences with CCCS.
CCCS continue to support my family through these difflecult times broug
Reviewed by:
Rating:
0

Would reviewer recommend this organisation? Yes
CCCS continue to support my family through these difflecult times brought about by the financial crash and housing collapse,both outwith our control,which with the vast reduction of our saleries again outwith our control,has meant we are longer able to manage our debt, as was the case before the recession.The advice given by the CCCS has been of tremendous help in fighting off those debt companies more than willing to drive people to suicide by their continuing telephone calls and threats to pay what we can not afford.The government need to step up to the mark to stop debt companies being able to frighten people half to death with their continuing telephone calls and letters,especially having reached an agreed monthly payment discussed with the them and the CCCS.The CCCS should be commened.
The best debt management help organisation out there. I had debts totall
Reviewed by:
Rating:
5

Would reviewer recommend this organisation? Yes
The best debt management help organisation out there. I had debts totalling £41K and spoke with CCCS who were recommended by a friend. They were very helpful, set up my plan immediatley and I have now only 2 years 10 months to go until I am debt free. The credit companies try to help you as they realise that you are trying to pay your debt off rather than write it off and as a result, I get charged an extremely low rate of interest if any at all. I get regular statements from both the credit companies and also the CCCS. I even had to have a few months break as suddenly was diagnosed with Cancer and could not work (did not get paid) I called CCCS explained, sent doctors notes and they took care of eveything with my creditors. I also had to have an amount sent back to my account on one occasion when my car needed an emergency repair, the response I got on the phone from one of the staff, was no problem, we will do that straight away for you. I do not know where I would be now if it was not for CCCS, but now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and can start planning for the debt free future.
The best decision that I have made in a long time was to phone the CCCS
Reviewed by:
Rating:
5

Would reviewer recommend this organisation? Yes
The best decision that I have made in a long time was to phone the CCCS and discuss my debt problem. Having very nearly paid a debt management company to set up a DMP for me I was pointed in the direction of the CCCS (who do not charge a penny for their service) and within an hour I felt a million times mor epositive about my debt problem and felt reassured that there was a way out of a desperate situation. I have only been on the DMP for the last two months but I am already feeling in much better control of my debt. Whenever I have a query about the DMP or if I am concerned in any way about contact from a creditor, the CCCS respond rapidly, they are reassuring and in no way whatsoever judgemental. I have now persuaded my father to set up a DMP through the CCCS and I would have no hesiation to recommend them to anyway who is struggling to repay their debts. The very fact of having a budget to live on has meant that I can pay my priority debts first, then worry about the unsecured debt afterwards. I must admit, I was worried about admitting to have taken out some payday loans, but I have been honest and open with the CCCS and they have supported me and sympathised with me every step of the way. For those of you who are struggling to repay your debts, there is no need to panic - the CCCS are there to help you and will do what they can to help you put yourself back in control of your spending. Thank you so much everyone at CCCS - you saved my life!
Understanding company
Reviewed by:
Rating:
5

Would reviewer recommend this organisation? Yes
Understanding company
Yes Debt Management Plans are a less drastic course of action then an IV
Reviewed by:
Rating:
1

Would reviewer recommend this organisation? No
Yes Debt Management Plans are a less drastic course of action then an IVA or bankruptcy but people be EXTREMELY careful. CCCS have been very helpful and have helped relieve a lot of initial worry caused by having £90k of debt however, having been on the DMP with them since October 2010 I've come to realise that the majority of our creditors have not and will not freeze the interest despite being assured that they would by CCCS. NB - with a DMP they do not have to. Our two biggest creditors are amongst these which is causing the problem. The net effect is that our debts just aren't going down by anything close to what they should be and we will not be anywhere near debt free in the 5 year time scale planned. We will end up paying a lot more back then we thought and we're effectively spreading the debt out over a longer time frame and increasing it. I also discovered recently that the friendly Debt Management Plan advisors are allegedly funded by the lenders as it's in their best interest to squeeze as much out of us as possible. So, based on that and the state of our interest charges, I wish now we'd gone for an IVA. I'm saying no to the recommendation but based on the DMP itself and not CCCS.
i have nothing but admiration for this organisation.they helped me when
Reviewed by:
Rating:
5

Would reviewer recommend this organisation? Yes
i have nothing but admiration for this organisation.they helped me when i needed them. i have paid them every month for three years and have never had any problem with the creditors. the advisors are helpful and the service is free so what more could you ask. i am hoping to be debt free in a couple of years and i could not have done it without them.
CCCS offered me a DMP for my 7 creditors promising to reduce the debt to
Reviewed by:
Rating:
0

Would reviewer recommend this organisation? No
CCCS offered me a DMP for my 7 creditors promising to reduce the debt to nothing within approx 36 months. However, one of my creditors is very particular about their required payment date and CCCS can only pay on the same date each month. Basically every month, I get 4 letters from the creditor and dozens of phonecalls telling me that payment has not been received on time. They add £12.00 per month late fee to my debt and after 24 months my debt with this creditor is higher than when we started. I have been telling CCCS this since we started out but they are not interested, all they keep saying is that they cannot change their pay date and my creditor will have to change their due by date. I want to drop this creditor from my DMP and pay them direct to stop all the charges but CCCS won't allow this. They are supposed to be helping me reduce my debts but are in fact increasing one of them. May have to drop out of the DMP altogether and pay all 7 creditors their remaining balances direct. Such a shame because the other 6 are working really well and are reducing quickly. All this because CCCS are stubborn and won't allow change to the part of the DMP that isn't working.