Fee or Free? The role of fee-charging debt advice companies in money advice provisionAuthors: Claire Whyley, Sharon Collard
Funded by: Federation of Independent Advice Centres (FiAC)
Published by: Federation of Independent Advice Centres (FiAC)
Publication date: October 1999
The hangover from the recession in the early 1990s gave birth to a whole new industry of companies helping people to negotiate with their creditors, but who charge a fee for doing so. But are these companies simply cashing-in on other people’s financial misery? Or are they offering a service that their customers value? This research suggests that the truth lies somewhere between these two extremes.
The report outlines the range of companies that provide debt advice for a fee, and the services that they provide. It also explores the views and experiences of the clients of some of these companies. It concludes that these companies are part of an increasingly mixed economy of advice provision for people with financial difficulties and debt problems.