Debt is quickly becoming the curse of modern living. Not only is life becoming expensive in the western world, the pressures of fashion and status require many of us to spend money on things that we feel we should have, rather than things that we actually need. Upgrading the car, building an extension, the right school for the children, the flash holiday, all concepts alien to the “make do and mend” philosophy of our grandparents generation but all facts of life today. And as debts spiral upwards the fall out can be, strained relationships, stress, illness and even suicide, such is the trap that we all too easily build for ourselves. For a number of years I have been carrying around with me a bunch of debts that had accumulated over a number of years, nothing major or life altering but enough just to take the edge off life, cause the occasional worry and be responsible for a tight week just prior to payday, we all can relate to that one. Just over a year ago I decided it was time to get all these repayments into one place so that I had just one payment to worry about each month and also so it was easier to see who much headway I was making into knocking the debt down to size. With this in mind I made a few on-line applications for loans and waited for the call centres to spring into action.
Amongst the normal range of loan offers one company stood out from the rest, not because their offer was better, cheaper or came with a years supply of chocolate biscuits but because they were completely honest about my situation. This company was Church Wood Finance. Whilst the competition was falling over itself to give me a bigger loan which in some ironic way was going to make my life financially more secure Church Wood were different. In a very “Chris Tarrant, I don’t want to give you that” sort of way, they said that they were not prepared to lend me any money at all. Instead they offered me a managed repayment scheme. I hadn’t thought of that. Instead of moving the debt around they would take care of all of the nasty stuff like dealing with the various companies that I was beholden to and I just pay the money to them every month. That, I thought, had to be the way forward.
So how does it work? Basically you send in evidence of how much you owe to Church Wood, in the form of credit card statements and loan repayments. This is then totalled into a monthly payment based on the minimum payments required by the creditors. Beyond this minimum amount you are free to pay as much or as little extra as you like depending on what you feel you can afford. This obviously has a bearing on how many monthly repayments you have to make, but that is to be expected and the same as if you were arranging a loan. Once you have agreed a level of repayment that both suits your needs and meets the desired repayment level the company then begin to work for you in a way that a loan wouldn’t. After a few payments are under your belt, normally three, then debt repayment companies have a position, backed up by finance law that enables them to arrange for the interest that would normally be charged on your repayments, to be removed. That means that from then on you are just repaying the actual debt and not the large chunks of interest that make all of the difference.
So once you are up and running and Church Wood are looking after things what then? Well nothing, if that’s all you need from them then the job is done, you receive a monthly statement from them detailing how they have carved up your repayments to meet the demands of your debt but unless you need to change anything then that’s about it. If, however, you do need to change anything it couldn’t be easier. If you wish to increase or decrease your monthly payment, or you want another debt to be incorporated, then a quick telephone call will set things in motion.
Setting things up required a couple of telephone calls in the initial period, the submittal of any relevant statements (pre-paid envelopes are provided) and a couple of pages of simple forms, similar to, and no more complex than the credit card application form that took you down this route in the first place. Any further contact can be easily done through their free phone line and there seems to be people to help from 8am to 8pm and even Saturday morning for certain emergency calls. Assistants all seem knowledgeable and friendly and even though you are assigned a specific account manager, most issues are normally sorted with the first point of contact.
There must be a down side to this. Well not really, they do take an initial payment from your first month and then a small percentage from each monthly repayment, but the savings more than makes this up for that as a large company they can negotiate for you. Are you tied down to a contract? No, as they take their payments month by month you are always up to date with their running costs which means that once you feel that your repayments are at a level that you want to take control again, you can terminate their services. At the end of the day you are paying for peace of mind and having all of the hassle of dealing with the faceless corporate powers that can often intimidate the likes of you and me. The advantage of using a company like Church Wood is that they have the clout and the knowledge of their field to get the best repayment deal for you.
I have kept the facts and figure side of things deliberately vague as everyone’s requirements are different but a quick look at their website at
Will show you that they can help with all sorts of situations regardless of the specific level of debt involved. If like me you can’t be bothered with the hassle of dealing with all the individual companies and want an easy option not to mention a saving when compared to trying to juggle things yourselves then this company may just be your way forward, think about it, make the call and then never think about it again.