Christians Against Poverty (CAP) logoChristians Against Poverty (www.capuk.org)is a national debt counselling charity working through a network of centres based in local churches. CAP offers hope and a solution to anyone in debt through its unique, in-depth service.

The charity operates through a growing network of UK centres, all opened in partnership with a local church. CAP began in 1996 when John Kirkby, armed with a £10 donation, started to help people in his local community who were trapped in debt.

The charity is now a fast-paced, growing organisation whose vision is to answer the national problem of debt in the UK by having at least one CAP centre operating in every major town and city by the year 2021.

CAP will help anyone regardless of their religious beliefs. CAP aims to ensure that no one receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of race, nationality, religion, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.

Their service is completely free. They do give clients the opportunity to give donations to the charity so that they can help more families. However, this is completely voluntary, so many clients choose not to make a donation and this in no way affects the service that is offered.

CAP are an award-winning charity, recognised within the finance industry, which means that councils, utilities and mortgage companies are happy to work with CAP because they have seen the results of their involvement and know they offer fair repayments based on what clients can afford.

CAP do not pay debts with their own money. They put together a sustainable budget for clients based on their income and living expenses. Any money left over will be divided amongst creditors based on the size of the debt owed to them. These payments will be made by CAP on the clients behalf, but with the clients money money through a CAP account. The CAP Account acts as a simple bank account, into which one easy payment (either weekly, fortnightly or monthly) is made. CAP then uses this money to pay agreed bills and debt repayments to creditors. This means clients can work their way out of debt without feeling pressured. A CAP Account also gives clients the opportunity to save a small amount for emergency expenses and they can make withdrawals when they need to.

To book an initial appointment please call FREE on 0800 328 0006.  Mobile operators may charge for calls to 0800 numbers. If you have inclusive minutes in your mobile phone tariff, please call 01274 760839 to avoid any charge for calls to non-geographic numbers.

To check whether there is a CAP Centre near you go to www.capuk.org/help/needhelp.php and enter your postcode there.

Because CAP visit people in their home, they can only help those who live within a certain distance of a CAP Centre.

STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO HOW CAP HELP

1. HOME VISIT
If you live in a postcode covered by a CAP Centre  phone the freephone number. After you call CAP, a Debt Coach and Support Worker from the local CAP Centre will visit you in your own home.

2. AN EFFECTIVE BUDGET
A realistic budget is then worked out at CAP HQ by prioritising your essential bills, negotiating affordable payments with each creditor and stopping unfair interest and charges where possible. The local Debt Coach will then visit you again to explain the budget and the payments you will need to make.

3. CAP ACCOUNT
A CAP Account is then set up for you. This acts like a simple bank account. You will need to make one weekly or monthly payment into your account to cover all of your bills and debts. CAP will then distribute this on your behalf. You can also make savings in your CAP Account.

4. INSOLVENCY / BANKRUPTCY
If you are in severe debt then we can walk you through insolvency, like petitioning for bankruptcy. We can help you to fill out the forms and even attend court with you.

5. DEBT FREE AND BEYOND
You will use your CAP Account to pay your bills and debt repayments. You will be supported by a team at CAP HQ until you are debt free.

If you do not have a CAP Centre covering your area…

CAP Self Help Pack
It may be that you feel you can handle your situation by yourself, but just aren’t sure where to start. If that is the case, we would suggest you use CAP’s online Self Help pack which includes a budgeting tool, advice and information on different debt situations and sample letters that you can download and adapt to send to your creditors.

Other Organisations
If CAP are not able to help you at this time there are other organisations you may wish to contact:

CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAUX (CAB)
Citizens Advice Bureaux (www.citizensadvice.org.uk) provide free, confidential and independent advice. Use the search facility on their website to find your local CAB.

COMMUNITY MONEY ADVICE
Community Money Advice offer free, confidential advice and you can find out more on their website at www.communitymoneyadvice.com.

STEP CHANGE
Step Change Debt Charity (formerly the Consumer Credit Counselling Service) offer free, confidential advice and they can be contacted on 0800 138 1111, or visit their website www.stepchange.org.

GOV.UK
Public services all in one place. Visit their website at www.gov.uk. An info pack is available for students from Student Finance England, click here to download.

NATIONAL DEBTLINE
National Debtline offer free, confidential advice by phone on 0808 8084000, Email advice@nationaldebtline.co.uk, or look on their website www.nationaldebtline.co.uk.

PAYPLAN
Payplan offer free, confidential debt advice and you can telephone them on 0800 917 7823 or find out more on their website at www.payplan.com.

ADVICE UK
Advice UK is the largest UK network of advice-providing organisations. Visit their website at www.adviceuk.org.uk.

TALK ABOUT DEBT
Talk about debt (www.talkaboutdebt.co.uk) provides access to free debt advice providers and answers many frequently asked questions about debt.

TURN2US
Turn2us (www.turn2us.org.uk) helps people access the money available to them – through welfare benefits, grants and other financial help.

CAP Money Courses

CAP Money are free money management courses teaching budgeting skills and a simple, cash-based system that really works, for people from all walks of life. The course will help anyone to get more in control of their finances, so they can save, give and prevent debt.  CAP Money is run in thousands of locations throughout the UK by churches that partner with Christians Against Poverty. The course will usually run over three consecutive weeks.

During the three sessions you will learn:

  1. How to build and live on a budget. This is the cornerstone of managing your money well. The session includes advice on how to increase your income and how to cut costs.
  2. The CAP Money system. This system will help to simplify your money and make it understandable. It operates using three accounts for your money: a regular payments account, a cash account and a savings account.
  3. How to live from week to week using cash. Living on cash and getting away from cards means you know exactly where you are and helps you to spend less money. It’s statistically proven that you spend 33% less money when paying by cash rather than cards.

By applying these three principles, you will learn how to manage your money, and live your life!

Find a CAP Money course near you at www.capmoney.org

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