What Happens When You Seek Advice from an EMMA Partner Organisation

Posted on by Matthew

Finding Us

The East Midlands Money Advice Partnership is a network of organisations offering free, impartial and expert advice to people who need it. We’re funded by the Money Advice Service, which means the advice we give is of a high quality.

You can normally contact our partners by phone, at their offices or online. There are EMMA partner organisations across the East Midlands, covering Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland. You can find a service in your area and how to contact them here or have a look at our interactive map.

If you’re facing a debt emergency, such as court action, bailiff action, disconnection or eviction for mortgage or rent arrears, seek free advice immediately. You can find the details of our partners in the East Midlands on this website and there is also an extensive list of places to find advice on the Money Advice Service Website – https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/debt-advice-locator



Speaking to us for the first time

Whether you contact one of our partners online, on the phone or via the internet, there is a good chance you’ll speak to an assessor or someone working on reception. This person may be a volunteer.

You’ll be asked to give some of your details so that the person dealing with you can find out if you have a debt issue or not.

If you have a debt issue, the next thing that will happen is likely to be an assessment. We call this a Common Initial Assessment. In order to carry out the assessment, you’ll be asked to give some information about yourself and your circumstances. This information is important to help us understand what kind of support you might need, and how best we can give you this support. If you’re worried about sharing personal information, you can ask the person helping you why they need the information and you can ask to see the organisation’s privacy policy.

After the Common Initial Assessment, we might suggest you can receive help in a number of different ways. We mostly offer advice face-to-face, but here are some of the ways you can get advice:

Get help online or on the telephone

Getting advice online or on the telephone might be the best thing for you. You can do this by:


Speaking to an Adviser

A debt adviser won’t judge you or make you feel bad, they’ll be able to help you with big or small debt issues, and they’ll help you to find ways to manage your debts. Advisers in the EMMA partnership have their work assessed regularly to ensure it is of a high standard.

There are different stages an adviser will normally go through with you:

Information Gathering

A debt adviser will need to gather information to make a thorough assessment of your situation. They will ask for information about your debts, your housing and family situation and what income and assets you have.

Completing a Budget

The Adviser will help you to complete a budget. This will:

If you want to have a go at creating a budget, you can do so by using the Money Advice Service Budget Planner.

Maximising Income

The Adviser will often check to ensure you’re getting all of the income you are entitled to. There of lots of things to consider, but this might include checking to make sure you’re receiving all of the benefits you should be, checking whether you could receive a discount on any of your bills and exploring options for increasing your earnings.

Negotiating with your creditors and finding a solutions

Based on your budget, the adviser can start to work out how much you can pay towards your debts and they may negotiate with your creditors to make an arrangement that is right for you.

There are a range of solutions available to people with debt issues. These are divided into formal and informal solutions. You can find out more about the  different options using the Money Advice Service website or the Stepchange website.


Examples of  Informal Options:

Examples of Formal Options:

The Money Advice Service has provided some information so you can find out more, and a debt adviser should be able to talk you through the options that are relevant to you. Some of these options come with certain eligibility requirements and conditions, some of which involve insolvency, so it’s important that you speak to a debt adviser when considering these options.


Contact Us

If you’re worried about debts, seek free, impartial and expert advice. Use the Money Advice Service Debt Advice Locator to find advice near you.



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