Hi! My name is Sara Williams. I have two children in their 20s, and a spaniel. You can find me on Google+ .
I have been a volunteer advisor at my local CAB in London since 2001. I am a member of the Institute of Money Advisers and have the Certificate in Money Advice Practice professional qualification.
I set up Debt Camel in 2013. The unusual name was chosen because it is memorable, easy to spell and so the website doesn’t sound like an official advice service, nor as though there are instant solutions to debt.
There is nothing on Debt Camel that brings in any income for me. And unlike many sites that promise ‘free debt advice’, I don’t make money by referring you to commercial sites.
There is a lot of information already on the web about debt, but much of it is too prescriptive (you need a DMP), too complicated (here are a lot of details that are unlikely to be relevant to you) or too self interested (all those people making money from IVAs).
Debt situations are often not neat. A large unsecured debt problem may be complicated by small priority debts. Someone whose income has fallen may be trying to negotiate the benefits maze and not have much idea about what income he is going to end up with. And people need to be able to mull over hard choices – the emotional aspects of having to sell your house or go bankrupt are very real.
So Debt Camel has the following aims:
- to provide accessible, relevant information in Plain English;
- to let people feel more in control of what can be a very stressful situation;
- to let people explore complicated situations whenever is convenient for them.
National Debtline has described this site as “very clear, it answers a lot of common questions without jargon“. Thanks!
Many people with serious debt problems will need help from elsewhere. If Debt Camel helps them understand a bit about their situation and their possible options, they should find this speedier and less scary. There is a list of good places to get debt advice here.
If you would like to know more, here is a recent interview I did where I was asked about why I set up Debt Camel:
I am interested in debt advice policy – how debt solutions could be improved so they are easier to access and work better; how credit and its regulation can be improved to reduce the numbers of people getting into debt problems; how apps and other FinTech products can help with this etc. Debt Camel is an affiliate member of the Money Advice Liason Group.
Are you regulated?
No. Debt Camel only provides generic debt advice, which is not a regulated activity. It does not make any referrals, only providing a range of contacts that readers can choose to self-refer to. This is not a business, there is nothing in the website that gives me any income. So Debt Camel does not require regulation because it is not carrying out any regulated activity.
If you would like to be notified when a new article is published, please subscribe using the box in the footer. You can also follow me on Twitter @DebtCamel where I tweet about debt, poverty and benefits in Britain. Debt Camel’s Facebook page covers recently published articles and other news.
I don’t give debt advice to individuals by email. If you need debt advice and support, I recommend these organisations.