Debt Saviours and where to get help with debt

Image of a documentary maker for Debt Saviours filming John Kirby

Filming Dr John Kirby, CAP founder (copyright: CAP)

Did anyone else watch Debt Saviours, the documentary about Christians Against Poverty (CAP) and their work on debt relief? It went out on BBC2 at 9pm on October 5, and I just saw it on catch up here.

I was left uneasy about the focus on religion, the implication that CAP uses debt advice to recruit people into Christianity.

I was more uneasy, and in fact downright angry, that the programme might put people off seeking help with their debts. Debt and poverty are enormous issues in our society. A million people are in outright destitution right now.

Debt Saviours

Originally, I tuned in hoping to see practical advice about debt help. Explanations about how debt relief organisations can help lighten the load, negotiate with creditors, get bailiffs off people’s backs and suggest alternatives to bankruptcy like Debt Relief Orders.

Instead, the camera lingered far longer on religion: prayer meetings at work, praying with debt clients, leaflets, images, crucifixes, church services, preaching and hymn singing.

To be fair, Debt Saviours did give some idea that CAP does amazing work, helping thousands of people become debt free. It followed the stories of several individuals in dire poverty and dreadful need, showing how CAP supported them.

But the programme seemed to present CAP as preying on the vulnerable, offering debt help while pressuring them to come to church. Maybe the Christian angle provides extra support, via the hope and friendship within a church community, even just by getting isolated people out from their own four walls. I don’t know. I’m not an evangelical Christian. Winston Churchill’s comment strikes more of a chord – that he supported the church like a flying buttress from without, rather than as a pillar within.

But I do worry that CAP was stitched up by a documentary team that originally promised coverage about the level of destitution in the UK, then swivelled to focus specifically on CAP. (CAP blog)

So let’s be clear: you do not have to be Christian to get help from CAP. CAP offers debt counselling, life skills classes, job clubs and more – for free. I know people who have done CAP money management courses and really recommend them. Some charities can only help online or over the phone. CAP has the major advantage that it will arrange home visits too.

Help with debt

I really hope Debt Saviours encourages people to seek help with poverty and debt, rather than putting them off. I reckon CAP does great and much-needed work, but there are several other debt relief charities out there. Debt charities offer confidential, impartial advice to help people become debt-free, protect their families and homes, and deal with creditors. However big your debts, there is always a route out.

Organisations include:

Christians Against Poverty (CAP): website and free helpline for new enquiries: 0800 328 0006 (open on week days during working hours)

StepChange: free debt advice online and over the phone. Website or call 0800 138 111 after completing a budget form. You can even fill in their online debt advice form in the middle of the night.

National Debtline: website and freephone 0808 808 4000

Citizens Advice: try their online webchat or make an appointment at a local Citizens Advice centre.

Debt Advice Foundation: website and free helpline 0800 043 40 50 which is open on Saturdays too

Payplan: website and free helpline 0800 280 2816 also open on Saturdays as well as during the week

Also, I couldn’t mention debt help without recommending Debt Camel, the blog by Sara, a Citizens Advice debt counsellor.

 

Now – over to you. What did you think, if you saw Debt Saviours? What do you think, if you’ve ever used CAP or another debt charity? Do share in the comments, I’d love to hear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

12 Comments

  1. Roberta
    14th October 2018 / 10:52 am

    I watched the programme too. Agree with your comments about the religion focus. Spooky.

    • Faith
      Author
      15th October 2018 / 12:31 pm

      As CAP’s name suggests, it is Christians Against Poverty, but I did think there was too much focus on the religious angle.

  2. 14th October 2018 / 7:14 pm

    I’m afraid the BBC seem to have a track record of bias against evangelical Christians. It’s a group they can poke at without fear of reprisal. CAP do great work and no one should be afraid to use their services, no strings attached.

    • Faith
      Author
      15th October 2018 / 12:32 pm

      Glad you can confirm that CAP’s work doesn’t come with strings attached, Caroline. Shame about the bias.

  3. Sam from Swimming!
    19th October 2018 / 6:45 pm

    I’ve been to a CAP course, it was fantastic. I’m so sad that the program could put people off in future.

    It was such sound, sensible advice that came with great online budgeting tools I still use. Apart from the explanation of CAP – christians helping people out of poverty – there was no religion involved.

    Going to watch the program now and shout at the tv!

    • 22nd October 2018 / 7:35 am

      Oooh online budgeting tools sound handy. Glad you had such a good experience with CAP.

  4. linda
    21st October 2018 / 3:46 pm

    I have seen the amazing work CAP does to support individuals and families in debt. It is run by volunteers who are Christians and offer a positive lifeline to those in need but I do not believe there is pressure for people to attend church. It does accept people no natter their situation and offers hope for their future through money management support .It is a shame if this programme puts those in need of support off.

    • 22nd October 2018 / 7:36 am

      Great that you’ve seen CAP’s good work in action. On Twitter, CAP reckoned they’d had shedloads of calls following the programme, so hopefully didn’t put people off.

  5. Tarvinder Choke
    5th November 2020 / 11:02 pm

    Good day to you, am so so happy now because I just got my loan of €12,000 today from this good company you can also contact them if you need a fast loan too contact them now through this email: (info.acg3@gmail.com) or whatsapp: +39 3510078186

  6. 1st March 2021 / 5:27 am

    Discovered your post fascinating to peruse. I cannot hold back to see your post soon. Best of Luck for the impending update. This article is actually quite intriguing and successful.

  7. Manuel Franco
    1st December 2023 / 9:09 am

    I just want to say Thank You to everyone who supported me through the years. My name is Manuel Franco, New Berlin, Wisconsin. My story of how I won the Powerball lottery of $768.4M is a bit of a tale. I have been playing Powerball tickets for 6 years now since I turned 18. I bought my first ticket on my 18 birthday. I was feeling very lucky that day because I had contacted Dr. Odunga Michael to help me with the winning Powerball numbers. I really had that great great feeling that I looked at the camera wanting to wink at it. I only did a tiny part of it and trusted him. He gave me the numbers after I played a couple other tickets along with it for $10. I checked my ticket after the winnings came online and saw the numbers were correct including the Power play. I screamed for about 10 minutes because it felt like a dream. I had won $768.4M. You can check my winning testimony with the lottery officials just with my name search. Thank you Dr Odunga. Well, his email is odungaspelltemple@gmail.com and you can also call or Whats-app him at +2348167159012 so you guys can contact him

  8. Yanira Alvarez
    23rd May 2024 / 4:04 pm

    Real spell casters are hard to find but I am happy to thank Lord Krish for helping me win the lottery successfully after trying so many spell casters and I found my happiness in Lord Krish. I was given the lottery numbers by him which made me the third highest lottery winner in history and this is all thanks to you sir. Winning the lottery is something everyone would like to feel especially with a trustworthy spell caster. I, Yanira Alvarez, won the Powerball lottery in Los Angeles and I really thank Lord Krish because after I contacted him, he told me to only provide the spiritual items for him to do it for me and I didn’t hesitate to give him what he required so I could win it. I have tried so many spell casters who seemed real but only Lord Krish numbers gave me the winnings. I won the Powerball Jackpot of $1.08 billion and I am here today to share my experience to those willing to win the lottery as well. Take this opportunity to contact Lord Krish Spiritual with his email: lordkrishshrine@gmail.com and also share your experience with others.

The contents of this blog are for information and ideas, and should not be viewed as financial advice. Use of the material is conditional on there being no liability for how you choose to use it. If you are unsure about any investments or financial issues, please contact a financial adviser.