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StepChange Debt Charity
Founded 1993
Founder Vic Ware, Malcolm Hurlston
Area served
United Kingdom
Services Debt counselling and advice
Formerly called
Consumer Credit Counselling Service

The Foundation for Credit Counselling, trading as StepChange Debt Charity (formerly the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS))[1] is a debt charity registered in the United Kingdom. The organisation offers debt advice and money management and can be contacted through its freephone telephone helpline[2] or online through StepChange Debt Remedy, its online debt advice tool.[3]

Its chairman is Hector Sants.[4] The chief executive of the charity is Phil Andrew, who took over from Mike O'Connor on 20 November 2017.[5]


The charity was founded in 1993 when Vic Ware OBE and Malcolm Hurlston introduced Consumer Credit Counselling Service to the UK via a pilot scheme based in Leeds.[6][7]

The introduction of debt counselling over the telephone proved to be a success and the charity expanded throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The charity has continued to grow in recent years. In 2007 they established a non-profit individual voluntary arrangement service[8] and 2010 launched a free equity release advice service.[9]

On 5 November 2012 the charity rebranded as StepChange Debt Charity.[10][11]

In 2016 the charity was contacted by 599,026 people seeking debt advice.[12]


The charity's head office is in Leeds, England. There are also centres in the English municipalities of Newcastle, Birmingham, Chester, and Halifax, Scotland's largest city of Glasgow, the Welsh capital of Cardiff, and Limavady, Northern Ireland. In November 2015 they launched a service for people in the Republic of Ireland.[13]


StepChange Debt Charity is funded almost entirely by voluntary donations from creditors,[14] such as Lloyds TSB, Barclays and HSBC.[15] In the most recently published report they made no investment gain from their charity work.[16] The charity has been successful over recent years to become the UK's leading debt advice charity, managing unsecured debt worth over £4bn.


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