Dealing with debt #TalkMoney
If you’re struggling to keep up with bills and debt payments, don’t worry – you’re not alone. There are lots of things you can do to resolve your problems, including getting free debt advice.
List and prioritise your debts
The first step towards taking control is to put together a list of everyone you need to make payments to, including household bills, rent payments, outstanding loan or credit payments and debt repayments. Check how much money you need to meet payments and whether you have fallen behind.
Some bills and payments are higher priority as the consequences of not paying can be more serious. Find out more in this guide from MoneyHelper – How to prioritise your debts.
It’s important to get free debt advice as soon as you can if you’ve fallen behind on priority payments, or are facing any emergency issues, including:
- being contacted by bailiffs
- receiving a court summons
- having your gas or electricity cut off
- having your home, car or goods repossessed
To take control of your finances, it’s important to put together a budget. This will help you understand how much money you have to make payments.
MoneyHelper’s free Budget Planner puts you in control of your household spending and analyses your results to help you take control of your money.
You might find your budget doesn’t balance and your income is less than your outgoings or you have just enough to live on but have no spare cash to pay off debts. If that’s the case, there might be things you can do to increase your income or cut down on what you spend. For example, you might be able to claim benefits you’re entitled to, claim a grant or save money on your household bills by switching providers.
Talk to your creditors
You may consider talking to the people you owe money to. The support your creditor can give you will depend on things like:
- the type of bill or payment it is
- how much you owe
- how many payments you have missed
- your ability to make repayments
- whether you need extra support because you’re vulnerable.
The action your creditor can take will also depend on different things, such as whether it’s a priority or non-priority debt or whether it’s a credit agreement or a household bill.
Free debt advice
If you’re having trouble with debt and finding it hard to manage things yourself, get help from a free debt advisor. It’s always best to talk things through with an experienced adviser before you make a decision. This is because there are many ways to deal with debts and you might not be aware of all the options that are available to you. The way that is best for you will depend on your personal circumstances.
A free debt adviser can help you decide which option is right for you. Depending on your circumstances, this might just take one conversation.
A debt adviser will:
- treat everything you say in confidence
- never judge you or make you feel bad about your situation
- suggest ways of dealing with debts that you might not know about
- check you’ve applied for all the benefits and entitlements available to you.
Contact Apex’s Welfare Advice Service
Tel: 028 7130 4800