Our golden rules for dealing with debt…
Many people find themselves in debt at some stage in their life. However, it doesn’t matter how big or how many debts you have, they can be dealt with.
- Don’t panic – but equally don’t ignore the problem as it will not go away and will get worse the longer you leave it.
- Be honest with yourself and write down all of your debts.
- Deal with your priority debts first. For example, those debts which could result in you losing your home or having your gas and electricity cut off.
- Our guidance can help you to work out a reasonable offer to repay the money you owe. Even if it seems a small amount, creditors would prefer you to pay regular small amounts than make an offer you are not able to afford to keep up.
- Do not borrow money to pay off debts. Get advice first as you could find matters are made worse (e.g. doorstep loans have extremely high interest).
- Get in touch with your creditors and everyone you owe money to. Explain your difficulties and offer to come to an agreeable and affordable arrangement.
- Always go to court hearings. Make sure you have provided all the facts beforehand. The Court will use the information to help decide what instalments you should pay.
- Check you are claiming all the benefits and tax credits you are entitled to. Visit the benefits calculator to find out.
- Always keep copies of all the letters or forms you send, complete or receive.
StepChange Debt Charity is a registered charity able to give free, impartial debt help to anyone in the UK. If you have questions on what your creditors, bailiffs or debt collection agencies can do – StepChange can help.
Call free on 0800 138 1111 or go online www.stepchange.org.