Dealing with your own debt

There is often a temptation is to ignore your debt.  However, there is a risk that pretending it will go away may make matters worse. You need to know how to approach the situation and decide how you will deal with it.

  1. What are the financial facts?

Start by making a list of all your debts, putting them in order of the most serious. At the top of the list will be debts affecting your home, such as unpaid rent, bills or council tax. Further down the list will be money owed on credit cards, overdrafts or hire purchase agreements.

Prioritising your debts will help you plan how to manage them.

  1. Work out a budget

Once you have a clear picture of how much you owe, you can draw up a budget plan. The Money Advice Service’s online budget planner helps you work out where your money goes each month and calculate what’s left over once major bills have been paid. You can then work out how much of your debt you can pay off each month.

See our blog on how to maximise your income and minimise your expenditure.

  1.  Seek advice

If you’re struggling with debt, it can be hard to know where to turn. However, there are lots of services across England and Wales who can give you free help and advice.

Below are details of on-line, telephone and face to face services where you can get help from a debt adviser.

What will a debt adviser do?

  • They will not judge you or make you feel bad about your situation
  • However big or small your problem is they will always give you time
  • They will help you to find ways to manage your debts even if you think you have no spare money
  • They will suggest ways to deal with debts that you might not have heard before

Online and telephone advice

StepChange Debt Charity
Create a budget and get a personal action plan with practical next steps.
0800 138 1111

PayPlan
An online debt solution tool, and personalised debt solution.
0800 280 2816

National Debtline
A digital advice tool, web guides, fact sheets and sample letters.
0808 808 4000

Debt Advice Foundation
A national debt advice and education charity offering free, confidential support and advice to anyone worried about debt.
0800 622 61 51

Citizens Advice Web Chat
Confidential and impartial debt advice through a web chat service.

Citizens Advice Wales
08444 77 20 20

For face to face advice visit the Money Advice Service website and search with your postcode.

See our blog on top tips for managing money when you’re self-employed.