It is very easy and very common for anyone to get into debt. If you
do have financial problems don't just ignore it and hope it will go
away - it won't. The worst thing you can do is to ignore letters asking
for money as sooner or later you will be sent letters threatening you
with legal action and this will only cause you more pressure and distress.
You must get financial advice as soon as possible. Citizens Advice
Bureau will help with financial matters and will often write letters
on your behalf to companies asking for money. The National Debtline
produces an excellent free booklet which gives advice on all kinds
of debt including mortgage and rent arrears and what to do if you are
threatened with repossession.
It is essential to pay priority debts first - gas, electric, water,
mortgage, rent etc. These must come before paying off credit cards
or personal loans (except loans secured on property).
The booklet from the National Debtline informs you of your rights.
Most credit card/loan companies etc. assume you don't know your rights
and they demand money and make threats in many cases which they have
no right to do. The booklet explains how to work out your money going
out and money coming in - see what is left over, advises you how to
work out what is left to give to people you owe money to once you have
taken out your priority debts. Don't offer to pay more than you can
afford to pay. Keep copies of any letters you send to anyone you owe
money to. If you cannot make the full minimum payment offer to pay
something even if it is only a token payment.
Look at ways you may be able to cut down on your spending. Charity
shops are now very fashionable places to get your clothes and other
items so don't discount them. Have a think about if there are any ways
you can make extra money e.g. you may have a lot of stuff in your house
you don't want or use so maybe think about having a boot sale, if you
are talented and artistic and creative - what about selling your items
at craft fares, charity fun days etc.
Try not to let financial difficulties come between you and your partner
if you are in a relationship, try not to talk about money problems
constantly - set aside a certain time each week to talk about money
problems and then let it go. Try and work out what to do together -
it is no good blaming each other - focus on the solution to the problem.
Get advice and don't ignore the problem - sort things out as soon
as you can.
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Some agencies who provide information and advice
0808 808 4000
Business Debtline: 0800 197 6026
National telephone helpline for people with debt problems in England,
Scotland and Wales. Expert advice and send callers in debt a self
help information pack free of charge
Citizen Advice Bureau:
bureaux across England, Wales and N. Ireland
CAB information online
Chartered Institute of Credit Management:
Advice and guidance on all aspects of credit management
0800 1976 026
Telephone advice and legal advice for self employed people and
small businesses. Produce self help material. Casework for clients
living in the Birmingham City Council area
Step Change Debt Charity:
0800 138 1111
Helpline and counselling for people with debt problems. Provide
debt management plans which include debt repayment schedules and
advice on all aspects of money management.
If you are thinking about debt management as a way of solving your debt problem, make sure you get some impartial advice first. Debt management plans (DMPs) are not suitable for everyone. Also, beware of any company charging fees for arranging your DMP. Charity CCCS (Consumer Credit Counselling Service) will advise you of the best debt solution for your circumstances and if a DMP is right for you, they can provide you with a free debt management plan. For more information visit CCCS Debt Remedy – online debt counselling service on the website.
Debt Advice Foundation: 0800 043 40 50
Free impartial advice on issues relating to debt. Website includes budget planner, debt analyser, benefit entitlement checker, money management guide, student debt guide, and education section aimed at developing children’s understanding of key financial principles and equip them with the tools they need to responsibly interact with the world of finance as they enter adulthood.
Debt Support Trust: 0800 085 0226
Information and support relating to all debt issues.
Money Advice Plus Services
0800 988 7037
Advice on debt and money management for people in financial difficulties
Telephone advice and information for people needing tax advice
who cannot afford to pay an accountant. Also face to face advice
service in London
The Money Advice Service:
0800 138 7777
Helps people manage their money by free, unbiased, independent advice. Independent service set up by government.
- The Insolvency Service CentralEnquiry
Insolvency enquiries: 0300 678 0015
Redundancy enquiries: 0330 331 0020,
Helpline providing initial information regarding insolvency legislation,
e.g. bankruptcy, liquidation
- Trussell Trust
Search on website for nearest foodbank - Everyday people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. Trussell Foodbanks provide a minimum of three days emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK. Vouchers can be obtained from care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers and Citizen Advice Bureaux.
National charity that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services.
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