Dealing with Debt

Facing up to debt feels scary and overwhelming. But there is support out there to ease your concerns and to help you manage your debt.

Seek Help

StepChange provide free debt help. They are a charity so you can trust them. You can visit their website, or if you prefer call them for free on 0800 138 1111.

Debt is a really personal issue and you may not want to share information with someone you don’t know. You can use an anonymous online advice tool called debt remedy. This is provided by StepChange and only takes 20 minutes to complete!

There are other free services out there. The National Debt Line and Citizens Advice Bureau help thousands of people with debt each year.

Managing Debt

We recommend that you contact StepChange to take the first steps to managing your debt.  Here are some handy hints to get you going in the right direction:

  1. Avoid the temptation of high cost credit, like payday loans, to pay other debts. This pay day loan calculatorfrom StepChange can help you understand the high costs. If you’ve been turned down by a bank for a loan or overdraft a good place to start is your local Credit Union.
  1. Prioritise. Some debts have bigger consequences than others.
  • Payments that have high consequences are council tax, water, gas, electricity and rent. Not paying these can lead to them being cut off. Unable to pay them? Contact them before you miss the payment and they will be able to help you.
  • Unsecured debts are things such as loans, credit cards, overdrafts, catalogues and store cards. These creditors are only entitled to money you can afford to offer once you’ve paid all of your priorities in full.  From start to finish they can only make you pay what you can afford.
  1. Budget. The best way of understanding how to manage your money is to put together a budget. If you have unsecured debts, a budget will also help you figure out what you can realistically afford to pay for the time being. The debt remedy tool can help with this, as can the budgeting guide.

Over 500,000 people a year are helped by StepChange a year. Take your first step and join them.