Dealing with Debt

Dealing with Debt - Don't ignore the problem!
  1. Don't ignore the problem - the longer it's left, the worse it'll get.
  2. Make the most of your income - check you're claiming all the benefits you can. If you've lost your job or are off work because of illness, make sure your debts (such as your mortgage) are covered by payment protection insurance.
  3. Tackle your priority debts first so that you don't lose your home or risk having your gas and electricity cut off
  4. Work out your budget - what money comes in and what you have to pay out
  5. Contact all the people you owe money to (creditors) straight away - not just the ones who are shouting the loudest! You could make matters worse if you pay some off and not others.
  6. Work out a reasonable offer for each creditor - they prefer a small amount paid regularly rather than nothing at all.
  7. If creditors are difficult, stick with it and speak to someone more senior if need be.
  8. Keep copies of letters and papers you send or receive. Record dates and times of phone calls and who you've spoken to.
  9. Beware of borrowing money to pay off existing debts - it's not necessarily a good deal. Watch out for companies offering to combine all your loans - get advice especially if they want your home as security.
  10. If you get taken to court, make sure you reply to all letters straight away. Always go to court hearings, give the court the facts and take your personal budget with you.

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