Are you struggling to pay your bills?
Life doesn’t stand still for anyone and sometimes it can take us by surprise. This can impact how we manage our money. Bills can pile up and we can feel overwhelmed if it is difficult to make ends meet. It can be tempting to ignore the situation and hope things will improve.
Contact your lender or financial services provider sooner rather than later to see if they can help. There are a number of options they may be able to discuss with you.
It will help if you can have the following information ready when you call:
- Your monthly income (including any benefits, overtime and bonus payments and whether these are guaranteed)
- Your monthly household spending (bills, shopping, fees, subscriptions)
- The total amount you owe in terms of mortgages, loans and credit cards and any other debt payments
- The number of organisations you owe money to
You'll find most of this information on your bank statements or by looking at your bank account online. If you prefer, you can ask them to talk to a relative, friend or debt counselling organisation about your accounts or products. For your own protection they will need your authorisation first.
Know when to ask for help
- You are worrying about money and paying back what you owe – your debts are becoming a real burden
- You fear that you cannot make your loan, mortgage, credit card or other debt payments
- You are struggling to meet your monthly mortgage repayments and fear an increase in your mortgage interest rate would make this situation worse
- You may be dealing with a difficult situation which is making it difficult for you to manage your money
- You are regularly spending more than you earn
- You are unable to make your mortgage or rent payments and can’t make existing loan or credit card payments
- You can’t meet your day to day living expenses without relying on your credit card
- You are struggling to meet the minimum payments required on your loans or credit cards
- You are increasingly hitting your agreed overdraft limit and can’t clear your overdraft
- You are regularly going overdrawn without agreement and incurring charges
- You are being chased for bill and debt payments and incurring charges due to late or missed payments.
What can you do to help your situation? There are some easy steps to help deal with your debt:
- Work out a budget and prioritise your outgoings and debt payments, putting essentials such as mortgage/rent payments at the top
- Make a list of organisations/creditors to contact according to your priority list, whether you are in arrears or not. The earlier you make contact the better
- You may be entitled to some Government benefits to help increase your income. Contact your local benefits office or visit www.turn2us.org.uk for more information
- If you are ill or have been made redundant you may have insurance policies in place that can help
- Seek independent advice. There are lots of organizations that can provide confidential, impartial and free help and advice. Some of them are listed below: