Couple making a budget

What to do if you’re in Debt

Dealing with Debt

Finding yourself in debt is a very stressful experience, which might make you want to bury your head in the sand. But, acknowledging there’s a problem and getting help is the first step on the road to dealing with debt.

That’s where the Money Talk Team at the Citizens Advice Bureau come in. We offer free debt advice to anyone who needs it. We advise you to speak to us before taking any of the actions below. So please get in touch, visit your local bureau, and we can talk through everything together.

Make a Budget

It’s important to make a budget, so you know how much money you have coming in, and how much you need for basic living costs. Then you can work out how much you have left over to pay off your debts. Bring all the information you have on your income and outgoings and we can help you make a budget.

If you have some money available:

Prioritise Your Debts

If you’ve got some money, you should use it to pay off the most urgent debts first, such as mortgage or rent and bills. Get as much information together about the debts that you owe and bring them to your appointment. We can help you to work out which debts to prioritise.

Debt Management and Consolidation

After you’ve paid your most urgent debts, we can talk about arranging a Debt Management Plan for other essential expenses. This is a way of dealing with debt by paying back it back in regular instalments. You pay the provider, who then distributes the money to your creditors. There may be charge for some of these services, so we can look into that for you and make sure we find the most suitable plan.

For any remaining non-priority debts, such as credit cards and loans, you can think about consolidating them into one loan. However, taking out a consolidation loan may involve high interest rates, or it might be secured against your home. So always seek financial advice before going ahead. We can look at all the options together and ensure you are going through a reputable lender.

If you don’t have any money:

Legal Solutions and Writing Off Debt

There are several legal options in Scotland for dealing with debt, if you have very little or no money to pay your creditors. Together we can discuss the Debt Arrangement Scheme, trust deeds, and filing for bankruptcy. In exceptional circumstances, creditors may even agree to write off your debt completely. The Money Talk Team can request this on your behalf, if it applies.

Get Debt Help Now

If you’re looking for ways of dealing with debt, the most important thing is to get debt advice right away. By acknowledging there’s a problem, you have taken the first step. And there are lots of solutions in place to help you get out of trouble. Don’t worry if they seem difficult or confusing, we can guide you through every step of the process. Please get in touch with our Money Talk Team today.

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