Understanding and dealing with debt

Most of us have debt of some sort

We have credit cards, store cards, mortgages or loans. Sometimes though we borrow more than we can afford to pay back or an emergency means that we have to spend our money on something other than repaying our loans or paying our rent.

If debt is a problem for you, it’s important to face up to it – then you can start to deal with it and get things back under control.

Here are some ways to help deal with debt:

  • Don’t get more loans to cover the debts – this could cost you much more
  • List what money is coming in and going out. See if there is a way to cut your spending, like on non-essential items
  • Talk to the people you owe money to and see if you can agree a better repayment plan
  • Prioritise your debts – some are more serious than others. For example not paying your rent or mortgage could result in you losing your home. Other debts like council tax, bills like gas and electricity, fines and maintenance payments also need to be treated as a priority
  • Talk to someone who can help. If you’re a Knightstone resident, you can contact our Financial Inclusion Officers for advice, or speak to money advice experts like the Citizens Advice Bureau 
  • Think about how to avoid sudden expenses. We have some great ways to save on a low income and reduce big costs like Christmas and your children! 

And please don’t be embarrassed. You are not alone - most of us get into difficulties at some point. It’s how we deal with the situation that matters. If you don’t know what to do, just ask for help.

A couple of other agencies who should be able to help are:

The Money Advice Service: it’s free and independent. Go to their website moneyadviceservice.org.uk or give them a ring on 0300 500 5000.

National Debt Line is also free. They’ve helped millions of people with their debts. They'll talk you through options and give clear advice on how to take back control: nationaldebtline.org.uk or phone 0808 808 4000