Dealing with Debt Problems
The longer you ignore your debts, the worse the problem can become. As the cost of living goes up, it is more important than ever to try to be in full control of your finances. If you feel like you are going to struggle with your payments to us or to any other of your creditors - talk to us first. Missing payments and not staying in contact with us isn't the right way to move forward. More often than not, if you see financial difficulties coming or are surprised by unexpected expenses, we can work together to come up with a way forward that is best for you, your agreement with us and that limits any unwanted effects on your credit profile. If you need us, please call us on 01472 233200.
Basic Steps to Help You Deal with a Debt.
As a responsible lender, it's important to us to give you as much help as we can. That's why we have set out these five easy steps to help you take control of your debt. Remember that alongside these steps, you can also get free and independent advice from groups like Citizens Advice and Money Helper..
Step One - Make a List of Everything You Owe.
Sort out exactly what you owe and who you owe it to. Being able to see the issue will make it seem much more manageable and easier to keep track of.
Step Two - Put Your Debts in Order of Importance.
The most important debts are known as 'priority debts'. Though they aren't always the biggest ones, priority debts are ones where you could face serious consequences if you don't pay what you owe. For example, you could lose your home, be disconnected from a service or even go to prison.
Priority debts include things like:
- Mortgage repayments
- Secured loans (Including Hire Purchase)
- Council Tax
- Utility bills
- Court fines
Non-priority debts include things like:
- Credit card and store card payments
- Bank loans
- Home-collected credit (where the agent collects payments weekly)
- Catalogue repayments
- Money you've borrowed from family or friends
You can't ignore non-priority debts, but you need to make sure you deal with you priority debts first. You can get help sorting out your priority and non-priority debts for free from groups like Citizens Advice and Money Helper https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en
Step Three - Work Out a Personal Budget.
Work out a budget to see what your income and outgoings are. Work out what expenses you need and what you can do without. You may not want cut out things like TV subscriptions or going to the gym but saving money here will benefit you now and you can always restart these things when you're back on your feet. A budget will help you decide what you can reasonably afford to repay to your creditors, so it's important to be realistic. Make sure you review your budget regularly. The cost of living is always changing so you need to alter your budget accordingly.
Step Four - Get Advice on the Different Ways to Deal with Your Debts.
There are lots of options for dealing with debts. For example, you can come to arrangements with your creditors or you could get a debt advisor to speak with your creditors for you. Sometimes, there may be extra costs involved and conditions you have to agree to with debt advisors. Always be careful which debt advice services you go to. Make sure they're trustworthy and reliable. You can find a link for some excellent debt advice services at the bottom of this page.
Step Five - Talk to Your Creditors.
Once you know what you can afford to repay, talk to your creditors about your situation and what you're going to do about it. A debt adviser could do this for you, and some will do this for free. Be realistic about what you can afford to repay and don't assume you'll be able to pay back more in the future. While your creditors may not always be able to agree to everything you suggest, any responsible lender should always consider your offer and respect your will to try and come to an arrangement.
Check What Benefits You Are Entitled to.
Many people in the UK are entitled to Government benefits and don't know it. This means that you could be missing out on a lot of extra money every month. There are online calculators that can tell you what benefits you could be receiving which could boost your monthly income, such as https://www.turn2us.org.uk or https://www.entitledto.co.uk
Your Debt With Us.
As a hire purchase agreement, your debt with us is classed as a priority and non-payment can result in repossession of the vehicle. We do not want this to happen. If you know you are going to struggle with your payments to us, please talk to us. Whether it's looking at moving your payment due date, deferring payments, temporarily reducing payments or providing you with tools for both us and you to look at your income and outgoings, we have a friendly, highly trained and understanding team ready to help you if you are struggling. If you have special circumstances affecting your payments to us, such as being on long term sick leave, struggling with mental health issues or dealing with a loss of someone close to you, we have an excellent specialist care and support team on hand to provide you with even more help.
Click here for details of other free sources of help and support.
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