Debt-Help-From-Citizens-Advice-Consumer-Debt-Help

Debt Help From Citizens Advice

Where can you turn to if you’re facing debt that you’re finding difficult to manage? Perhaps as utility bills start to rise, you’re in a situation where you feel that you’re slipping into further debt and you can’t see a way out. Or an emergency situation in your life means you now haven’t got enough money to pay your debts each month. With the right support, you can learn to keep on top of debt and even make new arrangements with your creditors to pay it off. You can get debt help from any Citizens Advice Bureau as well as other charities.

Table of contents:

    What Debt Help Is Available

    No matter what your debt situation is, you can get support from a citizens advice bureau. Their information covers dealing with your debt, debt negotiation, debt management and urgent debts month other topics. Let’s start with urgent debt.

    Urgent Debt Help from Citizens Advice

    Urgent debt can include the following;

    • Council tax arrears
    • mortgage arrears
    • rent arrears in private or social tenancies
    • paying a court fine

    Any urgent debts need dealing with straight away. For example, if you have a court order for your debt, then there’s a possibility that bailiffs will come to your home to collect items to pay for it. You then have to pay their fee on top of what you owe and the debts build up. It can also be very distressing to cope with.

    In which case, don’t ignore any urgent debt. Even if you find it difficult to deal with, get help as soon as possible. You can get free advice from a debt support adviser, you don’t have to pay for it. Or check your letters from the court to find out who to contact for help.

    Rent Arrears Debt Help From Citizens Advice

    If you miss a rent payment, you’re in ‘arrears’. This is also an urgent debt so try to deal with it straight away. There could be a number of reasons why you can’t pay rent this month and it’s always worth talking to your landlord first. Perhaps you’re waiting for a benefit payment to come through, or your next month’s salary. Explain why it’s late first, and there could be other options.

    For example, perhaps you can pay half this month while you’re waiting for money to come through. Or you could ask for a month’s grace period. If you can also back this up with evidence, such as a job offer letter, it will help your landlord to understand your situation.

    If you ignore rent arrears, then your landlord is legally entitled to start the eviction process if you’ve missed a payment before or you are already in arrears. That’s why it’s so important to get advice the first time you might miss a payment.

    Dealing With Debts

    What if you have multiple debts in several places? From credit card debt to store card debt, different subscriptions or phone payments for example. Maybe you have lost track. When the demands from creditors start to come in, it can feel overwhelming.

    However, there is support to help you deal with your debts. Once again, you can get in touch with your local Citizens Advice Bureau who will help you to manage your debts.

    A good place to start is by collecting all the information you can, including contracts, bills or statements. Write down any debts you have, including anything you have borrowed from family or friends. Or debts from utility bills.

    Answer the following questions as you write down the information;

    • what is the debt from, such as a store card or water bill
    • how much do you owe now
    • who do you owe the money to
    • when did you miss the first payment
    • what is your account or reference number
    • have you received any letters about the outstanding debt

    Remember that when you write it all down, you are starting to sort it out. This is important because it might look overwhelming at this stage.

    Get Your Credit Report To Help Manage Debt

    If you’re still not sure who you owe money to, then your next step is to look at your credit report, which shows the money you’ve borrowed and paid back. There are three credit reference agencies in the UK – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion You can get your free report from any of these agencies every year.

    Go to the ‘current accounts’ section to see all the companies you have an account with. Does this list match the current one you have just made? If some of the debts on your credit report are wrong, then you can dispute them with the credit reference agency. Sometimes mistakes happen. It’s important that your credit report is as accurate as possible.

    However, bear in mind that credit reports don’t show council tax arrears, unpaid income tax, benefit overpayments or money you owe to family and friends or tradespeople. So if you have these debts, you’ll have to add them to your personal list.

    Make A Plan And Stick To It

    Now you have a list of your debts, you may be wondering how to deal with it. A debt adviser can hep you to decide which are urgent debts that need clearing first. Then allocate the other debts into an order of priority. For example, perhaps you have higher repayments on a particular debt so ideally, you want to pay this off faster.

    An organised plan will help you to manage debt. Hopefully you can even see a way out of your debt by sticking to the plan and paying off the amount of a period of time.

    Conclusion: Debt Help From Citizens Advice

    To conclude, there is a lot of information available on debt help from Citizens Advice. Additionally, there are other charities you can go to help such as step change.org, money charity and national debt line.

    Essentially, the main thing is to deal with your debt as soon as you can. Also, to realise that you are not alone. Many people get into debt for a variety of reasons. But you can get support for free if you need help clearing your debt, you don’t have to pay for it.

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