More and more people are finding themselves in financial difficulty. With the cost of living rising but wages staying fairly consistent, it’s no wonder that people are looking for credit to meet their financial demands.
But you don’t have to settle for being in debt. There is plenty of support available if you find yourself struggling, you just have to look for it. First, you need to make a plan:
Whether it’s finding a new job, increasing your income, or paying off debts, set yourself goals. Goals help us to define the future, and enable us to create the steps to achieve them. So write down those goals, and then create a plan to get there.
Less than a third of us set a weekly budget, but if you stick to a budget then you’re able to see how much money you have to spend. Write down all of your income, expenditure and debts, and then work out what you can afford.
If you’re thinking about borrowing money to manage your debt, consider how much you can afford and whether this is the right thing to do.
If money is tight, then always pay your most important bills first. These include; rent, council tax and utility bills, where the consequences of not paying can be serious.
Don’t bury your head in the sand. If you’re struggling with debt, then make sure you let your creditors know. They are often sympathetic and happy to work out affordable payment arrangements. The same applies to debt recovery firms. Always be honest about your situation and try and come to an affordable agreement.
If you choose to deal with your creditors directly without the help of a debt management company, then you must be prepared to keep in contact with them. Should you think you’re going to miss a repayment, or you’re finding it difficult to meet the amounts they are requesting, communicate your issues. If you express that you’re in financial difficulty they have to work with you. FCA regulations are there to protect you when you’re financially vulnerable so don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you miss your payments and ignore correspondence and calls your debt will only increase. Interest and charges can be applied, and you will only make your situation worse. Voice your problems and creditors will work to resolve them.
If you feel overwhelmed by debt, always seek help from a free debt advice organisation. You can simply approach a company for advice, or enter into a debt management plan. You may even consider taking out a Debt Consolidation loan.
There’s so much help out there that can offer ways to you get out of debt yourself. Search the internet for debt help advice and speak to financial advisors. Additionally, speak to your friends or family. For some people, debt can be an embarrassing and sensitive topic but most people at some point will experience such financial difficulties. Ask for their advice, air your issues and come up with a realistic plan of action to get debt free.
A great company to contact is the Citizens Advice Bureau – they offer free impartial advice, and can help you draw up a budget.
If you have multiple creditors and are finding it difficult to meet their minimum requirements monthly, a debt management plan could be the answer. A debt management company will deal with your creditors directly on your behalf, you will make one affordable payment to them and they will then disperse that amount between your creditors.
By opting for this service you only have one payment going out which covers all your debt and you don’t have to worry about remaining in contact with lots of different companies that you owe money to. Shop around before you decide on a debt management company. There are many that charge a fee for their service which is not the most beneficial option for you. Look into non fee charging companies such as PayPlan or Step Change, to make sure 100% of your money is spent paying off your debt.
Make this year the year you become debt free. Do your homework and set out realistic debt clearing goals so you can start getting back on top of your finances.