A recent survey of 1,407 new debt clients was conducted by the Citizens Advice Bureaux and they found that the average amount of debt owed by their clients’ was £16,971 in 2008 and one client in ten had ten or more credit card debts. More than fifty percent of these clients had four or more priority debts like their mortgage or rent, gas, electricity, water or council tax arrears. They also discovered that a third of these people spent more than half of their monthly income on housing costs and forty five percent of them had mortgage and secured loans that were in arrears.
Citizens Advice Bureaux found more than 58% of these new clients had no spare money to pay their credit card debts. Whilst those who could afford to pay of their debt it would take them on average 93 years to repay their debts in full. If any of the above findings sound remotely like your circumstances then you need to seek help immediately. Do not ignore your debt problems, it will not go away if you ignore it but it will get worse. You can contact the Citizens Advice Bureaux or Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) who offer a free debt help service that is confidential and independent.
Here are a few Golden Rules to help you
- Admit that you have financial problems and seek advice through the free debt help services.
- Make a list of all your debts, household expenses and your income
- Never borrow more money by securing a loan against your home to pay off an existing debt. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home as your home maybe repossessed if you do not keep up your payments on your mortgage or secured loan.
- Always tackle priority debts first like your mortgage or rent arrears, secured loans, gas, electricity, water rates, court fines, child maintenance, income tax, vat arrears or television licence. Basically any debts which mean you could lose your home or go to jail or receive a fine. It is a criminal offence to use a television without a licence.
- Arrange to pay a reduced payment to everyone that you owe money to and set up a direct debit to ensure that they are paid monthly.
- Beware of companies that charge fees for providing you with help to sort out your debts.
Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) is a registered charity that offers free confidential debt advice and support to anyone who is worried about their debt problems. CCCS offer a Debt Remedy that can help to provide you with a debt solution to your debt problem irrespective of your situation. All you need to do is complete a 20 minute questionnaire and you will receive a debt remedy tailored to your personal circumstances; furthermore you don’t even need to provide your name. If you wish you can telephone their specialist counsellors free of charge on 0800 975 9559 Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm.
Don’t wait until the bailiffs are knocking on your doors it could be to late by then. Your thoughts, experiences and comments are welcome. You can join this discussion below and leave your thoughts an dexperiences.