Debt Problems? Here’s What You Should Do

Managing Your Money / Money Troubles

With high living costs and a growing need for debt help, there’s a good reason as to why we’re talking about debt.

You’re not alone

Around 8 million people need debt advice in the UK, and another 12 million are living on the edge of it. Yet more than half of those in need of debt advice haven’t got it, according to a Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) survey carried out last year. .

The same research also shows that one in four adults are now at risk financially, meaning they’re struggling to keep up with bills and borrowing commitments, using high-cost credit, or unable to afford food or other essentials.

Having unmanageable debt can affect your daily quality of life in many ways, especially if you’re behind in paying your priority debts, such as rent, mortgage, Council Tax, and utilities like gas, water, and electricity.

Why people don’t seek help sooner

When you’re in debt you might put off looking for support because you’re overwhelmed about your situation, or you feel embarrassed or scared. You also might not be sure of how you can access debt advice, or if you’ll even qualify for it.  

Who qualifies for debt advice?

Anyone can get free advice about debt, but not everyone may qualify for free debt help. It’s important to check the type of debt help you’re eligible for based on your circumstances. This is because certain debt solutions have specific requirements regarding the amount of debt you must have to be eligible.

To see what type of debt advice you could get, go to our Best ways to pay off your debts page to get started.

Why get debt help

Debt advisers won’t judge you about your money problems. Even if you feel ashamed about the amount of debt you’re in, your debt adviser will have heard similar stories before and is trained to help you get through it. 

There are a lot of common worries about getting debt advice, including if it will damage your credit score. Getting in touch to find out your options won’t affect your credit rating, but instead will serve as the first step in getting things sorted.

In debt? What should your next steps be?

Here are some tips for tackling your money worries:

  • Talk about it.  Although it can be difficult, talking about money worries is often the first step towards getting help. Research has shown that people who talk about their finances feel less stressed or anxious and more in control. Open up to someone about your debts.
  • Work out your debts. Write down everything you owe. This might seem overwhelming, but facing up to what you owe will help in the long run.
  • Pay your debts in the right order. Make sure to pay debts such as mortgage, rent and utility bills before secondary debts like overdrafts, personal loans and credit cards.  
  • Set a budget.  A good way to understand how much you can afford to pay back each month is to write down what your income is and list all your expenditures. Our Budget planner can help you calculate this. 

Seeking professional help if you’re struggling with debt is one of the best things you can do. 

What other help could I get?

There are other ways you could reduce your debt worries while you figure out how to get on top of your bills. Things such as asking your creditors to put your account on hold for a specified period of time (usually 30 days), mortgage payment holidays, or Breathing Space could be options to consider.

Many may not be aware of the things mentioned above that could help them with their credit commitments. 

Money and mental health

How you’re managing your money can make a real difference to your wellbeing. So if you find yourself struggling with your finances, this could negatively affect your mental health. See what we say about money problems and mental wellbeing.

Where can you get debt help?

Debt advice should always be free, and MoneyHelper works alongside the UK’s biggest debt charities to help get people on a debt repayment plan that will work for their personal situation. 

How can you get in touch?

Check our contact us page to find all our phone numbers and opening hours. Our contact centre can help you work out what’s right for you, or point you in the right direction as a start, such as referring you to a debt charity. We’re also available to talk to over Whatsapp or free live Webchat.

Managing Your Money Useful Resources

Booking on Wiseradviser courses is a two stage process. Complete your details on the...
No time for a phone call? You can now get in touch with MoneyHelper using Whatsapp. The...
Advice NI, a registered charity founded in 1995, exists to provide leadership and...
Advice NI is the leading provider of nationally accredited Advice and Guidance, Legal...
Booking on Wiseradviser courses is a two stage process. Complete your details on the...
This Money Management training course is designed to improve individual financial...
We are the leading provider of nationally accredited Advice and Guidance, Legal Advice...
It can be difficult to manage all the different bills and payments in our lives. The...
Mental Health & Money Advice is the first UK-wide online advice service designed to...
Advice NI, in association with The Good Things Foundation, is offering digital skills...
If you’re struggling with debt, it can be hard to know where to turn. But with lots of free advice services available across the UK, you can find help in a way that’s best for you.
The Midlife MOT is a tool to help you assess your current financial situation and plan...
Use this calculator to see how much a credit card will cost you or how quickly you can...
Use this calculator to see how much a loan will cost you or how quickly you can pay off...