If you need debt advice, try not to panic.
Collect as much information as possible about the debts. If you have any letters, collect the following information:
- Name and address of the person/organisation you owe money to
- The amount you owe
- Accounts or reference numbers they have used
If you have more than one debt, you may need to prioritise them.
The debts to deal with first are called ‘Priority Debts’, these are the ones with the most serious consequences if you do not pay them.
Priority debts include:
- Rent arrears (as you could lose your home)
- Fuel arrears (as your supply could be cut off)
- TV Licence (as it’s a criminal offence to use a TV without one)
- Council Tax Arrears (can result in large fines)
- Court Fines (can result in large fines)
- Child Maintenance Payments (can result in large fines)
- Mortgage Arrears (if you live in bricks and mortar and have taken out a mortgage)
If these are not paid, bailiffs might be sent to your address.
Non-priority debts include consumer debts such as credit card loans, hire purchase, overdrafts, overpayment of benefits, student loans and money borrowed from family/friends. These creditors can take you to court but they cannot send bailiffs to your address.
If you have the money to do so, you can make offers of repayment to the person/organisation you owe money to yourself.
For further advice please contact the following organisations:
Citizens Advice Bureau
Free, independent, impartial and confidential advice on debt and more. They may refer you on to other organisations for further help.
Telephone: 0344 411 1444
Give free information to people with debt problems.
Telephone: 0808 808 4000
This helpline is open Monday to Friday between 9am – 8pm and on Saturday between 9.30am – 1pm.
StepChange Debt Charity
A charity offering free and confidential advice to people worried about debt. Their website also has a tool for calculating your individual debt remedy.
Telephone: 0800 138 1111
This helpline is open Monday to Friday between 8am to 8pm and Saturday between 8am to 4pm.
Money Advice Service
Free and impartial money advice. Advice and guides to help improve your finances. Tools and calculators to help you keep track and plan ahead. Support in person, over the phone and online.
Telephone: 0800 138 7777.
This helpline is open Monday to Friday between 8am to 8pm and Saturday between 9am to 1pm.
Friends, Families and Travellers
We provide advocacy casework, advice and information to Gypsies and Travellers on our national helpline. We may refer you on to a service in your area.
Phone: 01273 234 777.
This helpline is open Monday to Friday from 10am-4.30pm, with the exception of bank holidays.
This is for information only. FFT does not endorse any organisation shared on the FFT website.
Correct as of December 2017.