Big Energy Savings Week 2019
08 Jan 2019
Distance selling - fraudulent use of your payment card
04 Apr 2018
04 Apr 2018
Did you overspend at Christmas? Are you having trouble paying your household bills, credit cards and paying for food?
Remember it is very important to make sure that you pay your priority bills first.
Priority debts are ones where serious action can be taken against a person if the debt is not paid, such as losing your home, being disconnected from energy supplies or a prison sentence. The most important debts are not necessarily the biggest ones.
To avoid getting into priority debt, always pay your rent, Council Tax, utility bills, tax, TV licence, child maintenance and any court fines first.
You may be tempted, if you’ve overspent at Christmas (or at any other time) to pay your “consumer” debts, such as credit cards, overdrafts or loan agreements, before your priority commitments. All these types of debt can increase if you are unable to meet repayments, but the worst that can happen is that the debt increases, or any goods you’ve bought (such as a washing machine) is taken away (repossessed). Your credit rating will also be affected. You may get taken to court, and if you don’t attend and can’t show how much you can reasonably and realistically pay each month (come to an agreement for repayment at a lower rate), you may have an enforcement order taken out against you (with a visit from the bailiffs).
Remember too, that money borrowed from family and friends, are non-priority debts, as the consequences for non-payment of priority debts are: homelessness; imprisonment or having electricity and/or gas cut off.
Citizens Advice has written a handy one page guide to priority & non-priority debt.
If you ‘re worried that you don’t have enough income to pay off your non-priority debt in a reasonable time, it is time to look at your budget. Citizens Advice has a useful budgeting tool at.
There are several useful websites which can help with managing debt:
REMEMBER – don’t be an ostrich and ignore your bills or debts! If you are struggling, seek help before it becomes even more difficult! If you can’t “do it yourself”, your local Citizens Advice can help you.