10 of the best debt advice tips
Published Thu, Apr 19, 2012 Updated Tue, Feb 16, 2021
With the current economic conditions more challenging than ever, getting into debt is becoming a reality for many of us. If you should find yourself falling behind on payments, then following these 10 tips can help you to make sense of your finances and get back on your feet.
Tip 1: Acknowledge the debt
You must acknowledge that you are in debt, rather than ignoring letters and demands and hiding your head in the sand. Ignoring your situation means it will only get worse. Instead, get in contact with your creditors and explain your position. Letting them know you want to arrange a repayment plan will make the situation clearer for everyone involved.
Tip 2: Identify cut-backs
Start by analysing your budget and making the most of your monthly income and your outgoings. Are there any cut-backs you could make or any benefits that you could be claiming which could help your situation?
Tip 3: Make a repayment offer to all creditors
Once you know exactly how much you have to spend each month, let your creditors know you are taking action to repay your debt. And although it is important to cover priority debts, such as mortgage payments, try to offer payments to all your creditors, however small.
Tip 4: Treat creditors as you would like to be treated
Though it may sound silly, always remember your manners and treat creditors politely. However frustrated you might feel, you definitely want them on your side.
Tip 5: Don’t put up with rude creditors
Don’t let creditors treat you badly. The fact that you owe them money doesn’t give them the right to be aggressive with you. Be upfront about your debt and the action you are willing to take and if you believe you’ve been treated poorly, take the creditor’s name and report them.
Tip 6: Record all communications
It is in your interest to keep track of any paperwork or phone conversations to ensure there is a paper trail. Make a note of any phone calls and the name of who you spoke to. Keep any letters sent to or from you and log any agreed payment dates.
Tip 7: Don’t borrow any more
Avoid the temptation of more borrowing. A debt-consolidation loan might only add more interest to your repayments.
Tip 8: Take advantage of all the advice available
Don’t be afraid to get help and advice when you need it. Struggling to get out of debt can be a frustrating and confusing time, so get as much advice as you need. There are a number of IVA expert debt advice services that can give you a wealth of information, as well as our IVA guides. If you receive a court notice or official papers, make sure you read everything carefully and get guidance from either the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor.
Tip 9: Stick to your repayments
Avoid simply telling creditors what they want to hear. Take action and once you make a commitment to repaying certain amounts, stick to it.
Tip 10: Keep creditors updated
If you do struggle to make your repayments, get in touch with your creditors straight away and explain your situation. Don’t miss a payment date as you could incur further interest and penalty charges and your creditors could decide to take you to court.