Debt & Money FAQs
Click a question to see the answer.
How do I stop creditors harassing me?
If you're being harassed by a creditor it's important to know who is asking for payment. They may not be the people you originally owed money to. This is because your original creditor is allowed to pass the debt onto someone else to collect.
Citizens Advice has produced an online guide on harassment by creditors which discusses the steps you can take once you have established who is actually collecting the debt.
You can also use My Money Steps, the free online debt advice service from National Debtline which will tell you what your options are and how to deal with your creditors.
What can I do to avoid the stress my debts are causing me?
You have made the first step just by simply clicking on this question. By acknowledging the debt you are starting to ease the worry and are taking the initial steps needed in controlling and managing your finances.
Citizens Advice has produced an online guide about how to sort out your debts which will help you to identify how much money you owe and whether you have got any urgent debts. This will give you a step by step guide of the actions you need to take.
To see ways in which you can increase your income and work out your personal budget follow the four simple steps to dealing with your debts outlined by the National Debtline. This provides a useful checklist to make sure you have done all you can to increase your income as well as a budgeting tool which will help you work out a detailed personal budget.
You may also wish to use My Money Steps which is a free online debt advice service from National Debtline which will tell you what options you can choose from to deal with your debts and gives you a personal action plan to help manage your money.
What are my options for dealing with my debts?
Your options will depend on whether or not you have got enough money to pay off your debts.
If there is sufficient money available to pay off your debt you will need to ensure that you deal with your urgent debts first. These are known as priority debts as the consequence of not paying them can be more serious and would include things like mortgage, rent and council tax debts. Citizens Advice has produced an online guide to help with debt containing information on what constitutes a priority debt, the consequences of not paying and your options for dealing with such a debt.
Other types of debt are called non priority debts and may include benefits overpayment, credit debts such as overdrafts or money borrowed from family and friends. If you have any money to pay off non-priority debts you will need to work out the best way of doing this. Please refer to the Citizens Advice online guide Help with debt.
If you have no money left to pay off your debts and your circumstances are unlikely to improve in the near future, there are still options available to you.
To see ways in which you can deal with your priority and non-priority debts follow the four simple steps to dealing with your debts outlined by the National Debtline. This provides a useful checklist to make sure you take the right steps to deal with your debts.
You may also wish to use My Money Steps which is a free online debt advice service from National Debtline which can provide personalised advice based on your individual situation.
Will I always be in debt?
The National Debtline provides a summary of 10 ways to clear your debt and depending on which option you choose how long you could expect to wait before you would be debt free.
It is also important to look for ways to cut spending costs and save money. Citizens Advice has produced on online guide containing information on how to spend less. This will give you an idea of how to cut energy and other household bills.
A personal budget is an essential tool to help you tackle debt problems so, use an online Budgeting Tool. This will help you to work out how to make your money go further. Remember it is important to update your budget every time your circumstances change.
Should I go bankrupt?
Bankruptcy is a court order that you can apply for if you are in debt. Someone you owe money to can also apply to make you bankrupt even if you don't want this.
If you have no money to pay your debts, or have so little that it will take you years to repay you might want to think about bankruptcy. Citizens Advice has produced an online guide setting out the advantages and disadvantages of going bankrupt. This includes the role of the Official Receiver, who takes control of your money and property and who deals with your creditors, the costs and the consequences involved such as losing your home if you own it and other valuable possessions.
The National Debtline has a number of useful fact sheets about Bankruptcy including the steps involved, the effects of bankruptcy on your credit rating and even your employment prospects and what will happen once you have been discharged from bankruptcy.
I have a small business and I owe money. Where can I get some help?
If you have business debts as well as personal debts, you can get help from the Business Debtline. By following their four simple steps you can have access to a useful checklist which contains suggestions on how you can increase your business income to advice on what you can do to ensure your business customers are paying you on time.
If you haven't found the answer to your question or the information you are looking for, you can:
Contact Hart Citizens Advice for help
Find another organisation who can help
Alternatively, you can search our online directories to find an organisation that may be able to help you.