Problems Paying Your Bills
People can get into difficulties with their finances for many reasons, normally due to an unforeseen change in their circumstances.
If this should happen to you, please make sure that you prioritise your payments so that you do not risk losing your home, belongings or in extreme cases, your freedom!
Your first step should be to examine your household budget and you may find our previous section useful. Here are some tips to help you manage the problem: -
1. Don’t ignore the problem- Open your post, communicate with the people that you owe and get help quickly.
2. Check your income- Get a benefit assessment and claim all that you are entitled to.
3. Tackle priority debts first.
4. Don’t be tempted to pay those who shout loudest- you need to remain calm and deal with your debts in the right order.
5. Always deal with court letters immediately, attend any hearings and take your budget with you.
6. Work out a reasonable, affordable offer, inform your creditors and then stick to your arrangement.
7. Keep copies of all letters and record names and dates of any telephone calls.
8. Avoid borrowing money to pay off debts or bills- This is rarely the best option.
There are a number of agencies who can help you to prepare a debt management plan, many of these are free of charge but be wary of some who charge a monthly fee.
In more extreme cases, it may be appropriate for you to arrange your debts to be written off by way of bankruptcy or debt relief order. More information is available on the following websites: -
Citizens Advice Bureau: Scarborough - 01723 368710 Whitby 01947 605657