Take control of your debt
When you get in to debt you can feel like you have lost control. So act quickly, and get expert help as soon as you can.
Prioritise your debts
Debts are prioritised based on what can happen if you don't pay them. Here are the highest priority debts to tackle - the ones you should deal with before others:
- housing costs: your rent or mortgage
- council tax
- utility bills
- court fines
- child support
- income tax and VAT
- hire purchase agreements
Cancel any direct debits for things you can live without. Do it in writing and to keep a copy of the letter.
Change your bank account
If your wages are paid into a bank account and you're overdrawn, the bank can use your income to pay off the overdraft. It can also transfer your money to pay off loans or credit cards held with that bank.
To avoid this, open a new current account with a bank you don't owe money to.
This can be difficult if you have credit problems, but most banks offer a basic account without many credit checks.
See Financial Services Authority (FSA) for information about your banking rights. (external site)
Get the right benefits
If you are on a low income make sure you get all the benefits you are entitled to.
See benefits and financial support advice (government site)
Pay the right tax
Ask your employer to check your tax code. You may be entitled to a refund.
Get the right pay
Your employer is not allowed to pay you less than the minimum wage. (government site)