It’s really common for people to avoid facing up to debt problems and even fearing the envelopes containing final demands for bills. But leaving debt to mount up will only make it worse. We speak to lots of people who struggle to pay their bills, and with energy prices set to increase it is important that you get help now.
If you would like to speak to someone, there are many FREE and CONFIDENTIAL support services available across Nottingham. Please visit the ASKLiON where to find money help & advice page for your local advice services.
Go To An Advice Centre
Take your bills and bank statements with you and talk to an Adviser. Advisers can help you to put a plan in place and retake control. Please click on our Help and Advice section for contact details for advice centres.
Use A Budget Planner
Money Helper's free budget calculator will help you to know exactly where your money is being spent, and how much you’ve got coming in. Knowing how to manage a budget – keeping track of where every pound is being spent – is a great first step to getting out of debt.
Claim The Benefits You Are entitled To
Now more than ever it's important that you are making sure you are getting any benefits you are entitled to, to boost your income! Visit the ASKLiON benefits page for more information.
You might be able to get a loan as part of your Universal Credit if you need to cover a specific expense - this is called a 'budgeting advance'. Find more information on the citizens advice website.
Call A Helpline
Below are two charities that provide free, confidential, expert debt advice:
Further Help With Debt And Money Advice Issues
If you’re struggling to pay your bills, you need to make sure you pay the most important ones first. There are more serious consequences of not paying certain bills than there are for others. You can look at your bills and split them into three categories:
- priority debts
- non-priority debts
- debt emergencies
If you’re dealing with a debt emergency, you should speak to a debt adviser if you’re at risk of court action, bailiff action, disconnection or eviction for mortgage or rent arrears.
Money Helper Bill Prioritiser
They also have a bill prioritiser, which lets you click on all the bills you need to pay and gives you a personalised list of the order in which you should pay them:
If you have a loan with the same lender that you have a bank account with then the contractual loan amount is often deducted from your bank directly. If you are significantly overdrawn then payments into the account can be swallowed up by charges.
You may wish to consider changing your bank account in these circumstances. Remember to close the account formally and to ensure that all your direct debits are transferred to the new account.
There is some useful information about this on the Money Helper webpage.
You might be visited by bailiff or enforcement agent if you do not pay debts such as Council Tax bills, parking fines, court fines and county court, high court or family court judgments.
Bailiffs will write to you before they visit, so you must not ignore letters saying that bailiffs will be used.
There are different kinds of bailiffs, known as:
- ‘Certificated enforcement agents’ (also known as ‘civil enforcement agents’)
- ‘High court enforcement officers’
- ‘County court and family court bailiffs’
- Bailiffs who enforce magistrates’ court fines and warrants for arrests (either ‘civilian enforcement officers’ or ‘Approved Enforcement Agents’)
A bailiff may also visit your home for other reasons, for example to serve court documents or give notices and summons.
If you are in business debt there is a specific business debt helpline for people still running businesses, further information can be found here.
The Money Advice Trust have some information on the Debt and Mental Health Evidence Form (DMHEF). This form is sometimes used when an organisation that is owed money needs evidence to confirm that a customer has a mental health problem. For further information about this please visit the Money Advice Trust website.
To view the Debt and Mental Health Evidence Form please use the link above. This should be completed by a health or social care professional.
ASKLiON Mental Health Support Directory
If you are looking for mental health support, please visit the ASKLiON mental health support page to find free and local mental health services in Nottingham