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. You are not alone in having debt problems and you do not need to be alone in sorting them out.
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.
Complete a debt health check – work out where to start when it comes to tackling your debts. The debt health check on the Money Advice website will help you work out the best option to beat your money worries.
Call a helpline - below are two charities that provide free, confidential, expert debt advice:
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 Advice Service webpage here.
If you are in business debt there is a specific business debt helpline for people still running businesses, further information can be found here.
Have you thought about how much you will budget to spend on decorations, food and gifts to avoid going into debt? Don't forget to factor in rent, council tax and more expensive winter energy bills.
Thinking about putting Christmas on credit? Don't begin 2020 with Christmas debt - which often lasts beyond April. Look at what you can afford to spend now and spread purchases out over paydays – if you have a big enough freezer, Christmas food like vegetables and mince pies can be bought well in advance and frozen.
You could also consider having a greener AND cheaper Christmas by focusing less on presents and more on experiences and spending time with friends and family.
Always stay away from doorstep lenders, payday loans and 'rent to buy' high street shops and think twice about store credit - these methods of paying for Christmas will almost always leave you hundreds of pounds worse off than the alternatives! Instead, try Nottingham Credit Union for a small loan of as little as £100
Already in debt and worried about what to do? Speak to one of our friendly Advisors who can help you make a plan.
Please see below for more information on how to avoid Christmas debt:
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 click here. This should be completed by a health or social care professional.