Coping with debt: the DOS and DON'TS

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Increasing numbers of people are struggling to cope with the burden of debt, regardless of their pay packet and social standing.

With car insurance rising by 67% in five years, gas bills rising by 52% and petrol by as much as 33%, according to figures from uSwitch, there is precious little cash to spare at the moment.

But once people fall into the debt trap, it is often a vicious cycle they struggle to get out of and although it can be tempting to go down a quick-fix route like a payday loan, it has entirely the opposite effect.

Quote startDON'T bury your head in the sand

If you are struggling with the burden of debt, you need a plan to succeed with your financial affairs.

Here are the dos and don'ts of being in debt from the experts:

DON'T bury your head in the sand- the sooner you get advice about your debts, the easier it will be to deal with the situation. Open the bills and letters that come through the post - not facing up to the true extent of your debt will only mean you get more into debt.

DO get some free advice - think carefully before going to a fee-charging adviser when free, independent help is available.

DON'T borrow money to pay off your debts without thinking carefully - always take advice before making this step. Quick fixes like payday lenders are a bad idea, the interest they charge are so extortionate, you will find it extrememly difficult to get out of debt.

DO work out a budget to help decide how much you can put towards repaying debts - a money adviser can help construct a budget, or you can visit www.mymoneysteps.org.

DON'T ignore your priority bills - these are the bills that could land you in court. You might feel that the lender who is likely to turn up at the door is daunting; it is often the failure to pay off council tax that lends people in court. Don't ignore these payments, it is a crime.

 

Further Reading

overdue-paymenthouse

How to clear your utility bill debt

Four million people in the UK are in debt to one or more of their utility providers. Follow these tips from the experts on how to cut down on your arrears.

Utilities | 03 Apr 2013

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