I can’t afford to repay all of my debts in the agreed term, what can I do?

April 29, 2013

Last year, 118,244 Scottish residents sought help from the Citizens Advice Bureau due to rising debt levels, so you’re not alone if you’re starting to feel the pressure.

If you’ve accumulated large amounts of debt, you might have to prioritise your payments in order to get back on track. However, for many, as creditors’ letters and bills begin to pile up, it’s difficult to keep sight of which debts are a priority.

Here at Scotland Debt Solutions, we can help you to create a debt management plan and discuss any suitable debt solutions to help get your finances back on track. However, before looking at more serious debt solutions such as sequestration, which can have a negative impact on your financial future, why not see if simply prioritising your repayments can help?

Whether you’re either renting or own your own home, keeping up with your rent and mortgage payments is essential. If you are continuously in debt with your lender or landlord, you could be evicted or even lose your home.

Other priority debts include bills such as council tax or energy arrears. Non payment of electricity and gas can result in the disconnection of your supply, council tax is also a priority – your local authority can apply to the court for a summary warrant, which, when enforced, could deduct the council tax arrears from benefits such as job seekers allowance, wages or even seizure of your private possessions. However, if you contact your local authority to explain your financial difficulties, you may be able to agree payment terms with them to avoid any further action.

If you currently have any fines such as speeding or parking tickets, these must be paid as soon as possible. Creditors are able to freeze a debtor’s bank account and stop them receiving pay. Following this, debtors who continue to avoid payment can even face imprisonment. This same procedure also applies to child maintenance arrears made payable to the Child Support Agency or Child Maintenance Service.

Income tax and VAT arrears you may have also require immediate payment. Non payment of these debts can result in prison.

Finally, you are legally required to hold a television licence if you watch live programmes via a television, laptop or any other device. Any arrears or lack of a television licence can result in a further fine.

Obviously, the ‘essential’ repayments mentioned above are daunting enough if you’re already struggling. However, speaking with a specialist debt adviser could help. Our friendly, impartial team at Scotland Debt Solutions can provide you with debt management advice that allows you to prioritise your payments and gives you the confidence to speak with your creditors to try to reach a solution which suits everyone.

Speaking with your priority creditors is the first step. If they are aware that you’re struggling financially, they may be more open to arranging a payment plan, or giving you more time to repay. Being nervous about making the call is completely normal, and that’s why our team at Scotland Debt Solutions can help with that too. Why not call us today, and let us help provide you with the first steps to fixing your finances?

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