I paid for Christmas on my credit card and now I can’t afford the repayments

February 1, 2013

If, like many of us, you spent a little more than planned on your credit card this Christmas, it can be tempting to try and leave card statements unopened once they start dropping through the letterbox. But if you’re struggling to repay credit card bills, ignoring the problem is the worst thing you can do.

So avoid the temptation to stick your head in the sand, but at the same time try not to panic. As soon as you realise you are going to have problems paying even the minimum monthly repayment demanded by your credit card provider, sit down with a pen and paper and work out exactly what your income and expenditure is, the value of your savings and assets, and how much debt you owe.

Once you have worked out how much you can afford to repay you will have a clearer starting point for seeking advice. Contact us for an informal and confidential discussion and together we will find a solution to help you to get your finances back in order. The team at Scotland Debt Solutions will also be able to negotiate with the card companies on your behalf. Tackling the problem directly will enable you to find a solution that works for your current financial situation, and it will be a weight off your mind too.

Your card company may agree to let you pay a reduced amount for a period of time, while you sort out your financial situation. We can also ask for interest to be frozen so that your debt doesn’t carry on going up. Always steer clear of the temptation to try and increase your credit limit though, as this is likely to get you into deeper financial problems and at all costs avoid getting into debt consolidation contracts – they usually charge such high interest rates that you end up worse off.

It’s important that you keep paying at least something every month. Making regular payments will show your creditor that you’re committed to clearing the balance despite being in financial difficulty and may encourage them to be more sympathetic to your cause. Paying as much as you can will also help to reduce the total amount you owe and the amount of interest that will accrue on the outstanding balance.

If you have other debts on top of your credit card repayments, or you’ve had a recent change in your circumstances which means you can’t pay, you might be eligible to claim benefits or get other help. Contact us and we can advise you on this and other ways to help get your finances back in order.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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