I’ve fallen behind on my bills and the debts are building up. Where do I start?
You’ve already taken a great first step by asking for help, and it’s important to know
you don’t need to face this alone.
You can contact South Lakes Citizens Advice for help.
In the meantime here are four steps you can take to get started:
Work out how much you owe – Make a list of whom you owe money to and add up how much you need to pay each month. If you don’t have your most
recent statements, contact your creditor to find out what you owe. Some creditors will have special arrangements for people with Covid-related arrears.
Prioritise your debts – Your rent or mortgage, energy and council tax are called priority debts as there can be serious consequences if you don’t pay
them. Separate these and work out how much you owe. Again, you can ask the companies or council what support might be available during the
Work out how much you can pay – Create a budget by adding up your essential living costs, such as food and housing, and taking these away from
your income. The Citizens Advice budgeting tool can help. Any money you have spare can be put towards your debts, starting with the
priority debts first.
If you have any money left after paying priority debts, but not enough to make your usual payments on other debts, consider getting advice on the best way
for you to start getting on top of them. Or contact your creditors and offer them what you can afford to pay.
If you can’t pay your debts – If you’ve got little or no money spare to pay your priority debts or other debts, such as credit cards and loans, just contact
us. It’s easy, just call us 015394 46464, Adviceline: 03444 111 444 or post an online request to us www.southlakescab.org.uk
Again, if you are struggling to pay for basics like food, seek help immediately from us. We know it can feel very daunting to deal with debt, but having a plan really helps and our team will be here to help you each step of the way.
Free, confidential advice and help is available from South Lakes Citizens
Advice on any aspect of debt, consumer problems, benefits, housing,
employment or any other problems.
South Lakes Citizens Advice, your local charity, is here for you.
How to access:
Call 015394 46464 – this is being staffed from 9:30 – 2pm
Adviceline: 03444 111 444
e-mail advice via our submission page on our website
Help to Claim (Universal Support): 0800 144 8 444