Help with debt

Where can I get help to sort out my debts?

Our freephone helpline can provide details of both national and local debt advice services. Depending on where you live, we may also be able to put you in touch with a specialist debt counselling service for families with disabled children. Remember you do not need to pay for debt advice and this can help you reduce the amount you are paying out each month.

I feel overwhelmed by debts. I just don't know how to start sorting them out. What can I do?

There is a standard process for starting to sort out your debts. You will be able to get free confidential advice to help you through this process.

  • It's really important not to ignore your debts. Start by making a list of all your debts and your creditors - the people you owe money to.
  • Check whether you owe the money and have to pay the debt.
  • You will need to work out your income and expenditure - how much money you have coming in and how much you spend. Check if you can increase your income and cut your spending.
  • When you've done a list of your income and expenditure, you will see how much money you have left to offer to your creditors. Then you need to identify your priority and non-priority debts to make realistic arrangements to pay.

I've heard about priority and non-priority debts. What's the difference?

Some debts are more serious than others because of the consequences if you don't pay them. Generally priority debts are more serious than non-priority debts. For example, mortgage arrears are a priority debt because you could lose your home.

You should not ignore any of your creditors, but when dealing with your debts make arrangements for your priority debts first.

  • Examples of other priority debts include rent, council tax and TV licence payments.
  • Examples of non-priority debts include credit card debts, bank overdrafts, catalogue debts and store cards.

Think about your personal situation too. For example, payments for a car are not considered priority debts. However, if you rely on it because you have a disabled child then you might want to treat it as a priority.

If you'd like to know more

Call our national freephone helpline on 0808 808 3555 or email