This is a contributed post. Website T&Cs are here.
Debt is a common problem. With £1,566 Trillion being owed by people in the UK at the end of November in 2017, and the average household debt being £57,578 (including mortgages), it is no wonder we see it all around us.
So what do you do when you can’t afford to pay back your debt? When you’ve literally borrowed so much that you can’t cope with the repayments anymore?
This post provides some ways to tackle this. I sincerely hope it helps. Please share with others who you feel would benefit from this too. If you would like some support, why not join my free, private Facebook group?
Almost everyone has some level of debt, whether that be a mortgage, credit card, personal loan, or finance. Living with debt has worryingly become a staple part of the way we live our lives. Sometimes though, juggling all the payments can start to become a difficult burden to bear, and if you’ve been off work due to illness or have been left without a job, it can be even harder to keep on top of everything.
Below are some things that you could do when you’re worried that you might not be able to cope with the level of debt you currently have.
Panic doesn’t help anyone. Its a completely useless waste of energy. Instead, out in your big-girl pants and get brain storming. Start by writing out all the debts you owe, when you owe them by, what your minimum repayments are, and who you owe the money to. Make a plan to pay off the smallest debt first ASAP. Then tackle the next smallest and so on. This is known as debt-snowballing, and is psychologically the best way I know of getting yourself out of debt. Try my free ebook and do it too! If there is a deadline involved, start with the one you need to pay off first. Action leads to results, so stop digging a hole, and start the long climb out!
Talk it out
Talk to the companies that you owe money to. Explain your situation to them, and try to come to an arrangement. Most companies are very willing to accommodate any difficulties that you may be having, and the fact that you have gone on record saying that you want to pay them, but can’t do the full amount this month, will show that you are being responsible and are willing to compromise. You may be able to agree to freeze any payments whilst you are unemployed and agree to restart them in a month or two once you have started earning again. Always remember: If you don’t ask, you don’t get. So don’t be afraid to ask for time, or reduced payments or anything else that you think might help you to keep afloat.
Seek Help from Professionals
There are plenty of resources out there for free advice, including the money advice service, step change and citizens advice. Just be sure it is the genuine web page that you are visiting if you do your own google search. There have been reports of websites using names that are similar to the actual advice lines that are not actually offering the advice you need, and in fact, could make your situation worse.
Curb your spending
This is a very obvious thing to say, but you would be surprised how many people don’t stick to their budgets, even when they’re struggling to pay back debt. You don’t have to cut all the joy out of your life, but eating out in restaurants several times a week, or buying a coffee every day, are little luxuries that you may not be able to afford as often as you’d like. Avoid impulse buys, and try to make little changes, like bringing your own coffee from home, that will help to decrease your day to day spending so that you can afford to make your repayments on time.
It could be that consolidating all your debts into one would help you to manage your debt better. Companies like Debtconsolidation.loans allow you to borrow a large lump sum that will enable you to pay off all of your existing debt, meaning that you only have one monthly payment to worry about to one company. This means that you are less likely to miss a payment by accident because it got lost among all the other payments you have to make. It also makes it easier to budget for the month, as the repayments can be set up to come out just after you are paid, instead of coming out in bits and pieces over the course of the month, making them difficult to keep track of.
Just make sure you do your home work and ask about the following:
- All fees involved
- Length of time the borrowing is over
- Early repayment charges
- Interest rate on the loan (the lower the interest rate figure the better)
Hopefully, this has helped you to put together a plan to manage your debt in a way that is sustainable and beneficial to you. If you are ever in doubt, there are plenty of free debt-advice services that you can talk to which will help you choose the right path for you.