Are you one of the millions who is facing a debt crisis in January? It's always a difficult month and in 2017 even more people will have problems because credit card, loan and catalogue debt has been rising fast. Personal debt has grown by over 10% in a year and it's now at the highest level since the 2008 crash. When debt goes up faster than incomes, more people will have difficulty repaying … [Read more...]
Dealing with creditors
If you can't make the standard monthly payments to your loans or credit cards, you need to talk to your creditors. Ignoring the problem or trying not to deal with creditors usually makes things worse, so don't be an ostrich!
Here are articles that looking at how you can approach your creditors and how they are likely to respond. If you don't feel you can manage this, then talk to a good Debt Charity such as National Debtline or StepChange - avoid firms that advertise as they are trying to make money from you.
A few readers have asked recently about long term debt payment arrangements. What information do they have to give to a debt collector? Can they can be asked to pay more? etc. Let's look at three different cases: an arrangement with a creditor; what happens if you use a DMP firm; and what if the payment is to a CCJ. Arrangement with a creditor Mr A asks: I have had an arrangement … [Read more...]
This is a guest post by Chris Richards from Council Tax Advisors, a not-for-profit organisation that specialises in negotiating repayment plans with bailiffs or local authorities. A visit from the council tax bailiffs is a nightmare situation in many people’s minds. Let’s face it, even the word “bailiff” itself is scary. And even though the official term is now “enforcement agent”, a visit from … [Read more...]
A reader asked: "I had a joint loan, now sold off to a debt collector. I have been chased by numerous debt agencies for a few years now. The debt collectors have been chasing me solely and causing masses of stress when they should have been splitting the debt and chasing my ex partner as well. I think I have been very unfairly treated!" This is a very common problem. Lots of people think … [Read more...]
This is a guest post by Tax Aid, a charity that helps people on a low income with tax problems. If you can’t afford to pay a tax bill when it is due, you will often want to make a “time to pay” arrangement with the tax man. You may be asked questions that feel very personal, such as what your expenses are – this is because HMRC is more likely to make an arrangement with someone who they feel … [Read more...]
If its been four or five years since you stopped making payments to a debt and you haven't been making any payments, you may be wondering if your debt has got lost or the the debt collector has forgotten about it. This article looks at what is likely to happen. If you have been making payments, even very small ones, to an old debt this article isn't relevant for you - instead read Should I keep … [Read more...]
Councils used bailiffs more frequently in 2104/5 to collect council tax arrears, parking tickets and other debts. Money Advice Trust has collected figures from councils across the country that show: councils referred 2.1 million debts to bailiffs in 2014/5 - up 16% on 2 years ago; over half of these, 1.27m, were council tax arrears; there is a huge variation between councils. Use varies … [Read more...]
A reader asked if starting to pay a defaulted account will help his credit score. This is a complicated area, as it depends when and how much you pay, so let's look at some of the different situations. With all of these, if you want to know what is going to happen to your credit record, you need to know exactly what it says now by checking all three credit reference agencies. For the rest of … [Read more...]
If you are very worried about your debts, you may be wondering how easy it would be to disappear and leave them all behind. Will your old records be linked with new ones on your credit records? Can your creditors find you if move, go abroad, change your name? Most of these sorts of ideas aren't very sensible - and you almost always have much better options! - but let's see what the problems … [Read more...]
A reader asked if he should offer a token payment to his debts, wondering if his creditors would ever accept it. The simple answer is that you should make token payments offers IF it is all you can afford AND you expect your situation to improve at some point. Let's look at the problem in detail, including how your creditors are likely to react. What is a "token payment"? Normally if you … [Read more...]