Help to deal with debt from our Money Advice Team
We can help you reduce and manage multiple sources of debt. We will assess your situation and offer you tailored advice and recommendations, applying for relevant schemes on your behalf to help reduce your expenditure.
It is important that you use any extra money you have to clear priority debts, as this type of debt will result in more serious action being taken in the event of non-payment.
What are Priority and Non-Priority debts?
When you are on a limited budget and bills keep coming in, it can be hard to decide who to pay first. A simple way to do this is to see if they are priority or non-priority debts.
What is the difference?
A priority debt is one that will have the most serious effect on you and your family if you don’t pay it. Debts and the additional charges that are added when you miss payments can quickly increase.
If you are struggling to pay any bill, you should always keep in touch with the company you owe money to as they usually have ways of helping- especially if you speak to them as soon as you start to struggle.
|Priority Debt||What is the worst that can happen?|
|Rent and Rent arrears||Eviction from your home|
|Mortgage/ secured loan||Eviction from your home|
|Ground rent and leasehold charges||Loss of lease and repossession by freeholder|
|Unpaid magistrates court fine||Imprisonment|
|Council tax arrears||Attachment of earnings/Enforcement agents|
|Unpaid income tax/National Insurance||Bankruptcy|
|Hire purchase arrears/Logbook loan||Repossession of goods|
|Tax credits overpayment||Enforcement agents who can take control of goods|
|Benefit overpayments (if still in receipt)||Deductions from ongoing benefits or use enforcement agents|
|Non-payment of TV licence||Magistrates court fine|
|Child Maintenance (non-payment)||Imprisonment|
|Penalty Charge Notices (council)||Enforcement agents who can take control of goods|
|Non Priority debt||What is the worst that can happen?|
|Credit Cards||Credit rating can be affected and can make it harder to obtain credit
After 3 to 6 missed payments creditor may issue default notice which can affect credit for up to 6 years
Once account defaulted then creditors will usually pass debt to multiple debt collectors.
Creditors may decide to apply to the court to start money claim, which can result in County Court Judgement or CCJ being registered against you
Once CCJ is registered and, goes into default the creditor can apply back to court to enforce judgement.
Enforcement could be attachment of earnings order, charging order, warrant of control, third party debt order or bankruptcy etc.
It would depend on the amount of debt owed whether charging order or bankruptcy could be applied for against you
|Private parking tickets|
|Personal debts to family/friends||Usually there are no official ways family and friends can make you repay any informal loans|
Use the Budget Sheet to work out how much money you have coming in and what you are spending it on.
How we can help
We can help you in many different ways, from helping you arrange payments of council tax debt, to applying for grants, discounts and other schemes to reduce debt and increase your income.
Other assistance available
If the Money Advice Team identify debts of a significant amount, then they will refer you to one of our partner organisations, such as Citizens Advice. They can offer appointments and specialised help to help you deal with both Priority and Non priority debt, together.
StepChange is the UK’s leading debt charity with more than 25 years’ experience providing free, expert debt advice online and by phone. Create a budget and get a personal action plan with practical next steps and ongoing support as you deal with your debt problems.
The Money Adviser went above and beyond and I can’t thank him enough!