Debt can be a sensitive topic, So BDCU has introduced money tips to help put YOU in control of YOUR finances.
Signs that show its time for you to get debt help:
- You start avoiding your creditor’s calls and letters
- You worry about money on a regular basis
- Credit card repayments missed
- Hiding your money habits from your family
- Relying on overdrafts and credit cards for everyday expenses
- Paying regular bills is a struggle
Signs that someone close to you might be struggling with debt:
- They start to ask to borrow money regularly
- Becoming secretive about their spending habits
- Getting phone calls from unknown callers and avoiding them
- Avoiding their regular activities
- Changes in their behavior and mood
If there’s someone you know and you think they are struggling with debt, try to encourage them to get help. You could also support them by listening to them talk about their money worries.
What are my priority debts?
As not all debts are the same, each person’s situation is different. Your debt advisor will tell you the ‘priority debts’ which may concern you.
Priority debts include:
- Council tax
- Unpaid fines
- Water, gas, or electricity
Unpaid priority debts can get you in big trouble. For example, if you fail to pay your mortgage, your home could go under repossession.
What can bailiffs, debt collectors, or creditors do and what are my rights?
It is important to talk to a debt adviser about what you can do.
Bailiffs can take and sell your non-essential possessions such as a TV to repay your debts. However, they cannot force themselves into your home and they need to give you a 7-day notice of their first visit. You also have the right to check their ID and get a receipt from them if they take anything.
Debt collectors can give you notice regarding debt or court proceedings, so you are aware of the dates. Debt collectors cannot force entry into your home and take anything from there.
Creditors cannot take payments without your permission, add unreasonable chargers or call you at unreasonable times. You have the right to write your creditors a ‘holding letter’ requesting them to suspend any interest and repayments whilst you seek financial advice.
Get Help for Your Debt for free:
There are many debt management organisations that have debt advisers who you can seek free and confidential advice from:
Citizens Advice offers help by telephone, email, and face-to-face.
StepChange Debt Charity has a free debt advice tool on their website which includes a personal action plan and recommendations for ways to deal with debt. You can also get advice by calling them on 0800 138 1111
Your local Age UK charity can recommend you to an organisation to help
Christians Against Poverty offer services such as debt advice and a CAP money course.
Seek advice as soon as possible so that you and your debt adviser can work out a plan of action to repay your debts.
What is BDCU doing to help?
- Keeping your savings habit – though you may want to cut down your savings, reducing it down and keeping it going will help you build financial resilience for a rainy day.
- Our consolidation loan may help by bringing together your existing credit cards, overdrafts, and non-BDCU personal loans into a new cheaper loan. (Subject to credit and affordability checks)
- Read our money tips for more useful information.