debt help

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					                                                     Don’t panic or          You can get help       If you get a             Decide which debts
                                                     ignore the problem:    from lots of            threatening letter       take priority – like
                                                     unopened bills         organisations to        get advice from your     mortgage or rent –
                                                     won’t go away.         sort out your debt      local Citizens Advice    and which cost you
                                                                            problems (see over      Bureau or trading        most through
                                                                            for details).           standards service.       penalties or higher
                                                                                                                             interest rates.




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                                             tin
                                          tac ny
                                       con    a      Work out a realistic   Only agree to pay off   Get free advice –        Contact those who
                                 s by the m get      budget that covers     debts at a rate that    organisations like       you owe money to
                              lem    or     so uld
                           ob ey to ou — t sho
                          r n                        all your income and    you can keep up.        the Citizens Advice      as soon as possible.
                      rp            y      a
                   you e mo help ps th               spending. Check        Don’t offer more        Bureaux can give         Let them know that
                ve    w      to     ti               whether there are      than you can afford.    free help (see over).    you are having
             sol you o lling a few
       can le        wi     re                       any benefits or tax                                                      problems. Many
   You eop ions ere a .                              credits you are                                                         companies will be
        p     at             d
    the anis ow. H starte                            entitled to that you                                                    helpful if you talk to
     org ice n get                                   are not getting.                                                        them.
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If struggling with        You can’t ignore your      Keep copies of all     If a debt collector     If organisations        If a debt collector or
store or credit cards     debts. Better to pay       letters you send and   calls at your home      won’t accept your       lender harasses you
stop using them.          a small amount than        get about your         you don’t have to       repayment offers,       contact your local
                          nothing at all – those     debts.                 let them in. If you     seek advice.            Citizens Advice
                          you owe money to                                  want time to get                                Bureau or trading
                          may be prepared to                                advice arrange a                                standards service.
                          accept low                                        later appointment.
                          repayments.
Think very carefully     If you’re thinking of
before borrowing         taking out a new
more to pay off your     loan to pay off debts
debts. Get impartial
advice and don’t
                         make sure you find
                         out the total cost of
                                                  Debt: organisations that may
rush into signing        the loan, not just the
anything you don’t       monthly repayments.      be able to help
understand.



                                                  Citizens Advice Bureaux                                  Consumer Credit Counselling Service
                                                  Citizens Advice Bureaux give free, confidential and       Provides free confidential service to help achieve
                                                  impartial advice on debt. Details of your nearest        realistic solutions to debt problems, avoid bankruptcy
                                                  bureau can be found in your local telephone directory.   and learn to handle money. More information at:
                                                  www.citizensadvice.org.uk                                Tel 0800 138 1111
Check if a loan will     If you are thinking                                                               www.cccs.co.uk
be secured on your       of using a fee           Advice UK
home. If it is and you   charging debt            (Were Federation of Information and Advice Centres)      Money Advice Scotland
do not keep up           management               A large network of advice providing organisations.       Provides contact details for free, impartial, independent
                                                  Contact independent advice agencies through              and confidential money advisers throughout Scotland.
repayments you           company, then            Advice UK at:                                            Call 0141 572 0237
could lose your          make sure you
home. If you do not      understand exactly       Advice UK, 12th Floor, New London Bridge House,          www.moneyadvicescotland.org.uk
                                                  25 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9ST
understand the terms     what you are             Tel 020 7407 4070 (National)                             Trading standards
of a loan get advice.    signing up to.           Tel 020 7407 6611 (London)                               Local trading standards services can take action
                                                  www.adviceuk.org.uk                                      when traders break consumer law.
                                                  For agencies in Northern Ireland contact the             If you want advice about whether a creditor or debt
                                                  Association of Independent Advice Centres on             collector is acting unlawfully e.g. by harassing you,
                                                  028 9064 5919                                            you may wish to contact trading standards. But they
                                                  www.aiac.net                                             are unlikely to be able to provide you with debt or
                                                                                                           money advice.
                                                  National Debtline
                                                                                                           Details of your local trading standards service can
                                                  Free telephone helpline for people with debt problems
                         Check what fees you                                                               be found in your local telephone directory.
                                                  in England, Scotland and Wales. More information at:
                         will be paying to a                                                               www.tradingstandards.gov.uk
                                                  Tel 0808 808 4000
                         debt management          www.nationaldebtline.co.uk
                         company and how
                         long it will take you
                         to pay off your debts.