The best move is to contact us now but if you prefer, there are lots of things you can do yourself - here  are some simple self help suggestions.

 

Simple advice

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Never ignore debt problems

They will not go away and the longer you leave them the worse they will get.

Think carefully before borrowing money to pay off debts 

It is seldom the right answer and can often make life worse for you even leading you to losing your home.

Benefits and tax credits

Check you are claiming all the benefits and tax credits to which you are entitled.  Use a benefits checker like that at https://benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk/

Income Tax

Are you sure that you have been given the correct tax code and so are not paying too much tax? If in doubt, contact your tax office. 

Organise your paperwork

Set up a file for your bills, statements and financial papers - this will help you work out what is due when and know where you are.  Always open your post and deal with it as quickly as possible.

Check your bank statement  

It's always worthwhile checking to see that you're not still paying direct debits for services you no longer use or need - like gyms, magazine subscriptions or vegetable boxes.

Budget

Work out a personal budget showing all your income and outgoings so that you can clearly see where you stand financially and plan. There are lots of online tools to help you such as https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/banking/budget-planning/  

And keep a record of your spending and income so you know how you’re doing against your budget.  There are lots of apps available to help with this – search for ‘spending trackers’ on your mobile phone’s app store.

Or you could keep records on a spreadsheet or paper.

Spend less than your income  

It's always best to spend less than your income and aim to build up some savings for a rainy day.

Talk to your creditors

Get in touch with all your creditors straight away and explain your difficulties.  Keep a note of who you speak to and what is agreed.

Prioritise your debts

Make sure you tackle your important debts first – for instance debts that could mean you losing your home, the council taking you to court or the threat of having your gas or electricity cut off.

Offers

Make a reasonable offer to repay the money based on what you can afford - you still must live!  Make sure that you can keep to this each and every month

Do not give up

Even if creditors are difficult do not give up trying to reach an agreement.  Or contact us for help and advice.

Court papers and appearance

Fill in the reply to forms to court papers in good time. Let the court have all the facts and keep copies of all correspondence. Always attend court hearings and take a copy of your budget with you.

Get help

Have a look at other sources of information - there are some set out below, or

Contact us to arrange a meeting – we can provide advice AT NO COST TO YOU – FREE!

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Other sources of information and help

There are lots of resources available online to help you.  Like everything on the web, be careful that you are dealing with trustworthy information and watch out for scams or misleading sites.  

 

Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services  https://www.turn2us.org.uk/

 

Community Money Advice is a national charity supporting local debt advice centres:  Money Lifeline is a member of this organisation.  If you need help and are not local to Basingstoke, use this site to find other debt advice centres in the UK https://www.communitymoneyadvice.com/

 

Money Helper is a government service providing guidance and help about financial issues       https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en

 

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis’ well known site with general money information https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/

 

National Debtline  A national charity offering free, confidential and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems. They offer advice by phone and you can download self help packs and many useful information sheets. There is a very good list of more free helplines and other advice agencies who may be able to give you more help and assistance  https://nationaldebtline.org/

 

Stepchange A very large debt advice charity offering a phone and web-based (called Debt Remedy) advice.  They help around 400,000 people a year. There is a wealth of information about dealing with debt and other money advice  https://www.stepchange.org/