Let’s Deal with Debt

debt_fbWe’re here to help NAIRN deal with debt, says Nairn Citizens Advice Bureau

Local independent money advice experts have said that the people of Nairn don’t need to tackle giant bills and final reminders on their own. The team at NairnCAB have said that they can help people deal with debt, and that now – with Christmas spending and the January Blues behind us – is the perfect time to do it.

To get you started, the team have shared their top five tips for dealing with debt:

1) Pull all the information you have together

First things first: gather all the information you can about what you owe, what you spend, what you earn and what you receive.  That includes details about everything that affects money going out or coming in, so don’t forget to include things like any overdrafts, store credit, and buy-now-pay-later deals. Remember to account for birthdays, school meals and car costs. Make up a spreadsheet or budget sheet to help you to see everything at a glance. It might seem a lot and it may be tough, but the trick is to bite the bullet and not leave anything out. If you include everything it’ll be easier to find a way forward.

2) Decide what your essential costs are and prioritise them

Take a look at what you spend, and decide what’s essential and what you can do without. Essential expenditure is things like rent, mortgage, council tax, water charges and utilities. Once you know what’s essential, you can prioritise that. Can you reduce your expenditure? We’d always suggest being realistic at this stage, so you know your plan is something you can maintain.

3) Deal with the emergencies

It can be hard to open those letters marked with red. But if you follow the first few tips, and know what you’re facing and what’s essential, you can tackle the real issues that can affect you and your essentials first, and make a plan for what comes next. Check for court paperwork especially. Do you have a court date for an eviction hearing, for example? There are time scales attached to this type of letter, and you must act within these time scales.

4) Know all your options

Depending on how much you owe and how much you earn, you do have options for how to deal with debt, and to get you through it. Re-do your budget sheet, see if you have any money left over to make an offer of payment. Don’t worry if you have nothing left over; there are still options to deal with your debts and you will get through it. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so you could do some research to see what your options might be and get advice from experts.

5) Get free, independent support and advice

If you need help to tackle any of these steps, you aren’t alone. Reach out for the information and support you need, and make sure it’s from a free and independent source that’s regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority – like your local Citizens Advice Bureau. That way you can get the information you need and be sure it’s in your best interests. Beware of companies who will charge you for advice.

For any other information or to find out more, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland.

Contact Nairn 01667 456677 for more information or book an appointment.