02 Mar 2019

Sort out your debts before retirement

It is very easy to get into debt and anyone can get into debt, for a wide range of reasons, but try to remember that you’re not alone and it’s never too early or too late to seek help.

When should I seek help for debt?

It could be time to get help with your debt if you are:

  • Avoiding letters and calls from your creditors
  • Missing credit card payments
  • Struggling to pay your household bills or paying them with credit
  • Relying on your overdraft
  • Hiding your spending habits from your family
  • Regularly worrying about money

What should I do if someone I know is having problems with debt?

Common behaviour that may indicate that friends or family are having problems with debt:

  • Hiding post
  • Asking to borrow money
  • Being unusually secretive about money and finances
  • Getting phone calls from unknown callers
  • Avoiding things they used to enjoy

If you’ve noticed any signs of these or think someone you know may be having problems with debts encourage them to seek help.

Remember that they need to make the decision to get advice themselves however you can give them support and listen to them this can make a big difference.

What debts should you pay off first?

Some debts, called priority debts, can lead to serious trouble if they aren’t paid. For example, if you dont pay your mortgage, your home could be repossessed.

Priority debts include:

  • Mortgage
  • Rent
  • Council Tax
  • Water
  • Gas/Electricity

What if I’m being pressure by creditors, bailiffs, or debt collectors?

You have rights when dealing with creditors, bailiffs and debt collectors.

Creditors can’t call you at unreasonable times, take payments without your permission, or add unreasonable charges.

  • Bailiffs can take non-essential possessions (for example, a television) and sell them to repay your debts. They can’t turn up without notice or force themselves into your home – they must give you 7 days’ notice of their first visit. Make sure you check a bailiff’s ID and get a receipt for everything they take.
  • Debt collectors can’t force entry, take anything from your home like a bailiff can, or demand cash payments from you. They can serve you notice of court or debt proceedings so that the creditor will know you are aware of the proceedings.