Debt Centre

Get Through Short Term Problems

Everyone suffers from short term problems at some time in their life. Here are some actions you can take which can help speed up the time it takes to get your financial fortunes back to normal:

  • Draw up a simple monthly budget and try to stick to it.
  • Move to cheaper lenders. Most people have a wallet or purse full of cards that they’ve had for many years. Your credit score tends to get better as you grow older, so you probably qualify for cheaper interest rates by now.
  • If you can, switch to a cheaper utility company to save money on your utility bills.
  • Ask your bank for a list of all standing orders and direct debits. Go through it and cancel anything you don’t really need.
  • Try to resist putting items on lay-by or buying on an interest-free or buy now – pay later basis. These are clever ways to encourage you to part with your hard-earned cash and are best avoided. If you can’t pay cash, don’t buy.
  • Sell any unwanted items on eBay.
  • If you have taken Consumer Credit Insurance on any of your loans, cancel it. You’ll be surprised by the reduction in monthly payments. It’s a rip off.
  • Arrange to pay the minimum payment on all your credit cards by direct debit, and then pay more if you can afford it using the tear off slip. That way, you’ll keep your credit rating intact.
  • Make sure you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to.
  • If you have a mortgage, think about re-mortgaging, preferably without increasing the debt, to a new mortgage lender that offers an introductory cheap rate. Do your sums carefully.
  • Think about selling any shares you may have, and changing any foreign currency you may have stashed in a drawer. The proceeds are better off used in reducing your debt than they are in there.
  • If you own your own car, think about selling it and buying a cheaper one, or taking out a lease on a new one. Do your sums really carefully, and remember to use the sale proceeds of the car to reduce your most expensive loans – be very disciplined with yourself - don’t spend the cash elsewhere.

Still worried? Try our suggestions on Debit Indigestion

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