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Financial help over Christmas

Posted 21 October 2015

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Are you struggling financially and worried about the Christmas period? If so you’re not alone. Read on to find out what you can do.

Prioritise important payments

According to The Mirror, 3.2 million people were afraid that they would fall into arrears with their mortgage or rent payments last January because of the cost of Christmas. When you look at statistics like these, it’s clear to see that Christmas can add extra weight to financial burdens.

While you might feel under pressure to spend more than normal over Christmas it’s important that you don’t jeopardise your priority payments as this could have serious consequences down the line.

Of course, it is always best to stay up to date with all your bills – from the rent or mortgage, to utilities bills, council tax and debt repayments.  But if your financial difficulties have got to the point where you can’t pay everything, then prioritise key bills such as your mortgage or rent, even if that means contacting your unsecured lenders (such as loan and credit card providers) and explaining that you have to miss a payment.

Try to avoid borrowing more

If you are already struggling to make ends meet it may seem tempting to borrow more to “see you through” Christmas.   Whilst we understand the pressure to ensure that the kids have got presents and everybody can enjoy the festivities, adding more debt when you are already struggling with your existing repayments will only make your situation worse.   It is better to seek advice now to find a solution that will help you put your finances on a more secure and sustainable footing.

The solutions to the problem

If you’ve had a look at your finances and can see that the payments you’re being expected to make towards your debts just aren’t manageable any more then contact us for help. There are debt solutions out there specifically designed to help so use the options on the left to speak to one of our advisors about them.

Your lenders could agree to let you go on a Debt Management Plan which would allow you pay your debts off at a lower monthly rate and over a longer period. If you don’t think that you can pay back your debts in a reasonable amount of time then perhaps an Individual Voluntary Arrangement would be better for you. This would allow you to pay an affordable amount each month towards your unsecured debts and then have the remainder written off after the IVA has finished. These are just two of the options that could be available to you and they each have their pros and cons. Make sure you look into them all and seek professional advice to find the best fit for your situation.

Don’t be afraid of contacting your lenders yourself and explaining to them that you’re struggling to keep up with payments. You may find that they are able to be flexible and can give you a payment holiday or perhaps freeze any interest and charges that are building up.

 

You don’t have to worry alone about how you’re going to cope over Christmas, make sure you get the advice you need about routes out of debt. 

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.