The Golden Rules of debt

Don't borrow money to pay off your debts without thinking carefully, especially if the loan is to be secured against your home or business premises. Consolidation loans should be a last resort.

Don't ignore the problem - it won't go away and the longer you leave it the worse it gets.

Use the information in this site to help work out your financial statement. Make sure you show it to your creditors when you contact them. Get advice if you are not certain which forms you should use.

Make sure you tackle your priority debts first - for example debts which could possibly mean you loosing your home, or having essential services cut off such as gas, electricity or water.

Use the tools on this site to work out a reasonable offer to repay the money owed. Don't worry if it appears very small if that is all you can afford. Most creditors prefer you to pay a small amount regularly than make an offer you can't afford.

Contact everyone you owe money to. If you make arrangements to pay a reduced amount to some creditors but not others you could run into difficulties again.

Contact your creditors immediately and explain your difficulties. Visit them, phone them or write to them If the first person you speak to is unhelpful ask to speak to somebody more senior who may be able to agree to what you want or call back later.

Don't give up trying to reach an agreement even if creditors are difficult.

Fill in the reply forms to Court papers in good time and let the courts have all the facts.You can attach a copy of your statement of means- always follow the instructions on the Court papers especially where to send them back to.

Always attend Court hearings. Take a copy of your Financial statement with you. Don't think that going to the County Court makes you a criminal - it's not that kind of court.

Always keep copies of any letters you send or receive, and make a record of telephone conversations in a diary or note book for future reference.

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Getting Started

Priority Debts

Secondary Debts

Golden Rules

Types of Debt