Arrears: how to deal with them

We know that every debt - and every lender - is different, but some guidelines make sense in just about every situation.

  1. Know what you owe
  2. Improve your budgeting skills
  3. Talk to your creditors
  4. Know your rights
  5. Keep an eye on your credit rating
  6. If you need help, ask for it!

Know what you owe

Debt is part of modern life. Owing money isn't necessarily a problem - but owing too much money certainly is. So it's vital you keep track of your commitments. If you don't, you might hit some problems you could have avoided. As a homeowner, you might even be putting your home at risk.

Improve your budgeting skills

For most of us, keeping track of our earnings is as easy as looking at a payslip - but what about our spending?

You might think you know what you spend in a month, but if you put pen to paper - and write down everything you earn/receive and spend in a month - you might find there's some 'mystery' spending you can't account for, whether it's 50 or 500!

.and don't forget to check out our Money-saving tips.

Talk to your creditors

If you're having problems paying your bills, remember that your creditors:

  1. have dealt with late payments before
  2. probably don't want to go to court any more than you do
  3. are human too!

You might be surprised how much you can sort out with a simple phone call. Depending on who they are and what kind of debt you're dealing with, you might be able to arrange reduced payments, a lower APR, a short 'holiday' from making your payments...

If you make an arrangement with your creditors, do your best to stick to it. If they agree to reduced payments and you still don't make them, they might not be so helpful next time.

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Know your rights

There's a difference between playing fair and letting yourself get pushed around! Some creditors (thankfully not many) will try to push you into paying more than you can afford. Remember:

  • No one can demand money with threats of physical violence
  • With the exception of goods on hire purchase where you have not yet paid one-third of the balance, no one can repossess your things (including your home) without going to court - and they can't go to court without you knowing about it!
  • No judge will order you to pay more than you can afford.

Keep an eye on your credit rating

Whenever you apply for credit, the lender will check your credit rating before they tell you how much (if anything!) they'll lend you, and how much interest they'll charge.

So checking your credit rating now and then is essential. There could be a mistake on it that makes lenders think they can't trust you. Or there might be something simple you could do to improve your rating.

We can help you check your credit rating - and give you some advice on improving it.

If you need help, ask for it!

Finally, don't feel you're on your own. At All About Money, we've spent the last 15 years helping people with arrears and all kinds of other debt problems.

There's a lot we can do to help. What do you want to do?

Check out our solutions
Managed bank accounts, Debt Management Programmes, Loans & Mortgages and IVAs - All About Money offers a full range of financial services. Click here and find out how we could help you.

Ask for some free advice
You don't have to be a client to get help. Whatever problems you're dealing with, just give us a call on freephone 0800 074 4300. One of our expert advisers will be happy to discuss your situation and offer some free, impartial advice.

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