Debt can happen to anyone and for all sorts of reasons. There's no shame in admitting if debt is becoming a problem for you. It can be difficult to pay back what you owe when you're living on a fixed income, but there is help available.
It’s never too late to sort out your debts and find support. It’s a good idea to organise your debts and make a list of the details of each debt, for example:
who you owe the money to – this is called your creditor
how much you owe them
the payments you have missed.
If you’re unsure how to deal with your debts, there’s plenty of support available. You can get free, confidential, impartial debt advice from the charities National Debtline and Stepchange. They can help you to:
work out your budget
deal with your most urgent debts
deal with your non-priority debts.
Your local Citizens Advice can also advise you if you’re in debt. Their useful budgeting tool may help you to work out your spending and where you might be able to save money. They also have information on dealing with debt.
You can find local debt advice agencies on the MoneyHelper website.
Get a benefits check
Make sure you’re claiming all the benefits you’re entitled to. Our benefits calculator can help you work out what you may be able to claim. Or call our free Helpline and arrange a benefits check with an adviser.
Consider help in an emergency
If you have an unexpected cost because of an emergency or crisis, you might be entitled to help from your local council’s welfare assistance scheme. If you're getting certain benefits, you may be able to claim an interest-free Budgeting Loan from the government to cover some costs.
If you’re having trouble paying your fuel bills, your energy supplier may be able to help. Read our webpage Managing your energy bills for more information.