If you have a problem with debt, it’s important not to panic. However, don’t ignore it either – it won’t go away, and there is lots of help available.

If you don’t take action to deal with certain debts – ‘priority’ debts such as rent, mortgage, utility bills or council tax  this could have serious consequences for you. Other debts – ‘credit debts’ such as personal bank loans, credit cards and overdrafts often increase if you cannot keep up payments, with interest and charges being added to the outstanding balance.

There are various options for dealing with debt. The right option for you will depend on your circumstances and what debts you have. You can get free, confidential help and advice on dealing with money problems and debt from the organisations listed below.

National Debtline
Telephone: 0808 808 4000 Monday to Friday 9am-8pm & Saturday 9.30am-1pm.
There is also a free online debt service and lots of useful information available on the website www.nationaldebtline.org

Debt Support Trust 
Telephone 0800 085 0226 Monday to Friday 8am-7pm
A national charity offering debt advice by phone and online at www.debtsupporttrust.org.uk.

Telephone: 0800 138 1111 Monday to Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 8am-4pm
StepChange provides free help and debt advice for all kinds of debt problems. Their online Debt Remedy tool can identify the best debt solution for your situation. www.stepchange.org

Telephone: 0808 250 5907 Monday to Friday 8am-8pm, Sat 9am-3pm
For debt advice and free debt management plans. www.payplan.com

Citizens Advice
You can find online help from Citizens Advice and details of your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau at www.citizensadvice.org.uk.