1. Acknowledge the problem. This is the hardest bit. So make yourself a cup of tea (or grab a glass of wine) and work out your incomings/outgoings for the month.
2. If you don’t need it, cancel it. Not using that gym membership? Old insurance policy that you forgot to cancel? Every little bit adds up – so ditch what you don’t need.
3. Contact your creditors. The FCA’s rules about financial difficulties are clear. If you’re struggling to meet your financial commitments and ask the business for help, they should come up with some solutions for you to help you buy some time while you get back on your feet again. They should also consider suspending interest and charges for a short period if it’s making your situation worse.
4. Get a (free) plan. If your financial difficulties are ongoing, then speak to a free service like StepChange, a charity set up to help people get back on top of their finances. They’ll contact your creditors for you and negotiate payments you can afford. It’s not easy, but it’s a solution. Never pay for a debt management service – there are free options out there.
5. Be realistic. This bit sucks but I’m afraid it’s necessary sometimes. There are times when you look at your finances and it’s apparent you can’t afford your property. If that’s the case, speak to the mortgage provider about downsizing to a cheaper property. It’s a better option than defaulting on your mortgage.
Remember, if a financial business fails to help you when you tell them about your financial difficulties – or makes things worse, you have the right to make a complaint. We’ll help you at www.resolver.co.uk.