Managing your debts
Here are some tips on debt consolidation and ways you can help cut debt. 1
Managing your debts
- Prioritise your debts by working out which ones you need to pay, such as rent or mortgage arrears, gas and electricity. Then work out what's left so that you can pay off other debts.
- Find out how much interest you're paying on current loans, overdrafts and store and credit cards. Pay off the most expensive first. Once you pay off store and credit card accounts, consider closing them if you don't intend to use them again. And don't forget to keep up with at least the minimum payments on your smaller debts.
- If you can, transfer your most expensive debt to a creditor who can offer you a lower interest rate. Many card providers offer six months' free or low interest when you transfer debt, but check what you'll pay once the offer ends.
A new loan to absorb smaller, more expensive loans may be a good idea if the rate and terms are more favourable, because a single repayment may be more manageable for you. But check the interest rate of debt-consolidation loans, as these can be high. Missing payments on a new loan could mean risking your home if you have to provide it as security.
Don't ignore it
- Debts can affect your credit rating and if you rack up a poor history you may have problems getting a loan or mortgage in the future.
- Missing payments will damage your credit rating even if you eventually clear your existing debts. You may end up not being able to buy goods on credit or get a mortgage.
- As soon as you run into problems, contact your creditors to negotiate or lengthen the borrowing period. They will usually be receptive as it isn't in their interest to make your problems worse. Barclays is committed to considering cases of financial difficulties sympathetically and positively. Check whether other lenders you are considering are too.
- Don't take on new debts and debts you cannot afford.
- Shop around for the best deals and ditch expensive cards.
- Be wary of being offered cheaper headline rates, as you may pay for it in fees and early repayment charges.
1. Disclaimer The information contained in this document is for general guidance on matters of interest only and should not be regarded as a personal recommendation or legal or other professional advice. If you do need advice on any specific problem, or would like further information on any information contained in this document or on our website, then please do not hesitate to contact us.