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COVID-19: We have answered some of our customer's most frequently asked questions
We hope you had a great time over the Christmas period. Whether you spent it with family, had a party with some friends, or just relaxed in front of the TV, we expect it was fun!
If you’re reading this blog though, chances are, you probably had a nagging feeling that perhaps Christmas was costing a bit much this year. If this sounds like you, the good news is that you’re certainly not alone.
According to stats we’ve previously published on on Christmas debt, millions of people turn to borrowing over the festivities to cover the cost during this time. As a result, more than a quarter of us are unlikely to clear our Christmas debts before March.
This can lead to what is known as a ‘Christmas debt hangover’. That feeling, when 2020 starts, that you’re still dealing with the repercussions of an expensive December. Fortunately, we’re here to help – and make sure that hangover doesn’t turn into a long-term migraine.
First, it’s important not to panic. You can use a budgeting tool to determine what your monthly income is as well as your outgoings. Perhaps your Christmas debts aren’t as big as you thought they were and – hopefully with a few cutbacks – you can still make ends meet.
If it looks like the festive season has taken a toll on your income, then it’s time to do something about it.
Next, you should determine which debts are a priority. These are expenses where the repercussions of not paying would be severe. For example, not paying your bills could result in legal action.
Although we would never suggest not paying your debts, identifying which are non-priority gives you time to find a solution. Regardless, knowing your financial state and identifying opportunities for improvement is never time wasted.
If – after prioritising and identifying solutions, – your financial situation still looks bleak, then it’s time to consider getting help. Although many people choose to ignore their debt problems, the longer you leave this problem, the worse it usually gets.
Fortunately, there are a variety of solutions to resolving Christmas debt. For larger amounts, an IVA could give you some much-needed breathing room and help write off debt. Alternatively, a DMP (or debt management plan) could help bring your non-priority expenses under control.
Regardless of which option you feel is right for you, you should consult a specialist debt advisor first as they will be able to assess your circumstances and find the best solution.
Although Christmas has just passed, you’ll be in a better situation to tackle it next time if you deal with your hangover now. Speak to us and we’ll do our best to ensure the next festive season barely gives you a headache.
Debt write off applies to unsecured debts and on completion of an IVA. A debt write off amount of between 20% and 80% is realistic, however the debt write off amount for each customer differs depending upon their individual financial circumstances and is subject to the approval of their creditors.
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Free money help and advice can be found at the MoneyAdviceService.org.uk