Dealing with debt toolkit

Are you having problems making ends meet?

This debt toolkit will guide you through the steps that you can take to sort out your money problems. There is no easy answer but acting now will stop the situation from getting worse.

The toolkit is broken down in to steps:

  • Step 1: Income and expenditure

    How much money do you have coming in: Working out how much money comes into your household is the first step towards completing a personal budget. You need this to work out how much money to offer creditors (the people you owe money to). 

    Maximising your income: One of the most important things you can do to help sort out your money problems, is to make sure you are getting all the income you possibly can. There are a number of ways you may be able to do this – here are a few suggestions. 

    Where does the money go: In this section, you need to work out how much money you and your family spend on living expenses.

    How much is left over: In this section we look at what money is left after working out your essential living expenses.

  • Step 2: Tackling priority debts first

    This section explains what priority debts are and why they are so important. It includes:
     
        - Mortgage arrears 
        - Rent arrears, if you are a Council tenant 
        - Rent arrears, if you pay rent to a private landlord or Housing Association 
        - Gas and Electricity 
        - Council Tax 
        - Income Tax/National Insurance and VAT arrears 
        - Magistrates Court fines 
        - Arrears of Child Support 
        - TV licence 
        - Hire purchase or conditional sale 
        - Benefit overpayments and Social Fund Loans

  • Step 3: Non-priority debts

    You may have debts other than priority debts where the creditor hasn’t got extra powers (for example, they cannot take your home). All these debts grouped together are commonly called non-priority or credit debts.

  • Step 4: Dealing with bailiffs       

    This section looks at the powers of a bailiff.

For further advice contact us by email at welfarerights.advice@southampton.gov.uk