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You are here:home > Living > Housing > Housing and Money solutions > Welfare Benefits and Money Advice > Debt Toolkit (includes the Money advice self-help pack)

Debt Toolkit (includes the Money advice self-help pack)


If you are having problems making ends meet or paying your bills this toolkit is for you. It explains the steps you can take to sort out your money problems. Although there is no easy answer, acting NOW will stop the situation getting worse.

The toolkit is broken down into steps and the contents are summarised below.

You can read the individual sections in any order, but they have been designed to be a step by step guide and is likely to be more useful to you if you follow through the headings in order. The document is called 'Money advice self help pack' and is available near the bottom of this page.

Contents of the Debt Toolkit include

1. 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.

2. Step 2: Tackle the most important debts first – priority creditors

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

3. Step 3: More debts? – credit or 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.

4. Step 4: Help, the bailiffs are coming!

This section looks at the powers of a bailiff.

Downloadable documents

Icon Name of file Size Download time
Image Money advice self help pack 3763 KB 15secs @ 2Mbps
Link to download Adobe Acrobat if required

Contact information