Worried about debts or have missed payments? There is free, confidential and independent debt advice available.
If debt is giving you sleepless nights, get free one-on-one advice
There are two ways to deal with problem debt. Which one is right for you depends on whether you have worrying or large debts or whether you're in a debt crisis.
What counts as 'debt crisis' depends on who you ask, but a good indication that you might be in one is if you answer "yes" to either of these two questions:
- Are you struggling to pay all basic outgoings, for example, mortgage, rent, energy bills and minimum credit card payments?
- Are your debts (excluding your mortgage) bigger than a year's after-tax income?
If you're in debt crisis, don't panic. No debt problem is unsolvable. It might not be easy or quick to resolve, but there's always a route. First, read MSE debt help checklist. Then access free one-to-one help – there's a range of great, free, non-profit debt-counselling agencies to support you if you're in crisis.
If you've got debt problems but are NOT in a debt crisis, see how to get help and support from those in the same boat.
If you're struggling with debt and mental health problems, we also have a free Mental Health and Debt booklet to help.
Martin Lewis’s Money Saving Expert website
Money Saving Expert is a website with articles and tips for saving and managing your money, including:
- Budget Planner
- Cost of Living Survival Kit
- Heat the Human not the Home guide
- FREE Martin Lewis Podcast from BBC Sounds
All the latest deals, guides & loopholes go into the MoneySavingExpert.com's free weekly email. To sign up visit FREE weekly MoneySaving email
Draw up a budget
The government-backed Money Helper website, produced by the Money and Pensions Service, provides information on a wide range of financial subjects, including:
You can also contact them for money guidance that's impartial and free to use, whether that's online or over the phone. See the Money Helper: Money Guidance page for details.
Help may be available to you through a charitable grant and other help, depending on your background, circumstances and needs.
To find out what help may be available from grant-giving charities, you can use the Turn2us Grants Search.
Broadband 'social tariff'? Some cost £15 a month
If you're on a lower income, for example, claiming universal credit, MSE has a full list of social tariffs which are cheap long-term. Some poeple looking for work are even eligible for six months' free broadband.
Struggling to pay energy bills? There's more help available
The first step's to talk to your supplier to agree a repayment plan that you can afford. But, that's not the only help available, there are grants, one-off payments and more. Turn2us Struggling to pay energy bills? guide rounds up all the help available from energy firms, the state and charities.