Struggling with debt

Struggling with debt

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Discovering you have a problem with debt can take its toll on your finances and your mental health. Find out what to do if you’re unable to pay your bills, where you can get the support you need, and advice on how to budget your money to help you get back on track.

When is debt a problem?

Debt comes in a number of forms, and being in debt doesn’t always mean you have a problem. Taking out a loan to finance a wedding or a new car purchase is common and doesn’t cause any issues as long as you can comfortably make the monthly payments. This could even benefit your credit score as it proves you can pay back what you borrow.

However, it is a different story if you begin to spend more money than you earn, become reliant on credit cards and payday loans just to get by, or struggle to pay back what you owe. It’s important that you seek help before you end up in serious financial trouble.

Working out how you’ve ended up in debt by examining your spending habits is a good place to start to help tackle the issue and work out a way you can budget your money.

The thinkmoney Current Account can help you get back on track – money for your bills is held aside so that you know any money left on your card is yours to spend and your bills will get paid on time.

What to do if you’re in debt

The most important thing to do if you find yourself in debt is to make sure you don’t bury your head in the sand and ignore it. Debt can quickly spiral out of control and turn into a much bigger problem than it was to begin with if you don’t take steps to deal with it.

  • Try to at least make the minimum payments on any loan and credit card bill each month. This will decrease the risk of further interest being added, worsening your debt.
  • Contact a money management charity if you can’t make the minimum repayments. The Money Advice Service and Step Change can help you prioritise which debts to focus on and recommend formal debt solutions if necessary.
  • Make a list of any lenders and banks you owe money to and contact them to explain your situation. The sooner you get in touch, the better, as they can help you put a repayment plan together.
  • Take a look at our better money habits guide below for some tips on where you can reduce your spending and improve your budgeting skills.
  • Check if you’re entitled to any benefits which might relieve some of the strain on your finances. You can use the gov.uk benefits calculator to work out what you could be receiving.
  • Set up Direct Debits for your bills if you haven’t already done so to make sure they’re paid on time. If you feel like you need help putting your money aside for your bills, a thinkmoney Current Account could be for you.

Support for debt problems

If you need any help with managing your debt, here are some charities we recommend. They offer free, impartial advice and will never judge you based on your financial situation. Please reach out!

Need some help?

We’re happy to support you with any issue that might be impacting your finances. Contact our specialist team on 0161 779 5000.

Opening times:

Monday - Thursday: 8:00am - 8:00pm

Friday: 8:00am - 6:30pm

Saturday: 8:00am - 4:30pm

Need some help?

We’re happy to support you with any issue that might be impacting your finances. Contact our specialist team on 0161 779 5000.

Opening times:

Monday - Thursday: 8:00am - 8:00pm

Friday: 8:00am - 6:30pm

Saturday: 8:00am - 4:30pm

How the thinkmoney app can help you manage your money

Our budgeting feature helps you take control of your finances. Once you have told us how much your bills are each month, we will ensure enough is kept aside. That way you can’t accidentally spend it so you’ll never miss a bill again. With 24/7 access to your account via the app, you can:

  • Keep your bills money aside
  • Check your balance on the go
  • Secure Face/Touch recognition
  • Manage Direct Debits
  • Manage standing orders
  • Freeze your card

Better money habits

Here are some top tips on how you can reduce your spending, improve your budgeting skills, and reduce your debt.

1. Set weekly budgets

Work out how much money you can spend without impacting your finances. Set aside money for your bills, money you need to pay off any debts, and if you can, put some in savings in case you need it for a rainy day. Anything you have left is yours to spend.

2. A good deal is only a good deal if you were buying it anyway

It might be tempting to browse through the sales and take advantage of online flash deals but you should only buy what you need. For example, if you weren’t looking for a TV, then picking one up because it’s half price isn’t a good deal. Whereas, shopping around for your essential groceries to find which supermarkets are offering the best prices is a good deal.

3. Say goodbye to unnecessary spending

Got a latte habit? Stopping off at the coffee shop on the way to work each morning for your coffee fix may be convenient, but it could cost you over £700 a year. Investing in a flask and making your own each morning could save you a lot of money.

4. Only upgrade technology if you need to

Technology is always developing, especially smartphones, but that doesn’t mean you should upgrade to the latest version every time it’s released. Instant gratification and social media pressure can make it feel like you need the latest tech, but it’s only worth it if you can afford it. If there’s nothing wrong with your current phone, don’t throw money away on a new one.

5. Cut down on takeaways and eating out

Who doesn’t love a night out at a restaurant or a cosy night in with a takeaway? But they don’t come cheap, which is why they should be a treat. Home cooking may take more time and patience, but it can save you so much money. Plus you get to develop your cooking skills!

6. Save on your electric bill Is your electric bill too expensive? There are lots of little tricks you can do to get your bill down. Take a look at our guide on how to save money at home.