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How to survive Credit Crunch in England

Came across an interesting article -> that can be accessed from the following link

Credit Crunch can be effectively handled by the following ways

Ignoring your debt problems will only make them worse. Don’t ignore calls or letters from the people you owe money to (your creditors).

Contact them to explain why you’re having problems. The sooner you do this, the more options you’ll have for solving your financial problems.

There are many organisations which offer free and independent money advice such as Citizens Advice, Shelter, National Debtline, and the Consumer Credit Counselling Service. Their debt advisers can assess your situation and work out the best course of action for you. For details of organisations which can help, go to the bottom of this page.

There are some debts you need to pay first before others, because the consequences of not paying them can be much more serious. For example, mortgage or rent debts are a priority as if you don’t pay these you could lose your home. Debt advisers can help you plan your budget and pay your priority debts first.

Work out how much money you’ve got coming in and going out of your household on essential expenses like food and bills. Then work how much you’ve got left over to pay your creditors. If you can’t afford to pay back all the money you owe, work out how much you can afford and offer to pay this. A debt adviser can help you do this.

Are you getting all the money you’re entitled to?

There may be benefits or tax credits you can get such as Pension Credit or Disability Living Allowance which you haven’t claimed. Working Tax Credit is an in-work benefit which is not just available to people with children. You might be able to get it if you work enough hours and are disabled or your income is low enough, even if you don’t have children. You may be able to get Council Tax Benefit or Housing Benefit to help you pay your council tax and rent. You don’t necessarily have to be out of work to get these benefits. You may be able to get help with your health costs such as prescription charges and dental costs. You may be able to claim help with education costs such as school meals and clothing.

You may be able to get a grant to help you pay for things like fitting home insulation and improving energy efficiency. This can help cut down the fuel bills.

Your gas and electricity supplier may be able to help you if you have fuel debts.

To find out if you can get help, visit the British Gas Energy Trust website at: (New window) or the EDF Energy Trust website at: (New window)

There are also some charities which give grants to people to help pay their bills or buy essential items. You can find a list of these charities on the Turn 2 Us website at: (New window)

An adviser can help you maximise your income. For details of organisations which can help, go to the bottom of this page.

Look carefully at your spending and see if there is anything you are able to cut down on. For example, you could shop around for a cheaper gas or electricity provider, or look at cheaper mortgage or insurance providers.

You can find more information about changing your gas and electricity suppliers from the website of the consumer watchdog, Consumer Focus at: (New window)

To find out more about how to save money on financial products such as mortgages and insurance, go to the website of financial watchdog the Financial Services Authority at: (New window)

You may end up paying back a lot more than you borrowed and at very high interest rates. You may not be able to afford the repayments and the loan may be secured against your home which you could then lose.

Always attend the court hearings yourself. Court proceedings do not mean that you will automatically lose your home. The court process acts as a final check to make sure repossession is the last resort. Some courts have advice desks which can provide last minute assistance.

Selling your home and renting it back might seem like a quick fix to your debt problems. But, many of these schemes offer very little security. You could end up paying very high rent or even being evicted. These schemes are also not regulated so you will not have access to the same protections as a mortgage holder.

If you are struggling with mortgage repayments you may be tempted to send the keys to your lender or abandon your property. Don’t do this without advice. You could still be responsible for the debt on the property and may be pursued for it years later.

Tags: consumer credit counselling, Credit Crunch, debt problems, independent money, money advice, pension credit, priority debts, tax credits, uk index, working tax credit

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