two-thirds of people in Yorkshire consider themselves to have a debt problem, according to a new survey.
Most people have some sort of debt, like a student loan they’re paying back or credit cards that they pay off each month. This isn’t unusual and it’s not necessarily a problem. There are however some warning signs to look out for when it comes to debt.
It’s not a good sign if you’re starting to rely on credit to pay for the essential, everyday things. If you need to rely on your credit card for your food and bills for example, then this is a sign that something is up with your finances.
Another thing to watch out for is how well you’re coping with the minimum payment on your credit card. If you’re paying the minimum off on your balance each month, and sometimes struggling to do that, and your balance is climbing towards your credit limit, this is a warning sign that the debt is becoming unmanageable.
And of course, your own feelings will tell you a lot about how you’re actually coping with your debts. Does thinking about your finances stress you out? Do you have a pile of unopened letters from lenders in a draw somewhere? Being constantly stressed out about debt isn’t normal, and shouldn’t be something that you have to live with.
If you’re one of the two-thirds of people in Yorkshire who consider themselves to have a debt problem, the good news is that there is always a way to deal with it. And you don’t have to tackle this problem alone.
The first thing you need to do is look carefully at your budget. Work out how much you’ve got coming in and how much you’ve got going out. If it looks like your outgoings are bigger than your income each month, take a hard look at your spending and see if there are any areas you can cut back on.
You should always prioritise your bills in terms of how severe the consequences would be if you were to miss them. For instance, your rent, mortgage, utility bills and council tax must be paid before you pay any unsecured debts, like credit cards and personal loans.
If your situation is particularly complex, or you already know you don’t have enough to get by on, it’s best to speak to a trained debt advisor. They can tell you about the various solutions available and which one is right for you. Talking through your options with an expert can be a huge weight off your mind and pave the way to a financially secure future.
Debt Advisory Centre: 0161 871 4881