Insights from the UK and beyond
Tools to help you get out of debt
Financial website Unbiased.co.uk announced this week that as a nation we spent the first 83 days of the year working just to pay the interest on our debts. Personal loan levels increased to 11.4 billion pounds in 2008, up by over 1.6 billion pounds on the previous year and mortgage debt from equity release loans also increased by 6.5 billion pounds. Credit card debt, on the other hand, decreased by just over 4.9 billion pounds.
If you are struggling to pay off your debts, here are some useful online resources to help you out.
You can start by reading our top tips to help you beat debt problems. Budgeting properly is essential and you can use Unbiased.co.uk’s budget calculator to rein in your spending and borrowing and work out how much you will be left with each month to service your debt.
If you feel like you need expert financial advice then Unbiased’s website is the best place to find an independent financial adviser you can trust. You can also talk to the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, a charity which offers free and confidential advice and support to anyone dealing with debt problems.
Moving the balance on your credit card can save you hundreds of pounds a year in interest. You can find and compare the best deals Moneysavingexpert.com’s credit card and loans section. Its guide to improving your credit score will make life easier for you once you get back on your feet and the debt problems section is an invaluable resource for those of you who think your debt crisis is unsolvable.
Switching utility provider can also lead to savings that you can use to pay off debt. Compare gas and electricity suppliers at moneysupermarket.com as well as other providers such as mobile phones, broadband and insurance.
Cutting back on little luxuries like coffee, newspapers and cinema tickets soon adds up. Find out how much you can save each year by using Barclay’s little extras calculator.