For many people struggling with debt in Scotland, the beginning of the year can be even more difficult. The endless slog of January is painful with the excesses of Christmas weighing heavily on pockets and then the much longed for pay packet is swallowed up by credit card payments, overdrafts and bank charges.
Now one debt help charity has reported that over five years the number of people contacting them in financial distress has increased by 47%. So, what can you do if you’re one of those people?
Scotland’s Trust Deed has been helping Scots with overwhelming debts for many years and we have built up a huge amount of knowledge on how to tackle debt. Our customers come to us to set up a Trust Deed, among other offerings, and regain financial control. As part of this service, we believe it is important to help them learn how to avoid the same situation happening again.
Face up to your debt
It’s important to be honest with yourself and work out how much you owe and to who. With this knowledge, you will be less likely to miss payments or underpay and will be more disciplined with budgeting efforts.
Pay on time
Interest and late payment fees will soon increase the overall amount of debt. Make a note in your diary or calendar to pay at least three working days before the due date to ensure the payment is received in time. Plan your finances so there is always enough money in your account to pay on time.
Try and pay a debt reducing amount each month.
Try and pay more than the minimum amount each month and your self-esteem will grow as the amount owed reduces. If you’re struggling financially then paying the minimum is fine. So long as the debt is managed the creditor will be happy.
Ask for help
Scotland’s Trust Deed, the Citizens Advice Bureau and charities are all available to offer friendly, non-judgemental advice. Don’t suffer alone when help and support is just a call or an email away.
Putting aside a small amount of money each month gives a feeling of pride and financial control. It also means that emergencies such as car repairs or vets bills can be paid without the need for a credit card. It’s not always easy to do but try getting into the saving habit.
Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)
Scotland’s Trust Deed offer services other than the arrangement of Trust Deeds. Not everyone qualifies for them and so, if appropriate, we will help our customers set up a Debt Arrangement Scheme or DAS.
A DAS is a Scottish government-run scheme that allows people to pay off their debts with smaller payments over a longer period of time. Managing a debt this way gives much-needed breathing space and a payment amount much more suited to their budget so defaults are less likely.
If you are struggling with debt and live in Scotland, then you may benefit from calling the friendly team at Scotland’s Trust Deed to talk over the potential solutions and whether a Debt Arrangement Scheme or a Scottish Trust Deed is for you.