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Debt Helpline Scotland > Articles by: Laura Hillhouse

When you really think about it, there are probably over a hundred reasons that you should get out of debt. However, everyone will have different motivations for doing so. We’ve put together some of the main motivators most people would consider for getting out of debt.

Free up more of your income for financial security

Whether you can pay your debt off completely or enter into a plan to pay your debts back, you will have more money to save for you and your family. Financial security for the future is so important and taking steps towards paying off your debts will give you that extra income to prepare for the future.

Reduce your risk

Being in debt means that you can’t save for any income emergencies. Having no extra money in case of emergencies such as you or a partner losing a job is a risk. If you pay off your debt there will be less risk of you losing your home or your car if you can’t make payments towards your debts.

Improve your credit score

Having debt will weigh down your credit score whether you have credit cards, store cards or loans. For example, if you’re near a limit on your credit card then your credit score will be lower. Your interest rates will also be higher on any further borrowing if you’re in debt which puts you in a vicious cycle of trying to pay off debts with high interest rates.

Look after your mental health

Reducing the stress of constantly worrying about your finances can do wonders for your mental health. Being worried about debts takes its toll on your mental health, especially if you’re struggling to make payments. When you start to pay off your debt, you’ll no longer feel trapped or weighed down.

Take care of your physical health

Being stressed not only affects your mental health, but it can also impact your physical health. Stress has been found to contribute to heart conditions, gastrointestinal problems and diabetes to name a few. Chronic stress can affect your immune system and the lack of sleep from stress can have a huge impact too. When you spend less time worrying about your finances, you will have more time to take care of yourself.

Help your relationships

Being under severe financial pressure will not only affect you but those around you too. This can be relationships at home or at work and getting rid of your debts lifts a weight off your shoulders that can make you happier which benefits you and those around you.

Spend money on things you enjoy without feeling guilty

Getting out of the vicious debt cycle means that you will be able to get on with enjoying time with your family without feeling guilty about spending money. Family days out or holidays can often be tainted when you’re in debt with a feeling of guilt when you know you don’t have the money to spend.

Own your own assets

After paying off your debt you will no longer need to worry about anyone taking your belongings because you can’t afford your payments. Once you pay off your debt, you can eventually pay off that mortgage or your car and everything else you have can officially be yours. This can be a relief for those in debt after worrying for so long about bailiffs taking everything away.

These are just some of the reasons that you may want to get out of debt, we’re sure that there are many more that are personal to you. If you’re struggling and think you might need some help, why not give us a call today? We offer free, no obligation advice that can help make the reasons above become a reality for you. Call us at 0141 380 0588 or find out if you qualify for debt help, here

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There are different options when it comes to reducing your debt. A recent article from The Times has indicated that people living in Britain will each account for £14,300 worth of unsecured debt. This tells us that more and more people are going to have to deal with managing payments, interest rates and the stress of it all.

One option when paying off debt is to manage it yourself and come up with a system in which you will be able to pay off all of your debt on your own. Depending on your debt level, this could be completely feasible. Another option is to get help from an advisory service. This is a better option for those with high debt levels who are finding it impossible to keep their heads above water.

For those who want to pay their debt off themselves, creating a plan is a must. You will need to evaluate your debts. Write down how much you owe, who you owe it to, what are you currently paying to each of these debts every month and don’t forget to note down the interest you’re paying on all of your debts as this will be a huge factor in considering whether you can pay this off with no other help – it all adds up.

Your next step is to evaluate your own income. Note down how much you earn every month and what your partner earns if this is applicable. You should also think about your monthly expenses and planning out a budget for these. This means you can estimate how much you have left over as disposable income.  It would also be a good idea to factor in an amount for any emergencies here. You never know when you might need a car repair or to fix a broken pipe!

If after looking at all of this information you think you have enough to cover your debts with the interest applied, then great! Keep going and stick to your plan. If you’ve found that you might need some extra help, advisory services, like us, are here to help.

We can help you evaluate all of your debts and decide what you can afford to pay each month. If you would like to move forward with a debt solution, then we can pass you over to one of our partner companies who can set you up in a plan. You could even consolidate your debts into one monthly payment and with some solutions such as a Trust Deed, you can write off up to 80% of your debt. This will all depend on your situation and income, but we can help you move forward with paying off your debts at a rate you can afford.

Asking for help isn’t always easy but it’s a step in the right direction for those who are struggling with their debt. Our advice is free and there’s no obligation for you to take any action so a call with our advisors is simple and easy. Call us today on 0141 830 0588 or find out if you qualify for a debt solution, here.

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It’s more important than ever to teach children about smart money habits. Children pick up on all of the things that we do so if they’ve seen you dealing with money problems, it’s very likely they will view this as normal behaviour.

If you’ve managed to avoid money troubles, then you’re lucky. Many of us haven’t got this far without borrowing but you do always have to beware of your children picking this up.

Your money habits will teach them, whether they are good or bad, about how to view their finances. It’s important to guide them from an early age, no matter what your situation. Many people choose to talk to their children directly and many choose to show them through their actions, everyone deals with it differently.

Teaching children the value of money will help them in the long run. You can teach them that some borrowing is suitable such as mortgages or university fees. You can, however, highlight that debts like credit cards and store cards are bad debts.

Knowing the difference between good and bad debts can help a child as they get older and banks are trying to persuade them to take out student overdrafts and credit cards. If children know they have to save for things they want from an early age, they will be less likely to use credit cards and loans to buy things that they don’t need immediately.

Take the time to talk to your child about money and teach them smart money habits. You’ll find they pick these tips up more quickly than you think, and it will stand them in good stead for when they start to go off to university and move out of the family home.

As always, we are here to help with any money problems that you may have. Our team can talk you through solutions that are available to you if you are struggling with debt. Call us today on 0141 380 0558.

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Having to face up to your debt problems can be tough. It’s hard to admit these types of struggles to yourself and it can often be so much easier to brush it under the carpet. But even hiding your debt from yourself, never mind those close to you, can have negative effects on your physical and mental health.

Yes, it’s hard to face up to financial mistakes we have made but a lot of us don’t know that we can get help from various places to get us through our hard times. We can all take steps to ensure that we can get through our debt problems.

Admit what your problem is and talk to someone

Lift the weight off your shoulders, admit what your problem is and talk to someone about it. Telling someone about your money worries will ensure that it doesn’t eat away inside of you. Talking to someone in your life can help but also seek out professional help. It’s important to talk to someone close to you who will be able to give you emotional support but it’s also equally important to talk to professionals who can give you help and advice.

Take action and let us help you

By reaching out to us, you will have taken the first step to becoming debt free. Once you seek out the right help you can start to get your life back. No matter where you are in the UK, we can tell you of the solutions that are available to you.

Look after your own well-being

While you’re sorting out your finances, remember to look after yourself. Our self-care can take a back seat when we’re stressing about debt as we often forget to look after our physical and mental health when we are stressed. Remember to eat well and exercise and also try finding ways to think positively. Even though this can sometimes seem impossible, it will benefit your mental health.

We’ll be here to help you in any way that we can, and our advisors are experts in talking to you about your debt. Call our wonderful team on 0141 380 0588.

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Summer as always went by too quickly and as we jump back into our warm clothes and turn the heating on, we might begin to consider how much money we have spent over the past few months.

Did you stay on budget, save some money or did you, like many others, spend a little too much?

UK spending this year wilted slightly because of the amazing weather that snuck in, but many people still overspent on holiday or heading to the nearest beer garden to enjoy the sunshine. Maybe you bought yourself some well-needed garden furniture or new clothes to deal with the unusually high temperatures. Whatever you spent your money on, you wouldn’t have been alone in overspending.

A survey conducted by peachy.co.uk showed that Brits spend recklessly while they are on holiday and “97% of holidaymakers don’t regret reckless spending on their summer holidays.” This leaves many with debt they are unable to manage when reality sets in back home.

Using credit cards or short-term loans to get through the summer months is what can cause issues for many Brits. When summer is over, and we need to think quickly about how we pay this all back with the festive season starting to creep into our minds, managing our debt can become quite stressful.

If you think you could do with some help and advice on your debts, get in touch with us today. Whether it be overspending on holiday or simply not keeping track of your summer spend, our expert advisors will tell you all of the solutions available to you, so you can pay back your debts at a rate you can afford. Call us today on 0141 380 0588.

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Getting a store card from your favourite retailer may seem like a great idea at the time but what your shop assistant won’t highlight is that these cards are a form of debt. Different to a loyalty card where you accumulate points, the use of store cards means you are purchasing using credit with an interest rate almost always attached.

Ideally, the best way to use a store card is to sign up, use the introductory discounts and then pay off the card so you’re avoiding all the interest. Many retailers offer a % discount on your first purchase or purchases over a certain amount. This is usually what entices people to take them on.

Store cards work very much like a credit card but you can only use them in one store. “Around two-thirds of the major store cards in the market charge over 25% interest” (moneysavingexpert.com). This is a lot more than any standard credit card. They are also often targeted at young shoppers. Stores such as New Look and Topshop have a younger footfall and this type of shopper doesn’t always have the knowledge of the consequences of these cards and their interest rates.

Advice from moneysavingexpert.com is that if you have a store card balance, you should use a 0% balance transfer credit card to pay it off before the 0% ends. Most store cards won’t offer any interest-free periods which is why this is recommended.

“The average Briton now owes £432 across 3 store credit cards or accounts” (express.co.uk). 

If you’re not careful, store cards can spiral out of control but they can be managed as long as you have all the knowledge available on how to use them effectively. If you’ve found yourself in a bit of bother with store cards, contact us today to see how we can help. Get in touch with us today on 0141 380 0588.

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Learning how to manage your finances can be difficult and for many, it’s a huge learning curve. Avoiding big financial mistakes can save you money and stress. Here are some of the mistakes to avoid so you can make sure you stay on the financial straight and narrow:

Not making yourself a budget

It takes a lot of time and effort to budget for your monthly expenses so many people don’t. A lot of people will think they have enough money but will find themselves scraping the bottom of the barrel and end up relying on credit cards to make ends meet.

It’s a good idea to break down your spending and get to grips with your outgoings so you can make your own budget.

Not having an emergency fund

It’s ideal to have money saved away for an income emergency. If you get made redundant unexpectedly or you become ill, it’s good to have a financial cushion for your own peace of mind.

Experts say that you should have 3 – 8 months of expenses in your emergency fund. This will cover you for any events that you don’t see coming.

Not saving for your retirement

This isn’t something many people want to think about, especially those just starting out in their careers. However, it’s an important time in your life to prepare for. You’ll no longer have a steady flow of income, but you will still need to support yourself the same as ever.

Take your company’s pension scheme seriously and use it to your advantage. You can usually contribute a bit more each month than the standard amount or you could even set up a separate scheme for yourself and your partner.

Living payday to payday

You can never predict what is going to happen month to month. It’s always better to have a little cushion in case you need an unexpected car repair or accidentally go over your phone bill. It’s always best to be prepared and have a little left at the end of each month to pay for some unexpected costs in the next.

Quitting your job without having a plan

If you’re unhappy in your place of work, you should make plans to start applying for new jobs. Unless you really can no longer work for your employer, it’s always good to still have a steady income while you look for something else.

Quitting your job will most likely leave you short on cash and will also give you a gap in your CV. This can make it harder for you to find new employment – plus, having a payslip every month offers you financial security.

Making financial decisions out of pressure

Many people make big financial commitments because they are pressured into it. Some individuals or couples commit to buying cars, homes or even getting married because they feel pressurised to do so.

It’s important to remember you do have the option to say no and you should take time to think before making big money decisions.

Not having a get out of debt plan

Loans, credit cards and mortgages – they all take a toll on our finances. It can sometimes be easier said than done to make all of these payments, but you should have a plan in place.

Figure out what all your deadlines are and how much you can afford to pay back. If you’re struggling, get in touch with a debt advisor, like our team, to discuss the options available to you. Call us on 0141 380 0588 today.

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Many companies send out emails at the end of the month like this, which for a lot of people is payday:

Did someone say payday? Celebrate with this week’s top offer

Make-up payday pick-me-ups 

Our customers have told us that what they felt about payday wasn’t excitement or happiness, only dread. Many of you will wonder why anyone could dread payday.

When problem debts take over, minimum payments can become unmanageable and when expenses such as rent, mortgage, council tax, car insurance etc, exceed income,  the situation can become stressful and can make those involved extremely worried and upset. Why can’t your family go out for a meal? Why can’t you afford to go to your friend’s birthday?

Problem debts can ruin lives. But what we can do is repair lives. We manage those unaffordable debts for you, and in many cases, sometimes up to 80% of outstanding debts can be written off. There are many solutions out there – it’s not up to you to research and decide what solution fits best, let our expert debt advisers do that for you.

Let this be the last payday you worry about your debt!

Get in touch with us today and let us help you work towards becoming debt free.

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We all try to spend our money efficiently but most of us would struggle without a budget. It’s hard to keep track of all of our outgoings without one. So how do we come up with a budget that we’ll actually stick to?

Well, we need to identify where our money is being spent, figure out if all of our expenses are for legitimate reasons and then think about cutting some out. That all sounds easy enough but most of us absolutely hate to budget!

Budgeting is not fun unless you’re an avid organiser. When most of us budget, we’ll automatically look to make huge cuts which will not encourage us to enjoy our spending. The reality is, we should get some joy out of spending money that we’ve worked hard for without feeling guilty about it.

Let’s take a look at how we can start to make a plan.

1) Track your expenses. It’s worth looking to download, at a minimum, two months of your bank statements to see where you’re spending. New banks such as Monzo, are great for categorising what you spend each month. You can even use cards like this just for your everyday expenses, that way you can see a summary of exactly where you’re putting your money. If you have difficulty budgeting, this is a great option. If you want to use an app to track things, take a look at moneydashboard.com. You can put all of your cards onto one app and take a look at how things are going, it’s free to sign up so it’s worth a try to help you move forward!

2) Where can we make our cuts? Once you have evaluated all of your spendings, you’ll be in a better position to know what you can do without. Firstly, take a look at your earnings after tax to find your starting point. If you figure out you’re spending more than you’re making or even have very little left at the end of the month, it’s time to cut some things off. Perhaps, you’ve found that you spend a lot on lunch at work or your grocery bill is too high. Before cutting everything out of your spending, look to cut down on the price. Look at the cheaper options in the supermarket or perhaps you could reduce your phone bill to a lower plan? These are all things to consider. Then you can start to look at things to take out of your expenses such as expensive coffees or inactive gym memberships and any other subscriptions.

3) Continue to track your spending to keep on top of things. Budgeting isn’t easy but once you’re in a routine, you’re likely to feel much better about your finances. You never know, you might even be able to put some extra into your savings account for a rainy day!

 We’re here to help if you’ve been having difficulties with your finances and need any help with outstanding debts. You only need to give us a few details and we’ll be in touch to talk through the solutions available to you – launch our debt calculator.

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Debt Level

Amount of debt you have
Unsecured debts such as: Credit Cards, Council Tax Arrears, Store Cards, Catalogues, Personal Loans, Bank Overdrafts. Credit Unions, Mortgage Shortfalls, Car Finance, HMRC Bills
£1,000 £50,000
Amount you can afford each month
All debt solutions are based on your affordability to repay each month
50 Per Month800 Per Month