Sunday, 3 October 2010

Know your enemy

Don't take decisions, make them! Being in debt is stressful - it is easy to agree to repayments you cannot afford because you feel foolish, guilty or intimidated, so take your time to make the best decisions for you and your creditors. Explore what help is available and choose support which fits in with your lifestyle so as to be sure that you use it. Why sign up for something you cannot manage? Fear invariably makes circumstances seem worse than they are, so look at the worst case scenario by getting it straight from the horse's mouth.


The Insolvency Service is so called for a reason - a government agency, it provides up to date information about Bankruptcy and Alternatives to Bankruptcy because it authorises and regulates the insolvency profession. You might be in debt, but your taxes have paid for this service and what you won't find on their site is any scare-mongering or bullying tactics. Pages 10 to 13 of Finance on Zero-Credit shares brief descriptions and links to a range of free debt counselling services and if you cannot find one of these to suit, use the DRF or DEMSA member lists to be sure of bona fide paid services - these guys are working with the Office of Fair Trading to shape standards for their profession.

If your financial situation is as bad as you thought, you may have to live on reduced means for some time, but there's no point in pretending that things you like do not matter. Just like dieting, a binge to make up for hardship could undo all your good work, so you can't economise on everything all of the time. Rotate our creditfree tips across household spending categories to make regular savings, yet still find an occasional perk for yourself. That way you'll stay motivated for the long haul. Good luck!

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