Credit cards and mortgage debt are a fact of life for most adults in the UK. But with the cost of living rising and people needing to stretch their incomes thinner to cover day to day expenses, there may be less money on hand to repay credit card and mortgage debts. Over time, some households that were previously able to manage, may run into trouble with repayment.

As humans, we tend to try and avoid thinking about unpleasant things. But this is one instance when avoidance can lead to greater problems down the road. If you’re having trouble paying bills or managing debt, taking action quickly may mean you get yourself into a better position sooner.

Here are some things to consider:  

Know the signs that your finances are slipping

It’s important to be aware of warning signs that your financial health is deteriorating. Some of the signs include, consistently relying on your overdraft or credit cards, being unable to pay bills on time, or are getting overdue payment and collection notices. Being aware of the early signs and taking positive action as soon as possible can help to avoid bigger problems in the future.

Confide in somebody

For many people, talking about financial difficulties can provoke feelings of shame and embarrassment. But talking to a trusted friend, family member or calling a helpline can be a first step to helping you regain control., You can also find a free debt adviser by visiting the MoneyHelper website. A debt advisor can help you come up with solutions and discuss your options Debt Advice Locator | Syndication | MoneyHelper

Contact your lender if you’re about to miss a payment or have already missed payments

If you’re struggling to meet your obligations, speak to your lender or creditor as soon as possible. Many people facing difficulties are uncomfortable doing this, and only do so after they miss payments, which can have serious consequences. Your lender or creditor may be able to offer affordable repayment options to help relieve the pressure.  If you’re unsure how to begin the conversation, you’ll find tips here: Talking to your creditor (moneyhelper.org.uk).

Don’t wait to seek help

If you’re having money worries, you don’t have to wait until your situation deteriorates to get help. Two resources to contact anytime are Citizens Advice Bureau and MoneyHelper.

Citizens Advice Bureau – Start exploring your options by visiting www.citizensadvice.org.uk.  

MoneyHelper – There’s a wealth of information here on financial topics and tools you can use to learn more about how to prioritise bills and manage your money. Free and impartial help with money, backed by the government | MoneyHelper