In the UK more and more of us
have got into money problems of some kind or other over the last few years. Lenders allowed us to borrow money like there was no tomorrow irrespective of whether we could afford to borrow in the first place. It didn’t matter how much we earned we all had easy access to credit cards, store cards, loans, overdrafts and mortgages. Now, however, with the recession in full flow, tomorrow has finally turned up leaving a lot of us with some major debt issues.
Things are so bad across the country right now that the Citizens Advice Bureau recently estimated that the average consumer that visited them for debt management advice owed nearly £17,000 and would need over 90 years to pay back everything they owed without some help. Debts here were caused by a variety of reasons and not just by spending beyond our means. Other causes included job loss, low incomes and illness/disability issues.
These figures came to light as part of a seven year regular study carried out by the Citizens Advice Bureau. Compared to their findings in the last survey this time round it appears that we owe around two thirds more today than we did then. More than half the people surveyed here were having problems meeting their essential commitments such as their mortgage/rent, council tax and utility bills and a tenth had credit product issues with products such as credit and store cards, loans and overdrafts.
So, if you find yourself in this company what can you do? You can, of course, just carry on struggling to pay back what you owe. But, this is unlikely to work and 90+ years is a long time to wait to become debt free again. And, it’s actually far more likely that people with debt problems will simply keep getting further into trouble unless they find an alternative solution. Most people will simply keep borrowing to help them service their original debts until they can no longer borrow any more.
Institutions like the Citizen’s Advice Bureau
may be the best place for you to go if you want to find out what your options are and to try and get some help. An appointment with one of the advisors in your local office will give you free and confidential advice that will look at your finances, your circumstances and your debt management options. They can even help you talk to your creditors if you prefer.
The fact is that there are a whole host of debt management solutions out there that could free you from this lifetime of debt scenario. You may still be committed to repaying some or all of what you do owe to your creditors but you may be able to find a solution that makes it easier to do so in a shorter timescale. If you can get back control of your finances, pay off what you owe and still have enough money to live on then you’ll be in a far better situation.