How To Get Real Help with Problem Debt – The 4 Step Plan

Inflation and the current cost of living crisis has left many families with growing financial problems. These can cause anxiety and stress particularly if you feel there’s no-one there to help. In this article we’ll give you the information you need to assess your situation and get started on the road to financial recovery.
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Debt problems can be difficult to resolve, and many people carry feelings of guilt which can affect their ability to make good decisions when under pressure. Its not easy to take the emotion out of the situation and look at the cold hard facts but as you’ll read below, it is possible if you take the right steps.

Step 1 – Clear Your Head and Make Some Time

The first problem many people have is that they just don’t have the head-space to properly assess the situation and make some solid plans. The here and now usually gets in the way of clear thinking. Children, work commitments and everyday issues can prevent you from having time to focus on the problem at hand.

Speak to a family member or friend. Send the kids to their grandparents for the weekend. Find a way to give yourself the space and time to sit down and figure out where the problem lies. In preparation for this, gather up bank statements, grocery receipts, credit card bills, loan agreements and anything else you think is relevant to your income and outgoings, so you have everything at your fingertips when the time comes.

Step 2 – Assess the Situation

Now you have the time and space, you can work out exactly whats going on with your money. First download our Free Budget Planner below and follow the steps in our recent post Budgeting for Beginners in 4 Simple Steps. Make sure you include everything and double check your calculations.

Hopefully you’ll find you have a surplus at the end of the month, if not there are some simple steps you can take to turn this around. If you’re spending more than you earn, work through your budget item by item following the guides below. Even if you had a surplus to begin with, these guides will enable you to pay off your debts much more quickly.

Cut The Cost of Your Debts – find out how

Reduce Your Spending – find out how

Cut The Cost of Household Bills – find out how

Look At Ways to Earn More – find out how

Try to change your mindset when it comes to your money. See it as an opportunity to start fresh, take control and run your household finances like a business. See it as a challenge, don’t pay any more than you need to and take pride in every win, however small. 

Step 3 – Pay Off Your Debts

If you’ve followed the steps above but haven’t managed to turn things around then you should skip straight to Step 4 and get some help from the experts. If you’re lucky enough to have made the difference or your budget showed you had a surplus to begin with the next step is to start paying off your debts. This is where you need your debt busting masterplan.

By now, if you followed the guidance on How to Cut the Cost of Your Debts you should have a clearer picture of which ones are costing you the most – the ones with the highest interest rates. Use your spare cash to pay off each debt on order of the highest interest first whilst paying the minimum payments on the rest.

Once that particular debt is cleared, start on the next. Each time a debt is cleared remove this from your budget and recalculate your monthly balance. If you choose to continue putting all your spare cash towards clearing your debts, you’ll be able to pay a bit more on the next when the previous one is cleared off. Pick them off one by one until you’re completely debt free.

Step 4 – Get Some Free Professional Help and Advice

If you’re still struggling to meet your repayments even after following the above, then it’s time to seek help from the professionals. You’re not on your own, far from it. There are a number of organisations offering free help and advice. What you should avoid is debt consolidation companies who will charge you for their time and services.

For free face to face help there’s no better place in the UK than Citizens Advice. There are a number of options available to you from debt relief orders to debt management plans. Citizens Advice will explain how they work, and which one might be right for you. They also offer a web chat service or can be contacted by telephone on 0800 144 88458

The next is the Step Change Debt Charity. Again they provide free assistance in dealing with debt. You can either get help online via their website 24 hours a day 365 day a year or by calling their Debt Advice Helpline on 0800 138 1111

Lastly National Debt Line are another charity offering free and independent debt advice over the phone and online. They have a helpful online tool which can provide debt solutions tailored to your situation or a webchat service with a specialist online adviser. Alternatively you can call them on 0808 808 4000 to get the help you need.


Problem debt can be difficult to deal with on your own. There’s always a way to solve your debt problem, sometimes just having the time and space to think clearly can make all the difference.

This post gives you everything you need to know about getting real help with problem debt. Follow the steps above, take control of your finances and get yourself moving forward. Good luck and be sure to let us know if this article has helped.

We welcome your feedback, if you found this article useful, please let us know. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us and we’ll try our best to help.

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