Late payments, debt problems? How to get out of debt
If for any reason you find yourself in a position where you're struggling to keep up with your credit card payments, don't bury your head in the sand and give up, grab hold of the opportunity to do something positive about it.
The best way to get to the root of the problem and solve your debt problems is to talk to someone about it. First, call the companies that you have credit with, in most cases they can offer you help and information on paying off your debt.
If you are a Capital One customer, make sure you talk to us as soon as possible. We have trained advisors who can help you find the right solutions to help you repay your debts. Call our freephone number on 0800 952 4966 (lines open Monday to Friday 8am - 9pm, Saturday and Sunday - 8am - 6pm).
Once you've spoken to someone it's also important to look closely at your finances. How much can you afford to pay? Are you spending too much? Paying whatever you can towards your credit card payments will show you're taking your circumstances seriously.
There are lots of organisations that can help you make sure you are getting any benefits you are entitled to and advise you which debts you should treat as a priority.
Some will also put together a financial statement for you and work out how much you can actually afford to pay to each of the companies you owe money to. Some will also help you talk to these companies about how much you can afford to pay.
There are two types of debt advice organisations:
1. Free, independent, not-for-profit debt management advice
You can get independent advice from any of the organisations below. You can talk to them in confidence and their services are completely free of charge.
Step Change Debt Charity
Freephone 0800 138 1111
The Step Change website will help you:
- Get tailored advice from their expert debt counsellors
- Create a personal budget showing your income and outgoings
- Practical help to make the most of your money
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
Find the telephone number and address of your local CAB in your phone book
Freephone 0800 716 239
The National Debtline
Freephone 0808 808 4000
2. Fee-charging debt management companies
You will see these companies advertising more and more on TV and they can be very tempting if you are having financial problems. Remember, you will be paying a fee for their help and advice. This means it will take you longer to pay off your debts.
If you do decide to use one of these companies you should read all of the small print and make sure you understand any agreement or contract before you sign it.
Your credit rating
You can check the information that credit reference agencies have about you. To do this, you will need to write to each agency asking for the information, along with:
- A cheque for £2
- Details of your full name, date of birth, current address including postcode and any other addresses you have lived at during the last six years
Equifax | Call Credit | Experian