Facing up to personal debt problems is a difficult step to take. While it may seem easier to ignore the problem and hope it goes away, this is rarely the best course of action and is only likely to make the situation much worse.
When it comes to dealing with personal debt, there are a range of options open to individuals depending on their level of debt and the amount they can realistically afford to pay towards them.
The most appropriate solution will depend on an individual’s own unique personal circumstances, therefore the very best place to start is to seek the services of a licensed insolvency practitioner or registered money adviser at the first signs of debt becoming unmanageable. The sooner help is sought, the more options will be available. These options may involve informal negotiations with creditors to reduce the amount you need to repay on a monthly basis, or entering into a formal insolvency arrangement to agree a workable settlement with those you owe money to.
Formal personal debt solutions include:
- Individual Voluntary Arrangement (England, Wales, and Northern Ireland) – An IVA functions as a formal repayment agreement entered into by a debtor and the companies they owe money to. As part of the IVA, unaffordable debt will be written off, with the remaining being paid through a series of monthly instalments for the duration of the agreement which typically runs for five years.
- Trust Deed (Scotland only) – A Trust Deed is only available in Scotland, and shares many features of an IVA. Like an IVA, a Trust Deed allows a debtor to make one single repayment to their creditors for a set period of time, although a Trust Deed is typically for a shorter period of time of four years.
- Bankruptcy (known as Sequestration in Scotland) – If an individual is unable to make a contribution towards their debts, or if their debts have reached a level which means they are unable to pay them back, bankruptcy may be the only option. Bankruptcy (also known as sequestration) will write off the majority of an individual’s unsecured debts but this will have a detrimental effect on their personal credit rating and ability to obtain credit for six years afterwards.
All personal debt solutions will affect an individual’s credit rating, and will place a number of restrictions on the individual for a number of years. For general information on dealing with personal debt, visit the Money Helper website.
Fees and Information
There are fees associated with our services. These will be fully explained before entering into any of the personal debt solutions referred to on this website. Full details of our fees and how these are charged are fully explained to you prior to you committing to any particular service.