News from Kings Lynn in East Anglia revealed today that a local builder had turned to drug dealing in an effort to rid himself of over £36,000 of debts.
When caught by police the man’s supplies only amounted to a street value of around £1,000 – hardly international drug baron levels – and his previous good record spared him from a jail sentence.
But according to court reports this loving father and builder had accumulated debts worth over £36,000 and had started to take drugs in an effort to cope.
Debts are a serious problem and many people struggle with them, dealing with the consequences in different ways. But you needn’t suffer and often there are ways to help you through the money maze if you need help.
Here MoneyExpert.com takes you through some options:
Spiralling out of control
It’s easy to let money get the better of you. You may have run up an overdraft on your bank account; you could have several credit cards and store cards; you might have a personal loan to pay for the new kitchen or car; and like many of us you will probably have a mortgage to worry about too.
With all those different forms of debt hanging around, it’s likely you’re paying different rates of interest and at different times. So no wonder it can all become too much as it can seem like you have no control over when you repay those debts and by how much.
All under one roof
If you do have lots of debts payable in different ways at different times, you might consider consolidating all those repayments into one loan. This can help you to cut your outgoings each month and therefore boost your wealth, giving you a better chance of repaying what you owe while giving you more cash to spend each month.
Consolidation loans lump all your debts into one loan, which you repay in monthly instalments to one creditor. No multiple bills. No different interest rates.
If you’re considering this route the simple aim should be to get the lowest possible interest rate for your consolidation loan. This will translate into lower interest repayments and will mean the total you repay is as low as possible.
MoneyExpert.com’s Debt Consolidation calculator can help you to find out how much you could save.
Another option along a similar lines would be to secure your loan against your home. Secured loans are very competitive and are often popular with people whose credit rating prevents them from getting an unsecured loan.
Also because you have offered your house as collateral against the loan, providers will lend you larger amounts which can be repaid over a longer period.
MoneyExpert.com can show you the best deals and also give you a credit check so you are only put in touch with firms which are likely to lend to you.
No ostriches – don’t bury your head in the sand
You should wherever possible look to pay your debts off as quickly as you possibly can. The longer you borrow money for the more interest you will pay.
It is far too easy to set aside your money issues until it is too late. Don’t ignore the bills and if you think you can’t afford your repayments, speak to your lender – normally they’ll be happy to try and arrange a better repayment plan for you.
If things really do get bad the best bet is to take advice. Go to independent organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau or Consumer Credit Counselling Service.