Careless Carlton is car-less

West Ham striker Carlton Cole may be a Premiership star on a reported £20,000 a week but that hasn’t stopped him getting an incredible FOUR cars worth around £264,000 repossessed in the past two months.

His £132,000 Bentley Continental GTC was the latest to go after he failed to keep up repayments.

And he’s also had to wave goodbye to a £62,000 BMW 650, a £50,000 BMW X5 and a £20,000 Mini Cooper in quick succession. The car trouble isn’t his only recent brush with bailiffs – in February they turned up at West Ham’s Upton Park ground after a dispute about a £800 bill for the congestion charge.

It’s maybe no surprise that Carlton is linked with possible moves away from West Ham for the start of the new season with a transfer to Turkey a possibility – assuming someone can give him a lift to the airport.

The striker’s repossessions are reckoned to be more to do with his inability to keep up with paperwork rather than any financial trouble – after all he’s earning more than £1 million a year.

But for the rest of us as interest rates soar and bills pile up there’s not a £1 million salary to fall back on and the chance of a money-spinning move to a new club. MoneyExpert looks at the options if your debts are starting to get on top of you.

1. Don’t bury your head in the sand
If you’re getting into trouble take action now. The best thing to do is take advantage of the free advice services out there to get your debts under control. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can help or you could call the Consumer Credit Counselling Service on 0800 138 1111.

2. Talk about it
Tell lenders if you’re likely to run into trouble or might be unable to meet monthly payments. Prioritise your debts. If you’re a homeowner your mortgage should be your first priority.

3. Consolidate
If you owe money to a range of firms such as a couple of credit cards, a store card and an overdraft at the bank the best way to get them under control is to consolidate them into one loan and reduce your monthly outgoings. See below for the cheapest unsecured loans going:

Provider Typical APR (fixed)
Moneyback Bank 6.3%
Yourpersonalloan.co.uk (homeowners only) 6.3%
Alliance and Leicester 6.4%

All APRs based on borrowing £7,500 over 3 years

Click through to MoneyExpert’s debt consolidation calculator if you have loans and card debts building up

4. Cut spending – and your debts
Drawing up a budget will help you focus on how much you’re spending each month unnecessarily and what money you have coming in. Stopping smoking or giving up a daily coffee can make you extra cash. Again if you are a homeowner it might be possible to raise cash against your house. See below for the best homeowner (secured) loans

Provider Typical APR (fixed)
Paragon personal Finance 6.6%
First Plus Financial 6.9%
Paragon Personal Finance 7.6%

Compare homeowner loans

Click through to MoneyExpert for all your money matters

THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT

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