Since the downturn in the economic fortunes of our country, people have found themselves in dire straits as changes in their personal circumstances has left them unable to pay debts, loans or credit cards.
Whether it has been a forced pay cut or reduced hours, redundancy, separation or divorce, illness or death of a loved one, or a new baby, these can all result in missed payments and a debt trap which is very difficult to get out of.
A few missed payments can quickly turn into a nightmare, particularly when there is less money coming in, but taking no action is not an answer.
Over the coming weeks, we will give you advice on how you can deal with your debts, and get your finances back on track. Personal debt is a growing problem in Ireland, and you must understand that you are not alone.
The stigma surrounding debt is quickly disappearing, and you should not be afraid to discuss your debt problems or suffer in silence.
If you are already in debt, seek help now, as the problem will not go away, and neither will your creditors. If you think you may be in financial difficulty in the future, you can also take action now to reduce the impact this will have on you. Here are some signs that you may be in financial difficulty.
- You have no savings, or you have very little left of your savings
- You are missing direct debits and standing orders
- You use your cheque book or credit card to pay for your weekly shopping
- You are making the minimum payment on your credit card every month
- You borrow money from family and friends, knowing you may not be able to pay it all back
- You are borrowing from high-interest sources or doorstep lenders
- You are behind on your utility bills, rent or mortgage
These are only a few of the signs that you need money and budgeting assistance. How you then deal with your creditors is extremely important.
Many people fall into the trap of promising more than they can afford, which only means that you will fall behind on other bills, and it does not serve in your interests if you cannot meet a promised repayment.
It is often the case that those who shout loudest, get paid first, which again is not how it should be, and credit card companies are generally those who do most of the shouting.
As part of budgeting you must prioritise certain debts and bills, such as your rent, mortgage, electricity bills etc, and only pay what you can afford towards secondary debts, such as credit cards, or unsecured loans.
Every week, we will answer your questions here, and show how you can regain control of your own financial circumstances. Taking out further loans is NOT always the answer, especially now as interest rates are increasing steadily.
If you have any questions, please feel free to use the contact box here. We cannot guarantee that all questions sent in will be published, we will not publish anything which might identify you, but we will endeavour to reply individually by email or phone to all requests.
If you need help urgently, you can call Frost Debt Solutions on 074 93 64000, and rest assured that all enquiries are dealt with in complete confidence, and any advice is free of charge.
Click on www.frost.ie for more informationTags: