Managing Financial Difficulty
10 steps that you can take to avoid falling into a debt trap include:
1. Draw up a budget – which has savings goals and spending priorities – and stick to it. Use our budget calculator. Have an emergency fund equal to three months income
2. Avoid impulse purchases and frequent trips to the shops – put things on lay-by if you must have them
3. Use your own money to pay for goods and services as much as possible eg. cheques or debit cards are convenient ways of accessing your funds
4. Pay the balance on your credit card balance off each month especially after New year
If you regularly carry a credit card balance over from one month to the next, make sure the interest rate on the card is reasonable;
5. Avoid department store credit cards which normally charge high interest rates
6. Reduce the number of credit cards you have
7. If your pay is deposited electronically into your account, ask to pay your loan automatically
8. If you have several loans including lots of credit card debt, consider consolidating the loan balances into one personal loan – this will give you the opportunity to clear the debt, with one set of repayments, over a fixed period of time. Learn more about our Personal Loan.
If you are experiencing problems, talk to your creditors straight away. You may feel awkward and embarrassed, but it is important to let your creditors know what is happening. Most creditors will be pleased you have called to inform them about the situation. When they haven’t heard from you, they will think the worst. Avoiding creditors only puts them off side. Before you talk to them, sit down and work out what you are going to say.
9. Take the time to think about what money you have coming in and what money you are spending.
10. Prepare a money plan so you can make an offer to your creditors that is realistic and within your means.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep. It will make negotiation that much harder in the future. You are not alone. Removing the fear of a financial crisis should be an important priority for all of us. Unfortunately, crises will happen so it’s best to have a sound budget and savings goals that can cope with life’s emergencies.
Our savings options include:
If you have any questions, please contact us