Adrian Nichols from local debt advice firm Evesham Debt Advisors writes for the Observer
WHEN you think of common debt problems, what do you think of?
If you were thinking mortgages or credit cards, you may be surprised by new figures from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Council Tax debt is now the most common debt problem reported to the organisation.
If you find yourself struggling to make payments on time, it’s important to know the difference between priority and non-priority debts.
Priority debts aren’t necessarily the most expensive or largest, but they are the ones which could have the most impact on your life.
If you don’t pay these debts, you could end up losing your home, being made bankrupt or receive a court summons.
Council Tax does count as one of these debts. On the other hand many people will be surprised to realise they’re going to have extra cash for the next two months.
Unless you’ve contacted your local council to pay your Council Tax over 12 months, you’ll find you have what is called a ‘Council Tax’ holiday in February and March.
The question is what to do with it? At EDA we recommend that if you have loans or owe money on credit cards, it makes sense to pay off the debt that charges the highest rate of interest – it’s the fastest way to clear your debts.
However if you have mortgage, rent or council tax arrears, then this should take priority.
Do you need help with your debts? If you are struggling it can be difficult to know where to turn to, but you do have options.
At Evesham Debt Advisors you can set up a face to face appointment either at your home or at our offices.
Visit www.eveshamdebtadvisors.co.uk or call 0800 472 5050 free from a landline or 01386 760000 from a mobile.
Further free budgeting or debt advice is also available from Step Change Charity, South Worcestershire CAB and the Money Advice Service.