Dealing with your priority debts

​Checklist

Use this simple checklist to make sure you take the right steps to deal with your priority debts.

Some debts are more important than others. These are called priority debts. It is important to use your money for creditors to make agreements to settle these debts first. If you are not sure about how much to offer, contact us for advice.

What are priority debts?

Get some free, independent money advice.

If you are reading this and haven't yet spoken to a money adviser, contact us or your local advice centre for advice about all your options.

Explain your situation to your creditors.

Even if you haven't decided how to deal with your priority debts, it's a good idea to explain to your creditors that you are struggling. Tell them you are taking advice and doing a budget. This may buy you some breathing space.

Hold action on your account sample letter

Complete a personal budget sheet using Your budget.

A personal budget sheet is very important as it will help you decide what payments you can afford to make to pay back your priority debts.

Your budget

Pay as much as you can.

It is important that you pay as much as possible towards your priority debts. You will usually need to pay enough to cover your ongoing payments and offer a regular payment towards the arrears.

Has the creditor taken further action?

Even if your creditor has said they will take further action such as energy disconnection or repossession, it is usually not too late to come to some arrangement and to stop the action. Contact us for advice.

Can you increase your income?

There may be benefits, tax credits or Universal Credit that you are not claiming or other ways of increasing your income.

Benefits and tax credits and Ways of increasing your income

Have you been treated unfairly?

If you think you have been treated unfairly, you may have reason to complain. You may be able to complain to an ombudsman service depending on what type of debt you are complaining about. You will usually have to complain to the creditor first. If you want more advice about who you can complain to, contact us for advice.