Debt advice for Scottish borrowers

At some time in our lives, most of us will borrow money to cover the cost of things like home improvements, upgrading the family car or even treating ourselves from time to time.

However, as a borrower, you’ll also have the responsibility to pay whatever you owe back to your lender/s in full, including any interest. And in the current climate, when budgets are tighter and times are harder for many of us, keeping on top of your debts is crucial – and you shouldn’t hold back on getting some expert debt advice if you need it.

If you’re in the process of repaying debts, here is some practical advice that could keep you on a firm footing with your finances.

Have a budget in place

As long as you can afford to keep up with your monthly payments, your debts shouldn’t become a problem. It’s only once you start making your payments late, or missing them altogether, that your debts could start getting the better of you.

Having a practical, realistic budget in place could help you to ensure that you don’t spend the money you need for your debt repayments on other things – and give you a clear picture of how you spend your money from month to month.

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Don’t borrow more than you can manage

If you borrow more money than you need, or can realistically pay back, you could soon find yourself facing debt problems. Before taking out a new loan or applying for a new credit card, for example, it’s important to ask yourself whether you can afford to repay the money in a reasonable timeframe.

It’s also a good idea to repay any existing debts you have in full before committing to any further credit.

Make more than your monthly payments where possible

The main thing is that you make your agreed minimum payments every month. However, you could save yourself a fair bit in interest in the long term – and repay your debts sooner – if you can increase the size of your payments.

If you have some savings you could use, or any money you could ‘free up’ in your budget by cutting back on some of your outgoings, it could really pay off to put this towards your debts and increase your payments. This could help you get out of debt much sooner.

Talk to the experts

Whether you simply want some budgeting advice or you need help with debt problems, getting some debt advice from professionals you can rely on is always a good idea.

If you’re struggling to repay your debts, there are some Scotland-only solutions – such as the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) and Trust Deeds – that could help you, so don’t feel that you have to deal with your debts on your own.