If you are struggling with an unmanageable level of debt, you may feel like there is nowhere to turn for help.
Being in debt can be a stressful experience for anyone. But help is available - and that help may come in the form of debt advice.
Debt advice is often offered for free, and is available from a number of different organisations.
So what form could debt advice take?
Debt advice can take a range of forms, but here, we will take a look at just one:
Budgeting involves understanding and controlling your finances. It means working out your disposable income - the amount that's left to cover your non-priority debts (store cards, overdrafts, unsecured loans, etc.) after you have covered your essential expenditure.
In order to work out your disposable income, you will first need to calculate your total income and total expenditure.
• Your total income is made up of everything your household earns or receives - for example, salary, benefits and grants.
• Your total expenditure is made up of everything your household spends - for example, payments to secured loans, mortgage/rent and utility providers. Note: do not include your unsecured/non-priority debts in your expenditure - as you will make payments to these using your disposable income.
Once you have calculated these amounts, subtract your total expenditure from your total income - and you will be left with your disposable income.
You may find that your disposable income is, in fact, enough to make all necessary payments to your unsecured debts - you may just need to cut back on your non-essential spending.
If, however, you find that your disposable income isn't enough to cover the cost of your unsecured debts, then you should take action. A professional debt adviser should be able to suggest a suitable way for you to deal with your problem.