cant pay 2 huge bills at once

Options
Please help. I am with British Gas for Electric and Gas. I am in financial hardship. I have had my direct debits cancelled and now have received bills amounting to over £600 to be paid in full. I cant do this all at once. I am beside myself. I dont know what to do. I am off work with an injury, have been since new year and will possibly be off for a little while yet so I have no chance of overtime. Im barely living on what I do have. Please please can someone advise me what I can do about this bill? I would be very grateful
«1

Comments

  • Magentasue
    Magentasue Posts: 4,229 Forumite
    Options
    1. Ring CAB or similar (details on Debt Free Wannabe board) and make appointment.

    2. Ring BG and offer a payment - whatever you can afford. Explain circumstances and negotiate payment plan. Tell them you are meeting CAB or whoever (any of the free debt advice organisations).

    3. Prepare statement of affairs - detailed budget of income, outgoings and debt - ready to take to appointment.

    Don't ignore or do nothing - BG will probably want more than you can afford. Get CAB or similar to help you negotiate. Cut out any non essentials (Sky, mobile etc) and stick to whatever is arranged. There's always a way out - just stay calm, don't be bullied but be reasonable and cut back where you can. If you can make an immediate payment, do so, however small it shows willing. Don't promise what you can't keep to and cut right back on gas and electric use, as much as you can without being unsafe or uncomfortable.
  • E.ON_Company_Representative
    E.ON_Company_Representative Posts: 806 Organisation Representative
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Post First Anniversary
    Options
    Hi

    I’d get in touch with British Gas as soon as possible, and talk to them about it. The bill needs to be paid but most suppliers will try and help with this. The basic rule of thumb is to have the bill paid before the next quarterly bill arrives in three months.

    Ask if you can pay the amount in three monthly instalments or weekly or fortnightly, but ensuring it is paid by the time the next bill is due.

    You don’t want this to be outstanding when the next bill arrives as you may find the outstanding amount builds up.

    Your supplier should be able to offer you assistance in reducing the amounts you are using, this won’t affect this bill (which I appreciate is your main concern) but will save you money in the future.

    Ask if they can give energy efficiency advice and tips on reducing your consumption, see if they can offer you a more competitive tariff also helping for the future.

    Don’t be afraid to ask if there are any schemes in place that assist people struggling with the cost of energy bills, they may be able to advise you of any government assistance available, especially with things like loft and cavity wall insulation.

    First things first talk about the current bill and see if they will let you pay it back in instalments. Then look to the future.
    Official Company Representative
    I am an official company representative of E.ON. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
  • garybuk
    garybuk Posts: 39 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Options
    Speak to them right away, they will offer you help. Ask them about the essentials tariff and if you'd qualify.
  • Magentasue
    Magentasue Posts: 4,229 Forumite
    Options
  • Maisie11
    Maisie11 Posts: 206 Forumite
    Options
    A couple of years ago we kept getting estimated bills, small bills in winter and larger bills in summer. We ignored it. Of course after 2 years it all caught up with us and we got a catch up bill of £1500.

    It was our own fault and I now always read the meter but I think you would be surprised how many people dont do this or cannot be bothered.

    We called BG and they were really good. Allowed us to pay it back over a number of months. Of course during that time you would find it very difficult to move to another supplier but do check with BG whether you are on the very cheapest tariff you can be. They like people who want to sort things out and contact them early they hate the !!!!less and 'cant be bothered' people but dont we all!

    And please dont worry.
  • garybuk
    garybuk Posts: 39 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Options
    At the very worst they will install a prepayment meter to recover the debt and allow you to control the costs.
  • smidgey
    smidgey Posts: 163 Forumite
    Options
    garybuk wrote: »
    At the very worst they will install a prepayment meter to recover the debt and allow you to control the costs.
    Not strictly true...

    The recovery rate on a balance of over £500 is £25 per week meaning you have to put over £100 a month on the meter just to get any gas!

    A payment scheme would allow the debt to be paid back at £50 per month where as on the prepayment meter you end up paying it back at £100 a month. You obviously have to pay for your usage on top and it's possible to get into further debt on a credit meter.
  • Jubbs
    Jubbs Posts: 23 Forumite
    Options
    smidgey wrote: »
    Not strictly true...

    The recovery rate on a balance of over £500 is £25 per week meaning you have to put over £100 a month on the meter just to get any gas!

    A payment scheme would allow the debt to be paid back at £50 per month where as on the prepayment meter you end up paying it back at £100 a month. You obviously have to pay for your usage on top and it's possible to get into further debt on a credit meter.

    £25 a week! :eek: E.on start at £20 but will easily accept £5 or £10 depending on your circumstances. Sometimes a prepayment meter is a good way to go, it allows you to see what you are using in real terms.

    Also discuss if you set your Direct Debit up again if they could spread the balance over a few months, having Direct Debit and being online should give you access to the best tariffs.
  • Joyful
    Joyful Posts: 2,426 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Options
    Prepayment recovery amounts are negotiable. Obviously companies want their money sooner rather than later but they have to take ability to pay into the equation. If you are struggling you probably cannot afford to repay within 3 months so I would suggest arranging a prepayment meter to remove this worry.
    Self Employed, Running my Dream Jobs
  • pig_lady
    Options
    To all those that took the time, effort and thought to reply to my email, I just want to thank you all so much for all your advice and comments. I really appreciate it. Thankyou again xx
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343.6K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.2K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.9K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.8K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 608.8K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.3K Life & Family
  • 248.4K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards