I need help please - don't know where to start

Okay I have finally came to the realisation I need to do something about my debts in order to improve mine and son's future. I have numerous debts but I have stopped receiving letters from most of them.

Basically I need help in starting off how do I get a list of creditors and the amounts I owe etc.

These debts i think total around £8000 but this figure is a complete guess. The debts date from 2000-2005 and are comprised of cc,bank loans, overdraft, catalogues. (turned 18 and found it so easy to get credit)

I am a single parent and have started uni in Sept so am already struggling on student loan but I want to clear off these previous debts before I need to start paying off student loans.

Does anyone have any ideas how I start as I have been burying my head for so long and feel a new year is best time to start.

Thanks in advance for any help and advice given it will be greatly appreciated.


  • sgx.saint
    sgx.saint Posts: 1,615
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker

    Don't despair, your in the right place for all the help and support you could ever dream of :)

    Firstly, post your SOA(Statement of Affairs) there is a sticky at the top of this forum that explains what this is and how to do it.

    The SOA will give us an idea of your financial situation and will also allows us to see if we can spot problems with your budget or in fact save you anymoney.

    Do you not have any old letters/documents from any of your credtiors?

    If so, that's a start as you have a contact address that you can write to and obtain details of the debt.

    To find other debts, you could always access you credit report which will show hopefully the majority of your creditors (but usually not all, depending on the company).

    You can obtain a free credit report by visiting:


    It will take a few days to receive a pin number in the post but after that you can view your report online.

    Otherwise you can always sign up to Experians free trial, or alternatively send £2 to either Experian or Equifax for a paper copy of your credit file.

    If you dont have enough money to meet the contractual repayments on your debts, then imho as you are intending to go to University your only options would be either Bankruptcy (which I wouldnt recommend as this is a last resort option) or a DMP.

    A DMP is a debt management plan with you can either manage yourself or a free company such as CCCS or PayPlan will set this up for you and deal with your creditors directly.
  • Kazzajr
    Kazzajr Posts: 1,076
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Thanks for replying
    I am at uni doing accounting so have to be careful which road I go down as I think you cant be bankrupt and become member of chartered institute.

    Im also in Scotland (should have mentioned that) so dont know if these dmp are available to me?

    I will get on with SOA but it is hard to get actual figures of incoming as it is a student loan which is paid in varying instalments. :confused:
  • poppy_f1
    poppy_f1 Posts: 2,637
    Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    a trust deed is availble in scotland but i dont know whether it would have a impact on your career
  • sgx.saint
    sgx.saint Posts: 1,615
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I am a full-time student too and I manage my own DMP and have done for quite a while now.

    You can still be on a DMP either self managed or by another company even in Scotland :)

    A DMP is an informal agreement between you and your creditors where you offer them all pro-rata repayments at a level you can actually afford and they hopefully agree to this.

    It involves you carefully working out budgets, ensuring good communication with lenders and assuring that your repayments are made each month without fail.

    As I say, you can do this yourself if you feel confident enough to manage your money, deal with your creditors etc. You do need to be aware of your rights as a debtor and a forum such as MSE is a brilliant starting point for this.

    If of course you dont feel confident to manage your own DMP, then as I say, there are two free reputable companies that can and will do this for you. CCCS and PayPlan.

    If you Google search those two companies you will find their websites and a lot of useful information.

    Yes I agree Bankruptcy probably isn't the best option for you, and I only mentioned it to make you aware of the option.

    Bankruptcy should be a last resort, and I do feel that a DMP would be more appropriate for you.

    Post up your SOA and any other questions and we'll take it from there.
  • Prudent
    Prudent Posts: 11,436
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Be careful about becoming bankrupt in Scotland - you are right it can block certain careers.

    Don't loose heart though. I am a scottish single parent and lived through some very tough financial times. I am now own house (mortgage free) and have own car outright and savings. It was a hard road to get there, but my quality of life improved hugely on finding this site. I now live very well on relatively little. You will give yourself and your son a quality of life -hang in there are follow all the good tips on here.

    One of my tips to improve single parent life is to start comping (entering competitions). It gives you lovely unexpected luxuries that break the struggle of constantly living on little.

    I will let the experts on here help with your debt issues.

    Good luck - and don't loose hope.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2024 CROFT Crafting: £80/300, R (visiting daughter): £125/£500 Outside activities: £54/244 (Allotment), Outside 2 (Mud monsters et al) £120,  F(Family visits): £50/500 Tummy (food budget): Aiming to use full budget monthly of £200
  • Just wanted to say hi and welcome :hello: Best place to start is to get a copy of sour credit record from experian/ equifax etc. Good Luck.
    Making my money go further with MSE :j
    How much can I save in 2012 challenge
    75/1200 :eek:
  • sgx.saint
    sgx.saint Posts: 1,615
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Be careful about becoming bankrupt in Scotland - you are right it can block certain careers.

    Agreed. This is also applicable in England and Wales.
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