Low (ish) debt but low income

Hi, new to the forum but hoping for some advice after burying my head for far too long about my debt due to low income and living beyond my means.

To lay out the basics, I currently owe:
Credit card 1.. £450.. monthly payment £28
Credit card 2.. £520.. monthly payment £33
credit card 3.. £800.. monthly payment £65

store credit 1.. £300.. monthly payment £18
Store credit 2.. £300.. monthly payment £12

short term loan £540.. monthly repayment £95

All of the above are current accounts which are open and up to date but I am making the very minimum payment each month, for the credit and store accounts they are basically maxed out and paying off the interest plus maybe a couple of pounds so not really decreasing

i have three debts that are very old and were passed to collections agencies which I have an agreement with:

legacy debt 1.. £464.. monthly payment £10 
legacy debt 2.. £100.. monthly payment £10
legacy debt 3.. £610.. monthly payment £10

total debt is £4084 with total monthly repayments of £281

my current credit score on Experian is 40 so pretty much none existent and in the very poor category which means I can’t consolidate into one loan or take out any further credit (obviously a good thing)

my monthly income is 1.6k with my set bills being around 1.2k for all bills/food/travel not including debt repayments

this does not include any clothes/birthdays/Christmas or any other incidentals which may pop up. I have no savings at all.

I have been paying like this for a while now but what I am wondering is whether this is the best way for me to do it? I don’t have anything extra to put towards them, nothing to cut from my budget and when things such as birthdays/Christmas come around I tend to fall behind on a bill to cover the cost so it just feels like a cycle I won’t escape.

is there a better way? I have been making sure I keep up with minimum payments as worried about my credit rating but it’s none existent anyway so would I be better reducing payments, requesting a freeze of interest or something else? I logged in and put all my details into step change which suggested that as I am meeting the minimum repayments that I just carry on but I am wondering if that is the best way forward.

genuinely unsure what to do for the best so any help would be greatly appreciated 

DMP feb 2024 £0/£6300
Savings feb 2024 £0/2000
Car fund feb 2024 £130/4000


  • enthusiasticsaver
    enthusiasticsaver Posts: 15,298
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    I have replied on your other thread on the main DFW forum.  

    Stop making repayments and wait for defaults. Do an soa as a first step allowing for everything.  There is a link in my signature. 

    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free Wannabe, Budgeting and Banking and Savings and Investment boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    Link to soa: https://www.lemonfool.co.uk/financecalculators/soa.php

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