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People Struggling With Debts 'Need To Be Proactive'

Oct 26, 2007
Consumers need to adopt a more hands-on approach to managing their money, it has been suggested.

According to research conducted by Callcredit, millions of Britons have developed serious difficulties in making repayments on their borrowing, whether this is through personal loans, overdrafts or credit and store cards. It is reported that some 8.2 million adults are currently experiencing particular financial hardship, while 2,750 county court judgments are filed in the country everyday. Overall, the majority of Britons (60 per cent) state that they do not know how much they are in the red by. Meanwhile, debt difficulties could be even more pronounced for the 15 per cent of consumers who openly admit that they do not have a clue as to how much they owe.

The credit reference agency also pointed to findings from the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) which indicated that a "shocking proportion" of older people are experiencing hardship in managing personal loan responsibilities and other forms of debt. According to the service, the proportion of those above the age of 60 who have monetary problems rose at the fastest rate of any demographic over the course of 2006. The organisation also forecasts that by the end of this year, it will be helping more of the over-60s manage their finances than it does with people under the age of 25.

As a result, Mel Mitchley, debt expert at Callcredit, urged those people who currently are finding themselves struggling to handle their finances to be proactive in getting back on their feet. She advised consumers against being a "financial ostrich", asserting that they should take their heads out of the metaphorical sand and get a copy of their financial history. By doing so the industry expert reported that borrowers will be able to identify how much they are in the red by and to which lenders they owe money.

Once this is done, Ms Mitchley advised that consumers should get in touch with their credit providers to draw up a repayment schedule. However, should they find that they are still experiencing difficulty in meeting demands for payment on personal loans and other types of borrowing, getting in touch with a professional guidance organisation, such as the CCCS, was recommended.

In addition, those considering applying for a loan were advised to ensure that they have a copy of their credit history and to take the time to scour the market so as to get the best deal possible. However, prospective applicants were also encouraged to ask themselves if they truly will be in a position to afford to meet monthly demands for repayment before taking out a loan. The drawing up of and the sticking to a budget was also recommended as a way in which to avoid developing unmanageable debt problems.

Meanwhile, research conducted by Wilkins Kennedy earlier this year revealed that the proportion of retirees filing for bankruptcy has more than doubled during the last five years as they struggle to make payments on personal loans, utility bills and other constraints on their spending. However, after experiencing problems such as insolvency consumers who look to borrow again could find that previous difficulties with money have cut off their access to cheap loans due to their credit report being damaged. As a result, applying for a bad credit loan may well be an advisable option way for these people to get help with their finances.
About the Author
Abbi Rouse writes for AllAboutLoans.co.uk, an online loans comparison site, visit us today for information on all loan topics including secured loans UK applications and homeowner loans from all leading UK providers.
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