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People Struggling With Debt 'Need To Recognise They Have A Problem'

Nov 19, 2007
Consumers concerned that they are beginning to develop financial difficulties should tackle such problems head on, an industry expert has declared.

According to Derek Oakley, insolvency director of Debt Free Direct, those people who are struggling to meet demands on various areas of their spending, for example loans, plastic cards and utility bills, need to be honest that they are experiencing such problems. He reported that by recognising that they are having monetary troubles now people could help avoid having deepened financial difficulties in the future.

He said: "The first thing to do is to recognise that you have a problem and the second thing to do is to measure the size of that problem. You should work out what you earn and then, very honestly, write down what you spend." Mr Oakley pointed out that creating such a plan will allow many Britons to recognise how much of their money goes towards essentials such as rent, utility bills and loans, in addition to "semi-discretionary" expenses such as travel and food. Consumers can also track how much is spent on luxuries such as going out in the evening and gym membership and consequently identify any areas in which they can reduce their spending.

By doing so, the Debt Free Direct director claimed that people will be able to "get to a position where you can make an assessment which will show you if by making cutbacks you can meet your commitments", which in turn could help them to manage their money with more ease. If consumers are able to cut down on non-essential spending, Mr Oakley urged them to "use some willpower and do it". However, if they cannot do this he stated that they should look to seek out financial advice.

The insolvency director also reported that people struggling with their spending should make sure that they are receiving all the benefits to which they are entitled. In addition, he pointed out that consumers should get a second job or take on a lodger if they have a spare room to help boost their income. Mr Oakley suggested that in an attempt to reduce their expenditure, homeowners could examine their mortgage deal to ensure they are on the most competitive deal possible, as well as making use of price comparison websites to get the best prices on secured loans, credit cards and other financial products.

Another way that people could be able to reduce the financial pressures that they are facing is to apply for a debt consolidation loan, as such a method of borrowing may help them to meet demands on spending with ease. Speaking earlier this month, Teresa Perchard, director of public policy for Citizens Advice, reported that consumers need more help and advice from both regulatory bodies and businesses when it comes to managing money. By providing such guidance, Ms Perchard claimed that more members of the public will be able to cope with secured loans and other financial areas. She also reported that lenders need to carry out more checks to make sure that prospective borrowers can meet repayments on loans.
About the Author
Steve Smith writes for 1 Stop Finance Shop, a one stop, Personal Loans Shop, with information on bad credit loans and debt consolidation loans available on site.
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