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What steps should you be taking to clear yourself from debt?

9th October 2017 Print

Being in debt can be very stressful, whether it’s unintended or a consequence of careless over spending. Many people try and get themselves out of it but a lot of people give up because they don’t know how to or are struggling to make ends meet - so they just try and forget about the situation and hope it goes away. Often it doesn’t unless you take care of it properly

But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are so many people getting out of debt every day and not only that but they are getting out of it in a fairly short period of time too. If you find yourself struggling to keep on top of your debt and aren’t sure how to deal with it yourself, then you might need some expert help and advice. The Money Advice Service can help with how-to guides and further financial advice.

You can also take the lead and follow these steps on how to clear yourself from those dreaded debts. 

Work everything out 

You need to be brutally honest with yourself so the first thing you need to do is make a list of all the debts that you have – this includes your mortgage, personal loans, credit cards and overdrafts. Sit and work out exactly how much it is that you owe and who you owe it to. 

If your debts, excluding your mortgage, are taking more than 20 percent of your monthly income, then you are doing something wrong and are close to entering the danger zone. If this is the case, you must start cutting back.


Once you know how much you owe, plan a budget for yourself and include a schedule for repaying your debts. You should be realistic when doing this and work out what you can afford to repay and still stay within your budget. 

Watch your daily spending

Take only a certain amount of money out of the bank at the beginning of each week and limit yourself to only spending that amount. Give your card to a partner, friend or family member for safe keeping and that way you cannot spend more than you have in cash. 

Organise bills

Make sure your utility bills are being paid by direct debit because this way it is much easier to manage as you won’t be needing to send out cheques. You’re less likely to forget and it can also be cheaper as a lot of providers offer you a discount for direct debt payments. This is your easiest way to cut your bills. You can do it by just ringing up your bank with your details. 

Discipline yourself

Do not borrow more money or take on any more debts until you have paid off what it is that you already owe.

Sort out your bank accounts

If you have been with the same high street bank for many years then there is a chance that you might not be getting the best deal and you are likely to find an account with someone else that has a cheaper overdraft and better perks. You could even boost your balance by taking full advantage of switching or monthly rewards. Shop around; don’t just go with the first one you inquire about. Sort out the pros and cons for you and what will be best for you.

Get rid of store cards

Store cards have one of the highest rates for credit and if you are finding it hard to manage these debts then throw the cards away to avoid any more temptation. You will pay a lot over the odds for your store cards and the interest is often 30 per cent – it is so much better to just pay in cash if you can. If there are items you can’t pay for in cash for then shop around and find the best deal for you.