If you’re in a position where you simply cannot afford to make all of your monthly payments, one thing you will have to consider is which of your financial commitments are the priority debts. Prioritising debts can be tricky business, particularly if you have a number of creditors getting in touch frequently, making their payments seem like the most important.
But there is a way to decide upon priority payments and it’s simpler than you might have expected.
Missing payments of any kind has consequences. It can be detrimental to your credit record in the very least. But missing certain payments has more serious consequences than missing others. These are the ones that you should consider your priorities.
- Mortgage, rent and secured loans. With your mortgage and any loans you have secured on your own property, you risk losing your home if you fail to make the payments. If you end up in rent arrears, your landlord could obtain an eviction order and you could end up with nowhere to live. As such, these are absolutely priority payments.
- Council Tax. Failing to pay council tax can result in legal proceedings and even prison! This is therefore certainly a priority payment.
- Utilities Bills. Gas and electricity companies are entitled to cut the supply of your services if you do not make a payment. Living without utilities really isn’t feasible, which is why these are also debts that should be prioritised. Water companies cannot cut your supply in the event of failure to pay.
- Child Support Payments. This is another one where, if you fail to pay, you could end up going to prison.
- Anything you rely on to work. If you rely on your car to get to work or need your phone to be able to work, ensuring payments relating to these things are met is important. You need to ensure you prioritise any payment related to something you rely on in order to earn your income.
Other debts, such as unsecured loans or credit cards, catalogue debts and water rates could be considered lower priority. This is because you couldn’t go to prison or lose your home for failing to pay. It is, of course, essential that you meet your payments when you can, but if you’re unable to afford everything, prioritising is essential.
You could benefit from obtaining confidential, expert debt advice to find out what options are available to resolve your debt problems.