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Last updated:
20/11/2017

What can I do if I have a debt I cannot pay?

  1. Overview
  2. Can a bank lend to me when I am unwell?
  3. What does ‘capacity’ mean?
  4. Free help is available
  5. What should banks do to protect me?
  6. What can I do if I have a debt I cannot pay?
  7. How can I complain?
  8. Can I return things I bought when I was unwell?
  9. Next steps

You have a number of options, including the following:

  • Pay reduced and affordable payments,
  • Offer a lump sum,
  • Ask the lender to write off the debt,
  • Apply for a Debt Payment Programme under the Debt Arrangement Scheme, or
  • Apply for bankruptcy or sequestration.

Not all of these options will be right for you, as it depends on your situation. The following things could affect your decision:

  • Your income,
  • The amount of money you owe,
  • The type of debt you have, or
  • The value of your home and other expensive belongings.

You can get free advice on debt issues from:

National Debtline

This organisation provides free, independent and confidential advice about debt. You can contact them over the telephone, by e-mail or letter.

Telephone: 0808 808 4000 (Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and Saturday 9.30am to 1pm)

Email via website: www.nationaldebtline.org/S/Pages/Email-us-for-Advice.aspx

Website: www.nationaldebtline.org

 

StepChange

StepChange provide free, confidential advice and support to anyone worried about debt. You can contact them over the telephone or online.

Telephone: 0800 138 1111 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 8am to 4pm)

Email via website: www.stepchange.org/Contactus/Sendusanemail.aspx

Website: www.stepchange.org

Free, confidential advice and support to anyone worried about debt.

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Within this subject

  1. Overview
  2. Can a bank lend to me when I am unwell?
  3. What does ‘capacity’ mean?
  4. Free help is available
  5. What should banks do to protect me?
  6. What can I do if I have a debt I cannot pay?
  7. How can I complain?
  8. Can I return things I bought when I was unwell?
  9. Next steps
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