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We are supporting StepChange’s Debt Awareness Week. Here are this charity’s 7 ways to deal with debt.

We are supporting StepChange’s Debt Awareness Week. Here are this charity’s 7 ways to deal with debt.

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ONE: WORK OUT WHAT YOU OWE

The first thing to do is have a look at all your unopened bills, statements and letters, and start looking at them in detail. This may seem scary, but the bills you might have hidden out of view or filed away for another day won't disappear. So work out exactly who, and what, you owe. By knowing exactly where you stand, you can start moving forward.

Read more: http://www.stepchange.org/7Days7Ways/Grabthebill.aspx

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TWO: PAY PRIORITY DEBTS BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE

No matter what people say in their letters or phone calls to you, the main bills you need to pay each month are household bills that keep a roof over your head, keep you warm, keep food in the cupboard and make sure you can get to work. Just remember, the creditors who shout the loudest aren't always the ones you should pay first.

Priority bills include: rent or mortgage, gas and electric, council tax and water bills. You should always make sure that these are paid before anything else.

Read more: http://www.stepchange.org/7Days7Ways/Shouttheloudest.aspx

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THREE: MAKE A LIST OF EVERYTHING YOU SPEND

This might sound simple but it can be really easy to lose track of what you spend day to day. The best way to make that you don't forget anything is to write a list. By understanding what you spend and then cutting out any unnecessary expenditure, you can work to a budget and make your money work harder for you.

Some non-day-to-day costs to remember... Car MOT and insurance, school uniforms, birthdays, Christmas or religious celebrations.

Read more: http://www.stepchange.org/7days7ways/Knowyouroutgoings.aspx

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FOUR: CAN YOU BOOST YOUR INCOME?

Once you've looked at your finances in more detail, you should have a much clearer picture of your situation. Even if things still seem difficult, there are positive actions that you can take. For example, as well as cutting down on what you spend, are there ways that you can increase your income?

Visit the money-saving blog www.moneyaware.co.uk for 1000s of practical tips to reduce your spending and boost your household income.

Read more: http://www.stepchange.org/7days7ways/Moneytrees.aspx

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FIVE: GET YOUR PERSONAL DEBT ACTION PLAN

Once you've completed the first four steps, you should now know where you stand. You should have all the information you need to help tackle your debt problems. Problems stay problems unless you do something about them, so why not get in touch and receive some personalised debt advice? One of the biggest regrets that people tell us is that they didn't ask for help sooner

There are two ways that you can do this: online or over the phone. Debt Remedy is a free online debt advice service. It only takes 20 minutes to get a personal action plan, so it's quick and convenient. You can also call free on 0800 138 1111 where you can talk directly to a friendly expert debt advisors.

Read more: http://www.stepchange.org/7days7ways/changethestory.aspx

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SIX: LISTEN TO PEOPLE YOU TRUST

If you're still thinking about other ways to deal with your debts, be careful. It may seem that there are lots of options available to you, including borrowing even more money. But this can be a bad decision. And turning to a payday loan company or fee-charging debt management company may not guarantee you the best advice. Make the right choice and the safe choice, and contact Step Change, the UK's leading debt charity.

Read more: http://www.stepchange.org/7days7ways/Thegoodthebadandtheugly.aspx

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SEVEN: DON’T GIVE UP

Are you ready to start a journey that could see you becoming debt free? One of the biggest regrets that people have is that they didn't ask for help sooner. So now is the perfect time to think about making positive steps. Like most journeys, there will be twists and turns along the way, but stick to your plan, take one step and one day you could be walking tall like the thousands and thousands of people who we've already helped

Read more: http://www.stepchange.org/7days7ways/Thebeginning.aspx

For free debt advice, call StepChange on 0800 138 1111 Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 8am to 4pm, or visit www.stepchange.org

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