Have your debts begun to stack on top of each other? Have you lost track of what debts you actually owe?
It can be extremely difficult and frustrating attempting to sum up all of the debts you have.
You can even get yourself in a deeper hole when you have forgotten some of your debts, leading you to miss payments and affecting your credit rating.
Table of Content
- 1 What debts do I have?
- 2 What debts are occasionally missed?
- 3 Check your credit file
- 4 Check emails and letters from your creditors
- 5 Get in touch with your creditors
- 6 Check your bank statements
- 7 Check court records and CCJs (County Court Judgments)
- 8 Don’t wait for creditors to contact you
- 9 Summary
What debts do I have?
Figuring out what debts you actually have can be a mission.
You could potentially deal with personal loans, credit card debt, or your council tax bill. Having multiple different debts can make you forget about individual debts, leading you to owe money for a long time.
After setting up your direct debit, there is a chance you could forget about your debts completely.
What debts are occasionally missed?
The debts that are usually overlooked are:
- Student loans
- Store cards/ catalogue debts
- Unpaid parking tickets
- Overpayment of benefits
- Mobile phone contract debt
- Payday loans
There are a variety of ways to find out exactly who you owe money to, here are some examples:
Check your credit file
The first advisory way of finding out how much debt you owe is through checking your credit file online and gaining a free copy.
Your credit file is full of information about which debts you owe, along with the details you need to know about your bank account, with bank account statements, secured and unsecured loans, cards, as well as a credit report.
You should contact your credit reference agencies to check public information about insolvency along with County Court Judgements (CCJs).
The credit reference agencies could either be:
Why are some of my debts not on my credit file?
The information on your credit file has a lasting time of six years from the date old debts were paid off or from when your debt accounts showed up as a default from missed payments.
Even though you might still owe the debt, if it has taken over six years to pay off, the credit report will have removed the payment history.
If you have checked with all three credit reference agencies about your missing debts, then you should begin to check emails and letters you have received from creditors or a debt collection agency.
Check emails and letters from your creditors
Checking your emails and letters you might have received from your original creditor can be a great way to find out how much debt you owe.
The emails and letters you will have received from the original creditor, along with newer creditors, will consist of important information with the amount needed and what the debt is for.
Looking at past emails and letters is a good way to keep on top of your debts, being able to visibly read the information can reassure you of the amount.
You can keep all of the paperwork from letters in a set place, as well as this, you can keep all your emails from creditors in a document or folder together. Placing everything in one place will allow you to access everything you need quickly.
Occasionally, people will change their physical address/ email address. Changing addresses is crucial to send to creditors, otherwise, you will not be informed of your debt and they will pile up further. Ensure regularly that your addresses are correct for your creditors by contacting your landlord or agency.
Get in touch with your creditors
If you are not able to complete either of the previous solutions, your next key step to finding out your debt quantity is through contacting your creditors.
To contact creditors directly can give you all the information you really need about the amount of money needed to pay.
Getting in touch with your creditors will not only assure you of what debt repayments are needed to be paid but they can also listen to what you might have to say.
You will be able to give an explanation about dealing with your debts (this can help you to create some breathing space when looking for help at this time).
Check your bank statements
Checking your bank statements is one way towards finding out your debt amount.
Considering that the majority of debt repayments are taken directly out of bank accounts through direct debit, debit cards, or standing orders, it is essential to look at your bank statements to see where your payments are going every month.
You will be able to see the cancelled direct debits and any unfamiliar names (these should strike to your attention that they can be places where you owe money).
Check court records and CCJs (County Court Judgments)
County Court Judgments (CCJs) will usually appear on a credit file for six years.
Having a CCJ, or in Scotland- a Decree, they will tell you the date of the judgment, the amount that you owed, as well as the name of the court.
Don’t wait for creditors to contact you
To find out how much and who you owe money to, the last thing you should do is wait.
Waiting for your creditors to contact you will be the very last resort after you have exhausted every other option.
Until debt collection agencies or creditors themselves contact you, you will still have unpaid debts and still be unknowing of all the debts you owe.
Many people will deliberately avoid contacting creditors when they need debt help as they believe the creditor will give up- this is guaranteed to not happen and risks more debt and further court action.
Knowing you are in debt, but unsure of who or how much you actually owe can be a scary position to be in.
However, reading this guide will have hopefully shown you that you can find out your debts in simple ways!
If you need help with your debt today, contact a debt charity for the support you need!