The FCA is urging consumers to get help as soon as possible if they are in financial difficulty because of the rising cost of living. The FCA, in collaboration with MoneyHelper, has published the following top tips for those who are struggling financially:
- Open up to someone as soon as you can – FCA has reminded consumers not to wait to contact their lender if they get into difficulty – consumers can talk to lenders even before they miss a payment. The FCA has also recently reminded lenders of how they should provide customers with help and support. Where appropriate, this can include agreeing reduced or no payments for a period. Consumers can also contact MoneyHelper;
- Work out your debts – consumers should write down everything they owe, to help them in the long run;
- Prioritise your debts – debt advice can help consumers work out how best to prioritise their debts. Priority bills and debts include things like mortgage, rent and utility bills;
- Shop around for affordable credit – before taking out any new borrowing, consumers should consider how this fits in with overall financial position to ensure it doesn’t make matters worse. If consumers do need to borrow more, shop around for affordable credit. FCA has reminded consumers that, whilst it can be tempting to use high-cost credit options like payday loans, more affordable options may be available from other lenders such as credit unions; and
- Set a budget – a good way to understand how much consumers can afford to pay back each month is to write down what their income is and list all their expenditure.