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We hope it never happens to us, but the reality is money troubles can affect anyone at any time. Often through no fault of our own, we find ourselves in difficulty and without enough money to make ends meet.

Five real money worries from our readers

We hope it never happens to us, but the reality is money troubles can affect anyone at any time. Often through no fault of our own, we find ourselves in difficulty and without enough money to make ends meet.

Our fantastic staff at the Money Advice Line know this better than most. They get calls every day from people who have suddenly found themselves in a bad money situation.

The good news is there is always something that can be done and it’s important you tackle these issues quickly, rather than burying your head in the sand and hoping they will go away.

We took a look at just a few of the examples of money worries people are dealing with and what can be done to help.

We’re going to be talking about money worries and spotting the symptoms of debt all this week, so don’t forget to visit our blog every day and to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Protect against income shocks

When Zoe called the Money Advice Line, things had really started to go wrong for her through no fault of her own.

She had significant debts of over £20,000 in the form of a mortgage, loan and credit cards, but she was comfortably making the repayments while working in IT.

Unfortunately, the company she worked for was in trouble and she was going to be made redundant at the end of the month. Being in her late 40s, Zoe was very worried finding a new job would not be very easy.

This had suddenly put a huge strain on her finances and she wasn’t sure how she was going to cope.

Our team were able to direct her to StepChange who would be able to help with the money she owed and Turn2Us to discover what benefits she might be entitled to.

Keep being offered credit

Sometimes financial troubles have a much deeper root, and this was the case with Sam.

Years of gambling addiction and alcoholism had left him unemployed and thousands of pounds in debt.

The problem was, despite already owing a lot of money and barely even making minimum repayments on what he owed, Sam was constantly being offered increased credit limits and new cards.

Minimum repayment trap

Credit cards can be a very useful thing to have in your wallet. But they can also cause serious problems if they’re not managed properly. This was exactly the situation facing Oliver.

He had bought a home with his pregnant wife and, in the absence of any other money, used his credit card to pay for some renovations before the baby arrived.

Unfortunately, he could only afford to make the minimum repayments on the card, which meant the balance was never going down.

The family were up-to-date on the rest of their bills, including council tax and mortgage. But despite everything else going fine, this one financial problem was causing them a lot of worries.

Our team recommended they talk to their bank to see if they could restructure the payments.

Tackle debts before they get too bad

We are always telling people the best thing to do is tackle your debts head-on before they get out of control – and we’re really pleased when people take this advice.

Ruth was struggling with a £1,000 overdraft, which she was using up every month, and about £2,000 on credit cards.

Things had ended up in this situation because she had an injury which kept her off work for a month.

The good news was she decided to tackle the problem early and, with our help, was put in touch with StepChange who were able to help her budget for her debts, before they got out of hand.

Along with pointing Sam in the direction of StepChange, our team also introduced him to our debt advice locator, which helped him find the help he needed close to home and for free. 

Rent shortfalls

Money worries are scary, but never more so than when they threaten the roof over your head.

Patrick had recently moved to another city for a new job. But he was then hit with a few unexpected bills several weeks before payday and he couldn’t afford to pay his rent.

This was causing him considerable stress as not only could he be about to lose his home, but it was also threatening his new job.

He had looked into a loan to cover the shortfall, but without savings or a guarantor, he was struggling to get one. The only thing on offer was a payday loan, but he was understandably unwilling to go down this route.

We advised he got in touch with StepChange, who would be best able to advise him on his options to deal with this. 

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