People are placing themselves at greater risk of losing their home, visits from bailiffs and even prison by paying off consumer credit debts before other priority debts, warns Citizens Advice.
New evidence from the charity reveals 28% of people would prioritise consumer credit debts – such as credit card bills, personal loans or overdraft repayments – ahead of household bills, like rent, mortgage or utility bills. Citizens Advice advise that the the priority should always be to pay off household bills first, otherwise they risk further financial and emotional hardship.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“Falling behind on household bills can have serious consequences.
“From getting the power cut off to bailiffs knocking at your door, to losing your home or even prison – failing to pay household bills can put people in vulnerable situations.
“Huge numbers of people are unsure of what debts they should prioritise when they get into difficulties which underlines how important it is for people to be able to access free, independent help to manage their finances.”
“Similarly being offered money advice at key moments in life could also help people make the most of their money, avoid debt and plan for the future.”
For free, independent, impartial and confidential advice on debt and budgeting contact Citizens Advice Cornwall – text ADVICE to 78866 and we will call you back.