Are you in financial difficulty?
Many people experience money worries at some stage of their lives.
This could be because of a relationship breakdown or long-term illness. Sometimes people overstretch themselves and simply find it hard to manage when an unexpected expense crops up.
Whatever the reason, we’re here to help, so please get in touch with us as soon as possible to discuss your options.
How do I know if I have a problem?
Be honest with yourself. If 1 or more of the following warning signs apply to you, it might be time take action:
- Do you just pay the minimum payment on your credit card every month?
- Do you need to borrow money from friends or family?
- Are you borrowing more, or using cash advances from credit cards, to pay existing debts?
- Do you put off opening bills or letters from banks and other lenders?
- Are you paying bank account charges because of bounced cheques or unpaid bills?
- Do you pay groceries or utility bills by credit card without clearing the balance each month?
Important: these considerations aren’t exhaustive or meant to be taken as financial advice made by MBNA. You should seek independent financial advice if you’re unsure about your financial needs.
How do I start to get things under control?
The first thing to do is to work out your own personal budget. Make a note of all your monthly financial commitments, like mortgage, credit card and loan payments, any savings, investments and insurances, council tax, gym fees, travel costs, and internet and satellite TV packages.
To make this a little easier, you might find our income and expenditure form (PDF) helpful.
Once you’ve done that, take your outgoings away from your total monthly income to figure out what’s left over. Be realistic though, so you don’t set a budget that’s difficult to stick to. When considering your own personal budget, keep these things in mind:
- Prioritise essentials first - e.g. rent and mortgage payments or arrears, council tax, and outstanding fines.
- Review what you spend on non-essential items. Cut back on them until your finances are under control.
- Try to pay debt with the most expensive rates of interest first.
- Get advice and talk to your creditors if your outgoings exceed, or are close to, your income.
Tips on managing debt
If you think you can manage with a few adjustments, read our guide to managing debt for tips on how to cut spending and stay on top of things. We’d still recommend you get in touch with us though, just in case there’s something we can do to help.
How we can help you
We can talk you through your options based on your income and expenditure details, which could include a payment arrangement to make things easier in the short term.
Could a debt management company help?
There are several debt management companies operating in the UK who could help you manage your debts and negotiate with your creditors to try to reduce your overall payments, making a difficult financial situation easier to control.
They assess what you can realistically repay each month and create a debt management plan for you. They'll also contact your creditors to negotiate a longer repayment term or a lower repayment amount.
A debt management company will manage your repayments from a monthly payment you make to them - you'll receive regular progress updates and, in most cases, you'll no longer be contacted by your creditors. Your circumstances will also be monitored to make sure your plan stays on track.
Just bear in mind, most debt management companies charge service fees. Plans are subject to status and signing up will affect your credit record, as well as your ability to obtain credit in future.
You can get independent advice about money worries from a range of organisations, including:
StepChange Debt Charity
Money Advice Service (MAS)
Visit Citizens Advice
Visit National Debtline
Don’t wait to get in touch
If you’re experiencing financial difficulties, please don’t wait to get in touch about your MBNA credit card debt or loan debt. You’ll need details of your income and expenditure to hand, so it’d be helpful to pull those together before you call.
Loans - call 0330 678 1430. Lines are open 8am-6pm Mon- Fri and 9am-5pm Sat and Sun.
Standard network charges may apply. You might also find our dealing with debt page useful.
Important: the contents of this page are not intended to be taken as financial advice or recommendation made by MBNA. You should seek independent financial advice if you’re unsure about your financial needs.