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Step 1 - Gather information for each debt

This advice applies to England

Find any letters and emails you’ve had about your debts, along with the credit agreements you’ve signed.

For each debt, you need to find:

  • the name of the creditor or lender - a ‘creditor’ is any person or company you owe money to

  • your account or reference number

  • a copy of the loan agreement you signed (sometimes called a ‘credit agreement’ in your paperwork)

  • details of how much the debt is now

If you don’t have an up-to-date statement from a creditor, you can ask them for one. This will tell you all the payments you’ve made and what’s left to pay.

Make a list of your creditors and how much you owe each one. You can print and use our example table [ 31 kb] to do this, or start a spreadsheet or list of your own.

Don’t forget things like Council Tax (rates in Northern Ireland), rent and energy bills if you’re in arrears on these, as well as debts like credit cards or loans.

Name or type of creditor Account or reference number Amount you owe
Example: NatWest mortgage BN6654-11 £2350
Example: Mastercard 5299 - xxxx-xxxx-xxxx £11,235

Get help if you’re struggling

You can get free advice from a debt adviser at your nearest Citizens Advice if you're finding it difficult to complete these steps. A specialist can talk through your options and help you to find the debt solution that’s best for you.

It's a good idea to gather as much information about your debts as you can before you speak to an adviser.

Step 2 - Check which ones are 'priority' debts

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