When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

People who can help you with debts

When you’re in debt it’s not always easy to recognise that you have a problem and need to get help.  Learning how to budget effectively is a good first step.  Charities can help you with this.  You should get advice from a debt charity if

  • You’ve missed more than one repayment on any of your cards
  • You only make the minimum monthly payment on loans or cards
  • You regularly use payday loans or cheque cashing services
  • You are afraid to open letters, bills and bank statements
  • You borrow money to pay bills
  • You borrow from friends or family without being certain you can pay this back.

The situation won’t get any better until you do something about it.  A debt charity could help you

  • negotiate with the people you owe money to
  • work out if you’re entitled to any benefits
  • understand how to budget properly
  • work out repayment plans to clear your debts.

Paying your rent or mortgage should be your main focus.  If you fall behind on these payments you could easily lose your home.

Problems paying your mortgage or rent

It’s important that you act quickly if you fall behind on your mortgage or your rent.  What can happen to your home will depend on whether you

  • own your home and have fallen behind on your mortgage or a secured loan
  • rent your home from the Housing Executive or a housing association
  • rent your home from a private landlord
  • have fallen behind on your rates payments

Dealing with your debts

You need to understand your debts to deal with them properly.  Debts are often broken into categories.  Any debts that could lead to you losing your home should be the first things you pay.  This includes

  • rent payments,
  • mortgage payments
  • payments on any loans secured on your home
  • rates bills.

Other debts could lead to services or utilities being cut off.  The most important of these will be your energy and heating supplies. 

Credit card and store card debt won’t result in you losing your home, but you could end up with a court judgment against you and a poor credit rating if you fail to pay these debts. Housing Rights can give you advice if you’re having problems paying your rent or mortgage and you risk losing your home.  We can help you work out a repayment plan and manage your other debts.  If you’re keeping up with your rent or mortgage but struggling with other payments speak to