Debt and borrowing overview

Living with cancer can bring extra expenses such as travelling to hospital, a special diet or increased heating bills because you’re at home more during the day. Cancer may also mean a loss of income if you can’t work because you’re ill or caring for someone. This can all increase your money worries and make debt more likely.

Money matters can seem complicated. This section keeps it simple. It provides basic information that can help you manage common debt problems.

It shows you how to deal with your debts by following a clear, step-by-step process:

We also include:

  • details about other possible options to deal with debts
  • information about what happens to debts you leave behind after you die
  • sample letters that you can send to your creditors
  • a list of support organisations who can help you.

The best way to use the five steps is to work through them from start to finish. This will help you sort out the most important problems first. Each step leads on to the next, so if you follow the sections in order, it’ll be easier to keep everything clear.

We’ve tried to make this information as straightforward as possible. But please call us on 0808 808 00 00 if you have any questions. We know that financial information can often be complicated and confusing.

Don’t worry if your situation is very complicated, or if you need more help understanding what to do. There are many organisations that offer free, expert advice and support for people with debts. Because they help people deal with their debts every day, the people at these organisations will understand your situation. Some organisations, such as StepChange Debt Charity, also offer free debt management plans.

This information doesn’t replace financial or other professional advice. To discuss your circumstances, call our financial guides. Information about benefits and taxes applies from April 2015-2016.

Back to Managing debt and borrowing

Step 1: Increase your income

Increasing your income is the first step to managing your debts. Check your entitlement to benefits and insurance payouts.

Step 2: Reduce your expenses

Once you have made sure you have as much money coming in as possible, there are ways you can reduce your expenses.

Debts you leave behind

If you have debts when you die, it reduces the value of your estate. This means your beneficiaries will receive less money.