Managing debt and borrowing overview

A cancer diagnosis can bring unexpected expenses. These could include travel costs, buying certain foods for a special diet or bigger heating bills because you are at home more. Cancer may also mean you earn less if you are ill or caring for someone. Changes like these can increase your money worries and make debt more likely.

The information in this section is for people with cancer and their partners, family, friends or carers. It could help if you are in debt now, or if you are worried that you may have debt in the future.

It explains how to deal with your debts in five steps:

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.

We also include:

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.

Some organisations, such as StepChange Debt Charity, also offer free debt management plans.

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 spending

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.