If you’re unable to pay your bills and don’t deal with the situation correctly, it can be easy for your debts to spiral out of control.
However, there are plenty of actions you can take to reduce your debts and regain control of your finances.
Here, we suggest 10 ways to clear your debts more quickly.
1. Switch to a 0% balance transfer credit card
While the Bank of England base rate has stayed at 0.5% since March 2009, average credit card rates have reached more than 18%.
If you're paying interest on credit card debt, think about switching your balance to a 0% balance transfer deal - the best deals currently offer up to 28 months interest-free.
Which? Money Compare tables: 0% balance transfer credit cards - compare some of the best deals on the market
2. Reject increases in your credit card APR
If you owe money on your credit card and your card company says it's going to push up your interest rate, you have 60 days to contact the company and reject the increase. You won't be able to use the card for further spending, but you will be able to repay anything you already owe at your old, lower rate.
Which? Money Compare tables: Credit cards for everyday spending - our tables are updated in real-time
3. Join your local credit union
Loans from credit unions are generally cheaper than loans from most other providers for smaller amounts and do not incur set-up fees, administration costs or early redemption fees.
Many credit union loans, for example, cost 1% a month on the reducing balance of a loan (an APR of 12.7%). By law, the amount of interest charged by a credit union can be no more than 2% a month (an APR of 26.8%).
Go further: Borrowing from credit unions - our guide explores benefits of taking out a credit union loan
4. Avoid payday loans and other forms of high cost credit
Not only are payday loans incredibly expensive, but they can also take advantage of the continuous payment authority in place to make numerous payment requests in the event of a transaction not being initially verified. This could leave customers dipping into the red with their card provider. Payday loans should only ever be used as a short-term last resort.
Go further: What to do if you can't pay back your payday loan
5. Improve your credit score
Before you apply for credit, check your £2 credit report with Experian, Equifax and Callcredit. If there are mistakes on your file, or if you have a poor credit history, this will affect your chances of acceptance when you apply for a loan, as well as the interest rate you'll be offered if your application is successful.
Go further: Your credit report explained - this guide includes top tips for improving your credit rating
6. Pay more than the minimum on your credit card
If you only make the minimum payment on your credit card, not only could it take you years to repay the full balance, you may also be damaging your credit score.