Guide to managing debt

If you find yourself in financial difficulties the most important thing you can do is to seek advice and talk to those you owe money to. That way, together you can find the best way forward for all parties and resolve the situation sooner rather than later.
 
What this guide covers
 
 
 I´m in financial difficulty. What can I do?
 
The first thing to do is understand your financial situation by reviewing your financial circunstances, for example with the free budget planner located on the It’s Your Money website. Secondly, check if you have insurance (such as payment protection insurance) and, if you do, check your policy to see if you can make a claim. Thirdly, if you do have concerns, you can print, complete and return our Income and Expenditure form to:
 
AvantCard Customer Assistance,
Dublin Road,
Carrick on Shannon
Co. Leitrim
 
Or call us with the details of your incomings and outgoings on 0818 211 784 to discuss the options available to you.
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 How can I reduce my spending
 
The first step is to create a budget and stick to it. Most bills are paid monthly so budgeting monthly is often wise too. To create a budget, work out how much you spend a month and compare it to how much you earn a month. The goal is to identify ways to reduce or eliminate altogether non essential spending. Here are a few tips:
 
• Set up direct debits. This way you won’t forget to make any regular payments, and you’ll have a clearer picture of what you have left to spend each month
 
• Plan your shopping list and stick to it
 
• Don’t make large purchases spontaneously
 
• Review your service providers. Can you reduce your household bills or car insurance, for instance? Check out a price comparison website and see if you can get the same services for less than you’re currently paying
 
• Budget for ad hoc expenses. Set aside money for things like insurance payments, holidays or charity donations that come round once in a while
 
• Save for the unexpected – for example, car or home repair bills, healthcare and other emergencies.
 
It’s worth considering additional insurance protection for you and your family.
 
 Are there any resources available to help me reduce my spending?
 
There are several price comparison websites like bonkers.ie and compareireland.ie that can help you save money. They offer a free comparison service on household bills (gas, electricity, home and mobile phone, broadband and mortgage) quickly, easily and without hassle.
 
 How can I reduce what I already owe?
 
Once you have a monthly budget and start reducing your current spending, contact your lenders and creditors. There are lots of ways we can help you tackle your debts.
 
Impartial websites such as It’​s Your Money or the Money Advice and Budgeting Service(MABS) offer valuable information and advice on saving money and tackling debt.
 
 What charges may apply?
 
If your account falls into arrears you may be subject to the following default charges:
 
• €15.24 each time your payment has not reached your account in cleared funds by the date your payment is due.
 
• €19.05 each time a cheque, direct debit, a credit-card cheque or other item for payment is unpaid.
 
• €12.70 if you are over your credit limit at any time during your statement period or at the end of any statement period (after taking into account any items not yet shown on any statement) but we will not charge you more than one of these over-limit fees in any statement period.
 
• Any other reasonable out-of-pocket fees, legal or other costs we incur as a result of your account falling into arrears.
We will add these default charges directly to your account.
 
 Other resources
 
Money Advice and Budgeting Service
www.mabs.ie
Lo Call: 1890 283 438
 
National Consumer Agency
www.itsyourmoney.ie
Lo Call: 1890 432432
 
Reduce bills
Use www.compare.ie to help you save money on regular household bills.
 
Get in touch
 
Call us on 0818 211 782.
 
If you’re in financial difficulty call us as soon as possible a call on 0818 211 784.