Owing more money than you can afford to pay back is called being in debt. It’s much easier to get into debt than to get out of it. If you’re under 18, you can’t apply for credit cards, store cards, overdrafts, personal loans and hire purchase schemes but you could get into debt in other ways.
Some young people fall into debt through borrowing money from family and friends, and then have problems paying them back. Getting out of debt isn’t always easy but with careful planning it can usually be done.
Make a list of the money you owe and who you owe it to. This should help you see which of your debts have to be paid off first. You’ll need to look at your finances and work out what you can afford to pay each week to clear your debts whilst still covering your essential expenses. Keep a close eye on what you’re spending - you’ll probably have to make some cut-backs until you’ve paid everyone back.
Don’t be tempted to borrow extra money to pay off existing debts. Talk to the people you owe money to and explain that you’re going to pay them back as quickly as possible. You may find that they’re more understanding than you expect especially if they can see that you’re making a serious effort to pay back the money you owe. If things start to get on top of you find someone you trust to talk things through with. If you’re having serious problems with debt have a look at the websites under the tab above.