Dealing with priority debt

Dealing with priority debt

What are priority debts?

Priority debts are those that have the most serious consequences if you don’t pay them. They don’t have to be the largest or have highest interest rates, but if you don’t pay them it could lead to serious problems.

Priority Non Priority
Rent arrears Overdraft
Gas arrears Credit card
Council Tax Loan
Water rates Doorstep lenders
Electricity arrears Store cards
Benefit overpayment Catalogues
Telephone Hire purchase (non-essential, TV etc)
Mortgage arrears Personal loans
Court fines & CCJ’s  
Hire purchase (essential, such as a car to get you to work)  
Secured loans (secured against your home)  
Child maintenance  
TV licence  
VAT & National insurance  


Why you should pay off priority debts first

The consequences of not paying off priority debts could be losing your home, receiving a court summons, being visited by bailiffs, facing bankruptcy or having your electricity or gas cut off.


How to deal with priority creditors

Don’t ignore letters or phone calls from your priority creditors. Get in touch with them as soon as possible to explain why you are in debt. There are time limits on when some creditors can go to court to get you to pay a debt. If you think the time limit has run out, you should get advice immediately.


Further sources of help

Citizens Advice

Step change

Money advice service