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Can I avoid my debts?

You may wonder what would happen if you tried to avoid paying your debts. Would your creditors eventually give up and stop chasing you?

We strongly recommend you don’t try this as it’s almost certain to make your debt problem worse.

How can a creditor find me if I ignore them?

The details held about you by credit reference agencies make it very hard to avoid debts. It’s almost impossible these days to get by without using some form of products which appear on your credit file.

It’s not just loans and cards that appear on your credit file. Bank accounts, mobile phone contracts, car insurance paid in monthly instalments and some utility companies all share up to date information about you with credit reference agencies, including the address they have on file. So to avoid your debts you’d have to stop using any products like this, which isn’t realistic.

Credit reference agencies also keep a record of your different addresses and different names you’ve been known by. So moving house or starting to use a different name won’t help you avoid debts either.

On top of this creditors can employ specialist tracing agents to find you. Some debt collection agencies offer this service.

What if I move abroad?

Moving to another country would make it harder for a creditor to find you, but it wouldn’t guarantee they’ll stop chasing you. Depending where you move creditors may have a branch of their company in that country, and some large debt collection agencies trade in different countries.

If a creditor has taken you to court in the UK they may be able to transfer proceedings to other European countries. They could make you bankrupt in your absence and, depending where you’ve moved to, the bankruptcy may affect assets you have in that country.

If your move abroad isn’t permanent you could come back to the UK to find your debt situation is much more serious and harder to deal with it. There are steps you can take to deal with your debts from abroad.

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Websites which claim to help you avoid debt

Some websites claim to offer ways to avoid paying your debts. For example, they might suggest you send a series of three letters which somehow stop your creditors from taking any action. Some of these websites use legal-sounding language and a convincing explanation to make their ‘solution’ look attractive.

If you’re tempted to try any of these ‘magic wand’ solutions we strongly suggest you contact us first for free debt help and we’ll give you the honest facts.

We’ve never seen any of these solutions work. Most are only likely to make your situation harder to deal with in the long run and could end up costing you more money.

Remember if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

What can I do about my debts?

It’s common to feel overwhelmed by debts and like there’s nothing you can do to deal with them. But there’s almost always an option.

It won’t necessarily be painless but even if you need to take drastic action like going bankrupt, it’s better than the stress of spending years trying to hide from your debts – especially because as we’ve explained above, this won’t usually work.

Contact us for down to earth, impartial advice on what you can do about your debts. You can use our online debt advice tool.