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i The advice on this page applies to anyone with personal debts taken out in the UK.

What if I ignore my debts?

A lot of people we speak to have ignored their debts before they’ve resolved to contact us. Our research suggests half of our clients wait a year or more before they take steps to sort out their debt problem.

If you’re struggling to deal with your debts it can be really difficult to open letters or pick up the phone. But ignoring them is only going to make this harder in the long term.

What happens if I ignore creditor letters or emails?

If you have arrears on your debts it’s important that you don’t ignore letters or emails from your creditors.

It’s easy to put off opening letters but the more they pile up, the harder it’ll be to deal with them. Try to get into the habit of opening and reading letters as soon as they arrive.

If you don’t you’ll miss important paperwork, such as:

You’ve got a strict deadline to reply to some of these letters if you want to avoid your creditor taking further action, so ignoring them is a bad idea. 

You should also make sure your creditors have your current address. If you move house you might be tempted not to give your new address to your creditors. But if you don’t you may find important letters like this go to your old address and you don’t find out about court action until it’s too late.

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What if I ignore creditor phone calls?

Some people find it quicker and easier to deal with creditors by phone, but for a lot of people it can be stressful, upsetting or inconvenient. A creditor can’t insist on you dealing with them by phone and you won’t get into any trouble if you refuse.

If you prefer not to take phone calls from your creditors it’s even more important that you read your letters and emails as soon as you get them.

See our guide to phone calls from your creditors for more advice on your rights.  

How can we help?

Contact us for free and impartial advice on what you can do about your debts. Even if you don’t feel able to speak to your creditors you can still contact us – and getting back in touch with your creditors should be a lot easier once you’ve spoken to us.

You can use our online Debt Remedy tool or call our Helpline for advice.

Helping you become debt free...

“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

We link to external websites where they contain relevant information for our visitors. We're not responsible for the content of these websites, or any infringement on your data rights under data protection regulations by any external website provider.

*This is the average rating of our service based on the StepChange reviews on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2018