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Dealing with the debts of a vulnerable person

A 'vulnerable' person is someone whose situation makes it harder to deal with debts. Creditors should take extra care to make sure that person is treated fairly.

You might be considered vulnerable if:

  • You have a long-term health condition
  • You are neurodivergent
  • You are dealing with a loss

There are other types of vulnerability too.

Are you trying to help someone right now?

You might be a:

  • Friend
  • Family member
  • Social worker
  • Support worker
  • Other care professional

We can support them – and you – to help get their debts under control.

Who is classed as 'vulnerable'?

There is no set definition of a ‘vulnerable’ person when it comes to debts.

Anyone can be considered vulnerable and need extra support if they are going through:

  • A recent loss
  • Mental health problems
  • Long-term or terminal illness
  • Dementia or brain injury
  • Difficulty in communicating, like:
  • Reading
  • Speaking on the phone
  • Learning disability
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Addiction
  • And more

It is also worth remembering that:

  • Vulnerability can be temporary
  • Someone might have a hard time now but find it easier later
  • Vulnerability may not affect all parts of someone’s life
  • Day-to-day activities may be fine but dealing with money and debt much harder

Creditors should treat all vulnerable customers with understanding.

Find out what your rights if you are vulnerable.

Asking for help can be hard.

Are debts causing you stress? Do you feel you never have the time?

Whatever the barrier, let’s deal with it together.

Find out more here.

Money worries?

Find out how we can help you.

Get help now

What is the best way to help a vulnerable person with debts?

Everyone’s situation is different. This impacts the kind of help they need.

Relieving the stress and worry about debts can be a crucial first step.

Help them get in touch with us

  • Sit with them while they complete our online debt advice tool
  • You can also help them call us
  • We will help them understand their situation and take action

Help them to contact everyone they owe

They, or you, need to:

  • Explain that they are struggling to pay
  • Tell the people they owe about their vulnerability if they can
  • Creditors can be more understanding than you expect
  • They cannot help if they do not know

It can also be helpful to:

  • Let them add your name to their account with us
  • This lets you speak to us on their behalf
  • You can do this for all the people they owe
  • Read through paperwork with them
  • Help them make a list of all their debts. Include:
  • Account numbers
  • Phone numbers
  • Payment amounts

Helping someone with their debts does not affect your credit rating.

You cannot be made to pay their debts unless you are their guarantor.

How can we help?

Use our online debt advice tool for free, expert advice.