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Selling assets to pay off or clear debt

Selling an asset can release money to help pay off debts. An asset is anything of value like a house, car or watch.

What assets can be sold easily?

Money held in a savings account counts as an asset. This can seem like the obvious first step, but:

  • It is not always quick to access
  • Some accounts require a 90-day notice period

Other items that can be easily sold include:

  • Jewellery
  • Watches
  • Antiques

Larger items can take longer to sell. Things like:

  • Cars
  • Caravans
  • Bikes
  • Property
  • Land

Considerations before selling assets

Here are some tips for selling your assets:

  • Always ask permission of joint owners
  • Get more than one valuation to make sure you get the market value
  • Research the current market value online
  • Get details of any fees, penalties or costs before you sell

You must be the owner of the item or items you sell.

Your car, bike or caravan belongs to the finance company if:

  • You bought it on a hire purchase
  • You bought it on conditional sale
  • You used a logbook loan

It is against the law to sell it until you pay off the finance in full.

Downsizing your house to pay off debt

Some people choose to downsize or sell their house. This can raise a large lump sum to pay off debts.

Doing this usually involves other people, like your family or the person you share the house with.

Make sure to answer these questions before selling:

  • Will downsizing clear all the debt?
  • Can you still afford essential housing costs after downsizing?
  • How much are fees and selling costs?

Get advice before selling your home to pay off debts.

Worried about debt? Try our online debt advice tool.

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Worried about money?

We can help. Free, online debt advice available now.

Get debt help

What should I do with the money when I have it?

You can use the money however you like, but it should be based on:

  • How much money you get from the sale
  • How much you need to live
  • How much you need to pay off debts

You may need to keep some money to top up your income if you have more going out than coming in.

Share the money out fairly among the people you owe if you have money left over after you have paid your living costs.

You may be able to:

  • Clear your debt in full
  • Offer a lump sum as part payment towards the debt and continue to pay a reduced amount
  • Offer a lump sum to each creditor as a full and final settlement

We have a dedicated team to help you make a full and final settlement offer.

Find out more here.

What should I tell the people I owe while I try to raise money?

Contact the people you owe to tell them if:

  • You are going to use the money you raise to pay your debt, and
  • You have an idea of how much money you will raise

Make an offer to pay what you can afford while you're in the process of raising the money.

Send each person you owe:

  • A copy of your budget
  • A list of your other debts

This helps them see that you are offering them what you can afford.

It also helps to tell the people you owe why you are struggling to pay. For example:

  • Loss of a job
  • Increased living costs
  • Illness
  • Mental health issues

Do not agree to pay anything you cannot afford.