THE BLOG

Debts: What Options Do We Really Have?

09/07/2014 15:21 BST | Updated 07/09/2014 10:59 BST

It's really hard to find anyone these days that doesn't have some sort of debt hanging over them. If you've graduated from university, certainly in the last 10 years, then chances are you will still be paying off your student loan today. The only good thing about that type of loan, apart from the fact it got you through some pretty good years of your life, is that the amount you pay back is dependent on how much you're earning. Most graduate jobs, especially in the arts world, don't actually pay that much to begin with. After I graduated my loan only started to come off whenever I did overtime, and even then it was only a few pounds here and there. It's now been six years since I left university, and I'm pretty sure I'll still be paying it off when I'm 50 and looking longingly towards the final stretch before retirement.

If you're slowly working your way up your chosen career ladder and don't have parents to pick up after you, then it's probably not just a student loan you have to worry about. The constant battle of juggling rent, bills and car payments is usually hard enough, and that's before you try to find money to actually establish some sort of social life. I'm not talking about going out every weekend or on expensive holidays, but I regularly have conversations with my friends about how little money we have, especially in the final week before payday.

So what are people doing to cope with the rising cost of living? Well it's not uncommon for people to take out a credit card. I have one that's meant to be for emergencies only, but I find myself reaching for it more and more these days just to help me through the month. It's not just credit cards that people are turning to though, as more people seem to be taking out loans they can't always afford to pay back straight away. I have friends who can afford to cover their rent each month, but they've had to take out a loan so they can afford to buy a car just to get their office each day. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but it's just not very long until the stress of meeting the repayments on time starts to set in.

If you're living in Scotland then there are a few options that can help lift you out of debt and get your credit rating back to normal. And right now there's one in particular that seems to be proving popular among people across the country. Unlike some other payback schemes, Trust Deed assigns you an insolvency practitioner who can act on your behalf to deal with the creditors. They'll also help you work out a plan about how much you can afford to pay back each month, although it must be at least £100. Trust Deed Scotland doesn't just cover loan repayments though, they also help you pay back credit cards, your overdraft and even store cards. It's the latter on that list that continues to catch out my friends, especially when stores are so keen to offer you discounts to take out the card in the first place.

While no one ever wants to get themselves into debt in the first place, it seems like there might finally be an option for people in Scotland to turn to. One that will stop the debt spiraling more out of control, and help people make regular payments to get rid of it for good without the stress of having to deal with it all by themselves. If Trust Deed Scotland is something you think could help you, then you should visit the AiB website something you think as it might just be the first step you need to start clearing your own debt.