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National Debtline

Advice you can trust

Debt topics

Finding the information you need

On this page we have created specific topic areas to help you find the information you need. There are links to further information about each topic.

Changes to paying HMRC

HMRC are making some changes to how you can make payments to them.
  • From 15 December 2017, you will no longer be able to make payments at the Post Office.
  • From 13 January 2018, you will no longer be able to make payments by a personal credit card. Debit cards and corporate credit cards will still be accepted.


If you have an income tax debt that you cannot afford to pay contact us for advice.

Fact sheets

  • We produce over 40 fact sheets.
  • These cover topics in depth and are written in a straightforward style.
  • Our fact sheets are full of information and advice. They also contain useful contacts for you to get further help.
  • Some fact sheets also have links to sample court forms or sample letters to help you.

Business status

  • There is a lot of confusion about what it means to be a sole trader, a partnership or a limited company.
  • Before dealing with your debts, you need to know your business status.
  • This will help you understand what debts you are liable for and your debt options.
  • It will also help you decide which budget you should use.

Debt types

  • You may owe money to a number of different organisations. We refer to these organisations as 'creditors'.
  • Different types of creditors have different ways of getting their money back from you.
  • Think carefully about how to deal with each type of creditor. Use the information on this website to help you.

Dealing with creditors

  • Some creditors have stronger powers than others to get their money back from you
  • It is important to learn more about creditors' powers so you can choose the best option to deal with your debts.

Business borrowing

  • You may have borrowed money for your business. For example, you may have a business overdraft or a business loan.
  • You may need to treat this debt differently from a personal debt.
  • It is also important to check whether this debt is secured or unsecured.



Court action

  • Creditors may take court action against you if you do not pay what you owe.
  • Different creditors may use different procedures and courts to try and recover their money.
  • Use this section to learn more about different types of court action and what you can do to prevent it from happening.

Business insolvency

  • If your business cannot pay its debts or does not have assets that you can sell to pay its debts, it could be insolvent.
  • Use this section to learn about the different insolvency options to help deal with your business debts and what they mean for you and your business.

Personal insolvency

  • If you cannot pay what you owe, a personal insolvency option may help you.
  • Bankruptcy (sometimes called sequestration) and protected trust deeds are both types of insolvency.
  • Use this information to find out if insolvency is a good way to help you deal with your debts.

Credit reference agencies

  • Credit reference agencies hold information about your credit agreements, other debts and your payment history.
  • They also hold information about limited companies.
  • The information a credit reference agency holds is known as a credit report.

Sheriff officers

A sheriff officer is an officer of the sheriff court. They act on behalf of creditors by:

  • delivering legal paperwork; and
  • taking steps to enforce a court order against you.