Have you been wondering how to find out what debt you owe? You’re not alone as personal debt in the UK increases and more people want to know where they stand with creditors. We address this common question and other debt questions in this new MoneyNerd guide.

How to Find Out What Debt You Owe?

There is no one method of finding out how much debt you owe in the UK and who you owe it to. There are numerous ways to find out and some of them are quite easy. Here is a breakdown of the most popular ways of finding out about your debts:

  1. Check Your Credit File

The best way to find out about your debts is to go online and check your credit file. You have a right to be able to check your credit file in the UK and there are three popular sites to use. Experian is one of those sites and you can sign up for a free 30-day trial to access your records. You’ll be able to view your account to see what and who you owe, and you can also use the free subscription to spot any mistakes on your file.

Be aware that you will be charged if you don’t cancel your subscription within the 30 days you get for free.

  1. Consult Letters and Emails

Most people chasing you for money can find out where you live, even if you have moved. Thus, they are likely to send you debt letters requesting that you pay them or face legal action. By going through your letters and any texts or emails, you should be able to work out who you owe money to. The only issue with this method is that your debt could have late fees and interest that aren’t shown on older letters.

You might see names of companies you don’t recognise, such as the name of a debt collection agency. This is because they are working on behalf of another business or have bought your debt from the original creditor you owe.

  1. Contact Creditors Directly

If you have a good idea of the debts you have, you could always contact the creditors and ask them how much you owe. This can be quite a scary method because you will be worried that they will start chasing you more. It is true that they might, but you can also put the ball back in their court with a prove the debt letter.

If your creditor or the collection agency chasing you has gone out of business, your debt might have been sold on. To find out who could have bought it, you might have to do some digging on debt forums like Money Saving Expert. 

  1. Search for Court Records

IT could be the case that the creditor you owe money to has already asked the court to enforce the debt with a County Court Judgement (CCJ). If this has happened, there will be a record of the CCJ against your debt within court records. These records can be accessed online and help you find out what has happened to your debt.

CCJs are usually issued if you have ignored debt letters – which is strongly advised against.

The Benefits of Knowing About Your Debt

We understand that having debt can be scary and cause anxiety. You probably want to bury your head in the sand and never have to think about the debt again. Unfortunately, ignoring your debt is not a wise idea. Here are some benefits of finding out about your debt:

  • Get a clear picture
  • Reduce worry and stress
  • Debt details are a catalyst to debt solutions
  • Debt solutions can get you out of debt at a cheaper cost
  • Debt solutions can make your debt affordable
  • And debt solutions can help you live a normal life again

How to Find Out What Debt You Owe? (The #1 Option)

What does Money nerd think is the best way to find out about your debts? Well, the answer has got to be checking your credit report. Not only does this provide accurate information, but it can also introduce you to the importance of your credit file and help identify mistakes.

I Understand My Debt, What Next?

If you have used one of the methods mentioned and found out about your debts, you probably also want to utilise a way to get out of debt. 

There are lots of debt solutions available that can spread out the cost of debt and make it affordable. One debt solution may even wipe as much as 90% of your debt!

But not every debt solution will be suitable for you. You will need to find one that fits your situation and provides the most advantages. And you can do this with free debt advice.

Where Can I Get Free Debt Advice?

You can find free debt advice that will be tailored to your personal circumstances at debt charities and debt management companies. 

Debt charities provide free debt advice and then offer some debt solutions for free, such as a Debt Management Plan. Debt management companies also offer debt advice but it tends to be more commercial and focused on getting you signed up to a paid-for debt solution, such as an IVA or Debt Relief Order. 

Picking Your Debt Solution

Picking a debt solution should not be done quickly or without serious consideration. Some solutions have fantastic benefits, but not sticking to repayments can land you in an even worse situation. Always work out how much you can really afford to pay and be honest with yourself.

For more information on the different debt solutions and if you qualify, check out the Money Nerd debt options page, today!

About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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