How To Get Out Of Debt | Royal Bank of Scotland

Debt Management

How to get out of debt guide

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Steps to managing your debt

Getting into debt can often leave you feeling overwhelmed and it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes paying it all off. Taking a step-by-step approach can help put you back in control of your finances and see you manage your debt more effectively.

How much do you owe?

Before you begin to tackle your debts, you first need to understand exactly how much you owe.


Are you regularly entering your overdraft? Do you own any credit cards?  Have you borrowed any money from a friend or family member? No matter what form the debt takes, ensure that you write it down and make a note of exactly how much you owe.

Break it down

Once you’ve figured out exactly how much it is that you owe, the next step is to figure out how you’re going to pay it all back. At first it may feel a little daunting, but breaking it down into more manageable chunks will make your debt seem a little less overwhelming.


Our debt calculator will help you to do just that. You can use it to input what you owe and it will then calculate your total current debt and show how soon you could pay it off.


Not all debt is the same. Some debts will incur higher interest than others, and not paying off debts such as your mortgage, could result in the repossession of your home.


It’s important therefore to work out what debts you need to pay off first. These may not necessarily be the biggest debts, but they are the debts that have the biggest consequence for not paying them back on time.


Next you should look at paying off the debts with the highest rate of interest. Leaving these payments could see interest build, leaving you with more debt in the long-run.

Reassess your payments

Revaluating and reorganising the way in which you make your debt repayments could see you benefit from fewer individual repayments and in some cases a lower rate of interest.


If you own more than one credit card, you may want to consider a balance transfer. A balance transfer is when you transfer, either in part or in full, the balance from one credit card to another. Doing so will allow you to organise your finances more effectively by consolidating your payments into one. Not only this, but transferring to a card with lower interest could see your monthly payments reduced, helping you to pay off your debt quicker. 


Compare our credit cards, to see if there's one to suit your needs.

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Useful links

Free tailored advice and practical solutions
StepChange Debt Charity

Free confidential advice
National Debtline

Free impartial advice on managing your money
Money Advice Service

General independent and free advice
Citizens Advice

Free housing advice

These links are to non-Royal Bank of Scotland websites. Royal Bank is not liable for the accuracy of the information provided on these websites.

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We're here to help. If you want to speak to our dedicated team please select the 'Chat now' button on the right hand side of the page.

Our fully trained team have lots of experience with financial difficulty, and we'll take time to understand your individual situation and discuss the options available to help you.

We will need to get an accurate picture of your situation so please have a few details to hand:

  • Your monthly income (including any benefits, overtime, bonuses)
  • Your monthly household spending (including all of your bills and expenses)
  • The amount you owe
  • The number of organisations you owe money to

You'll find most of this information on your bank statements or by looking at your bank account online. If you don't bank with Royal Bank of Scotland, then call your bank as soon as you can.

If you give us authorisation, we're happy to talk to a relative, friend or debt counselling organisation about your accounts.

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