Some people may assume debt is something that affects younger people – and in many cases, it is – but the older generations are by no means immune to problems with debt.
Many people approaching retirement age experience problems too, and when you only have a few years of full income left, this can be quite worrying.
The basic advice for people in this situation is the same for any age group – talk to your lenders to discuss your problems, and if this doesn’t help, talk to a debt adviser.
Getting debt help
A lot of people delay getting debt help because they believe their lenders will take action as soon as they realise there is a problem. However, this is very rarely the case. Lenders want to get their money back, after all, and if there’s an obvious choice between a new repayment arrangement or regaining less money through enforcement action, they are more likely to consider the new repayment arrangement.
For example, if your problems are likely to be short-term only, your lenders may agree to a ‘repayment break’ in which you don’t make any repayments for a limited time. A lot of people find this enables them to get their finances back on track.
If you have a longer-term change to your circumstances, your lenders may informally agree to reduce the amount you pay each month. But remember that your debts will take longer to pay back this way, and you could end up paying a lot more interest in the long run.
If your lenders can’t help you, you may need to talk to a debt adviser about a debt solution. This is where things could get more difficult if you’re approaching retirement – most of these solutions will take a few years, and if your lenders don’t think you’ll be working long enough to repay your debts this way, they may not accept such a solution. In this case, you may have to think about opting for bankruptcy.
A debt adviser could help you to find a solution with the least negative consequences for you. As such, it’s always a good idea to talk with a debt adviser before you decide on the best way to tackle your debts.