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Paying down UK debts before returning?

Paying down UK debts before returning?

Old Aug 19th 2020, 6:54 pm
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Default Paying down UK debts before returning?

We're seriously considering returning to the UK next year from the US. Just got to the point where I think we're both exhausted with life here and have had enough. Too much stress. I know the UK is hardly stress-free, but it's an improvement on here.

When we left the UK in 2016, it was in a bit of a hurry due to family circumstances over here, and we left some bills, loans, etc unpaid and never really followed up on paying them afterwards. Of course, they've all defaulted now. No CCJs or anything, which is good, but it'd be nice to at least get them under control and in the process of being paid off so our credit isn't completely in the toilet when we go back (it's not likely we'll be able to afford six months' rent upfront for a house!).

What would be the best way to approach this? Contact the creditors directly, or maybe go through a solicitor? We've been out of the country too long to qualify for any of the formal programmes, like a DMP or IVA. Or do we wait it out until we've been gone 6 years and they become statute-barred and fall off our credit report?

Advice is welcomed.

Last edited by Rusty Chainsaw; Aug 19th 2020 at 6:57 pm. Reason: Typo
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Old Aug 19th 2020, 8:59 pm
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Default Re: Paying down UK debts before returning?

It might be a good idea to post on the boards at www.moneysavingexpert.com

Also look up “Step Change” which is a UK charity which helps people with debt problems and how to deal with them....although I guess they can’t help until you are in the UK and I think they mostly deal face-to-face with those seeking advice (and also Citizens Advice, but you need to make an appointment).

Good Luck! (Btw. Where are you in NJ? We lived in Short Hills for 19 years but it never felt like ‘home’ to me....too many pretentious people there).
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Old Aug 19th 2020, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: Paying down UK debts before returning?

Originally Posted by Englishmum View Post
It might be a good idea to post on the boards at www.moneysavingexpert.com

Also look up “Step Change” which is a UK charity which helps people with debt problems and how to deal with them....although I guess they can’t help until you are in the UK and I think they mostly deal face-to-face with those seeking advice (and also Citizens Advice, but you need to make an appointment).

Good Luck! (Btw. Where are you in NJ? We lived in Short Hills for 19 years but it never felt like ‘home’ to me....too many pretentious people there).
I've actually corresponded with Stepchange about this, they basically said since we've been out of the UK for more than 3 years there's not much they can do. The guy I spoke to actually suggested we try and go under the radar until the debts are statute-barred! Bit hard to rent a house without a credit check though, or get utilities connected, or get phones, or anything really.

Yes, I'll take a look over on MSE, see what they have to say.

We're in Byram, in Sussex County, up in the north-west of the state. We occasionally (pre-COVID) used to find ourselves in Short Hills, mostly to go to the mall and ogle stuff we couldn't afford.
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Old Aug 20th 2020, 6:53 am
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Default Re: Paying down UK debts before returning?

Hi
Surely if you can afford the move from the US to the UK you can afford to pay your debts?
And not just because not doing so might make life inconvenient but because it might be a nice thing to do.
Taking goods and services and not paying for them used to be called stealing.
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Old Aug 20th 2020, 12:10 pm
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Default Re: Paying down UK debts before returning?

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
Hi
Surely if you can afford the move from the US to the UK you can afford to pay your debts?
And not just because not doing so might make life inconvenient but because it might be a nice thing to do.
Taking goods and services and not paying for them used to be called stealing.
That's why I want to pay them off. It's just something that got sidelined.
But no, we owe more than the return would cost, that's why I want to start getting it under control in advance.
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Old Aug 20th 2020, 7:35 pm
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Default Re: Paying down UK debts before returning?

Stepchange can help you I used them and did it all over the phone and internet.
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Old Aug 21st 2020, 2:06 am
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Default Re: Paying down UK debts before returning?

Have you done a free credit score check, I’ve used Experian in the past.

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Old Aug 21st 2020, 2:02 pm
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Default Re: Paying down UK debts before returning?

Originally Posted by Deans View Post
Have you done a free credit score check, I’ve used Experian in the past.
Yes, it's bad, in the 500s.

I felt a pang of jealousy when a friend of mine was showing a perfect credit score of 999 recently - how does anyone actually achieve that?

(stock response - they didn't bugger off to the States and ignore their credit for 4 years... )

I've shot Stepchange over an email. Since I'm outside the UK and have been for over 3 years I'm not sure what they can do to help me, but let's see what they come back to me with.
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