Debts and Managing your Money

What can I do if I can't pay for a bill or money I owe?

If you are unable to pay something you may be able to negotiate with the company or person you owe the money to. The sooner debts are dealt with the better. The creditor may allow you to arrange a repayment plan. Don't increase your debts to pay things off and don't agree to an unaffordable repayment plan.

Some debts are classed as priority debts - these are considered the most important and the ones you should pay first.  These include:

• Rent or mortgage (or secured loan arrears)
• Council Tax
• Utilities - gas, electricity
• Court fines
• Hire purchase for essential items
• TV Licence

There are others; see the Citizens Advice website for more information.

Non-payment of priority debts may lead to eviction / the loss of your home, disconnection of supply, reposession of goods, magistrate's fines / other punishments, and even imprisonment.

Non-priority debts include;

• Bank loans and overdrafts
• Credit cards, store cards and catalogues
• Hire purchase for non-essential items
• Pay day loans
• Telephone (unless essential, e.g. because of a health condition)
• Informal loan from friends or family

Non-payment of non-priority debts may lead to interest and charges added to the debt, goods being repossessed, or County Court Judgements.  See the Citizens Advice website for more information.

Debts to the University could result in you being unable to progress, graduate or being excluded from University IT access until any money owed is paid.  In some circumstances, students may be withdrawn from their course for non-payment of tuition fees.

If you are concerned about money you owe and what you should do contact the Advice Service for help immediately.


The University offers a free online resource, Blackbulion, to help you learn how to manage your money. 89% of the students who use it feel more confident about their financial future. Visit go.shu.ac.uk/manageyourmoney to start saving today.  

Financial Services Register No: 618832

Budget Planner