On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 12 drummers drumming,  11 pipers piping,  10 lords a-leaping,  9 ladies dancing,  8 maids a-milking,  7 swans a-swimming, 6 geese a-laying,  5 gold rings…

*deep breath*

4 calling birds, 3 French hens, 2 turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree!

According to the song, even in the 18th century people over-did it at Christmas. Ye Olde Payday Loan Company didn’t exist, but splashing too many shillings on (frankly rather strange) gifts could have dire consequences.

Debtors’ prisons are fortunately a thing of the past; but for many of us, money worries are very much a part of our present, particularly at this time of year.

When the credit card bills arrive, and even the minimum payments feel like a stretch, it’s easy to bury your head in the sand. Those enthusiastic resolutions, made in high spirits only days ago, falter as you realise you’ll still be paying for this Christmas when the next one comes around. The plan to win the lottery is taking a little longer to come to fruition than you’d hoped, and Simon Cowell hasn’t yet offered you a multi-million pound recording contract.

But all is not lost!

Resolving a debt problem is rarely about miracles or massive life overhauls. It’s about making realistic, sustainable changes and being well-informed about your rights and obligations. It’s about understanding your situation now, and working out the route to the situation you want to be in.

A friendly ear and some expert, independent advice along the way can make a huge difference, especially if the road is rather bumpy:

“Those who have unmanageable debt and sought debt advice are 93% more likely to be out of unmanageable debt within a 12 month time-frame than those who have not sought debt advice” – The Money Advice Service (Report on the Effectiveness of Debt Advice in the UK).

As a money adviser, I’m passionate about empowering people to take control of their financial position. The most important piece of advice I can give is to tackle the problem as soon as possible, but it’s never too late to take the first step.

Wishing you a happy and debt-free 2015.

If you are struggling with debt this new year, don’t let it affect your home.  Search our website for advice on managing your money and debtFor urgent advice please call our free helpline:   0808 800 4444.