Priority and Non-Priority Debts
Priority debts are those that carry the most serious consequences if you don’t pay them. These don’t have to be the largest or debts with the most expensive interest rates, but if you don’t pay them it could lead to serious problems.
Priority debts include:
- Court fines
- Council Tax
- TV Licence
- Child maintenance
- Gas and electricity bills
- Income Tax, National Insurance and VAT
- Mortgage, rent and any loans secured against your home hire purchase agreements, if what you’re buying with them is essential
The consequences of not paying non-priority debts are less serious. If you don’t pay non-priority debts, your creditor could eventually take you to court or instruct bailiffs to collect money from you.
Your non-priority debts include:
- Personal loans
- Banks or building society loans
- Money borrowed from friends or family
- Credit card, store card debts or payday loans
- Catalogue, home credit or in-store credit debts
- Water and sewerage bills
Water and sewerage bills are treated as non-priority debts but you should include them as essential household outgoings. They are an ongoing service that you need to pay for. If you don’t pay at least your current water and sewerage bills, the amount you owe will continue to go up.