The quickest way of determining who you owe would be to get a copy of your credit reference file. This is a factual record of how you have conducted yourself with credit, and information is stored for six years.
For a small fee you can request a copy of your credit reference file at any time, either by post, over the internet or by telephone.
There are three credit reference agencies: Experian, Equifax and Callcredit, and I recommend you request a copy of your file from all three, as the information they hold may differ.
This will also let you know if any of your creditors have taken any recovery action against you. If any of them have, it is important you seek specialist advice as soon as possible
As you ran a business, it may also be worth contacting HM Revenue & Customs to make sure you don’t have any outstanding tax debts.
Once you have established your situation there could be several different options for dealing with outstanding debt.
The first step would be to complete a monthly budget sheet. This involves listing all household income and essential expenditure. Essential expenditure refers to the bills that keep the roof over your head, but notany credit debts.
The amount of money left over after covering the essentials will help identify what options are available to you.
You could use this excess income to informally negotiate affordable repayment rates with your creditors. If there is a minimal amount left over, you could even make token offers of £1 each month. The lenders could agree to freeze any interest and charges.
If you would like some more in-depth advice about any of the options mentioned, you can contact National Debtline on 0808 800 4000 or go to nationaldebtline.co.uk.
If you have any questions relating to business or trade debt, you could also contact Business Debtline on 0800 197 6026 or at bdl.org.uk. Both services are free of charge.