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DifferentTypes of Debt

What are the different types of debt?

Some debts are called 'priority debts' and some debts are called 'non-priority' debts.

What is a priority debt?

Priority debts are the ones that are most important to pay. They will not always be your biggest debts.

Priority debts include:

  • Rent

  • Tax

  • Utility bills with your current supplier (gas, electricity)

  • Council Tax

  • Magistrates' court fines

  • Maintenance and child support payments

  • Essential items bought on hire purchase (such as a car to get to work)

What is a non-priority debt?

Non-priority debts include:

  • Door step lenders

  • Credit and store cards

  • Money owing to catalogues

  • Bank overdrafts and loans

  • Money owing to a previous energy supplier

  • Money borrowed from friends or family

  • Non-essential goods bought on hire purchase

  • Arrears from a former tenancy

Why do I need to know the difference?

It is more important to pay priority debts than it is to pay non-priority debts. This is because the consequences of not paying a priority debt are far more serious. For example;

  • If you don't pay your rent you might lose your home.

  • If you don't pay Magistrates' court fines, tax, or Council Tax a bailiff could come into your home and take your goods, or you could go to prison.

  • If you don't pay your current utility bills, your gas and/or electricity could be cut off

Therefore, your most important debts will not necessarily be your biggest debts. Even if you owe far more on a credit card than on your rent, it is still more important to pay your rent so that you keep a roof over your head.

Are the non-priority debts still important?

Yes. Although you may not lose your home, go to prison or have your fuel or water cut off, you can still be taken to county court. You may have to pay court costs and if you don't pay your debts, bailiffs may be given permission by the court to enter your home and take your goods.

What about arrears from a former tenancy?

If you have former tenant arrears or other housing related debt  from a property you previously rented from Doncaster Council or St  Leger Homes of Doncaster, this could affect you being able to rent a home from St Leger Homes in the future. Find out more on our 'Former Tenant Arrears' page.

What should I do?

Please go to our 'Coping with debt' page to find out more.



St Leger Court
White Rose Way
Tel: 01302 862862
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