Debt Advice For The Unemployed

Since losing his job, Carl's focusing on finding something new

But the bills are piling up... 

Carl's story

Carl had always kept himself in a job, so he’d never considered life without a steady income. Then through no fault of his own, he was looking at supporting his family and keeping up the mortgage repayments without work.

His priority was to get another job as soon as possible, but it wasn’t easy. He knew he was entitled to support so he was also spending his time applying for benefits. With all that going on, Carl was putting bills like his Barclaycard on the back burner. But the combined stress of looking for work and letting bills go unpaid was building up and playing on his mind.

Carl wasn’t ready to explain how worried he was to his wife, let alone his lenders. But as the weeks passed and he was facing more and more unpaid bills, he felt the reality of his situation getting to him. He already knew he wouldn’t be able to pay his next Barclaycard bill because:

  • he hadn’t paid his last two credit card bills
  • fees were being added to his outstanding minimum payments
  • he’d taken out a small payday loan and repayments had started

How Barclaycard helped

Carl decided to do what he could to stop lenders contacting him. He rang Barclaycard and got through to one of our advisers, Sian.

  • Sian gave Carl time to explain things in his own words and wasn’t judgemental or demanding, as Carl had feared
  • Together they created a repayment plan that Carl could afford, and put a longer term plan in place for when he’d found work again. Sian explained what information she needed and why, as well as how it would affect Carl’s credit score and what could be done to help
  • Sian checked that Carl knew he could access his Barclaycard account online or via the Barclaycard app to make debit card payments, change payment due dates and, when he could afford to, set up a Direct Debit
  • She also advised that there is free help and advice available to him (we’ve included links in the ‘Other ways to get help’ section below), and that he should also check out the government website for information and guidance on the following:
  • Redundancy: your rights

Carl wanted to call Barclaycard, but he was frightened there would be consequences. However, after speaking to Sian, a weight was lifted off his shoulders and Carl was able to focus on the important things, like supporting his family and finding a job.

Does your story sound like Carl’s?

Suddenly being out of work may be the last thing you expect, and losing a steady income can have a real impact on your finances and your family. It’s difficult trying to keep on top of unpaid bills while looking for work, and not knowing what happens next can be a significant source of stress and anxiety.

But there’s no need to do it alone…

You're not alone - we're here to help

We know your debts aren't going to disappear on their own, but we really can help. If you get in touch, we'll ask you about your income and outgoings so you can feel confident you're only repaying what you can really afford. And your priority payments – Council Tax, rent/mortgage repayments and household bills – will always come first.

It's probably the last thing you want to do, but giving us a call won’t make anything worse. We won't spring any surprises on you; our advisers are here to listen, understand and agree a solution with you – not demand payments you can’t afford.

You can rest assured, we’ll ask your permission before we do anything and check how you feel about your other finances.

We'll try to provide you with help that’s clear, practical and easy to understand. Also, we'll advise you where to find free and independent help.

Get in touch to find out how we can help

Talk to us on the phone

As soon as you think you might be facing financial difficulties, give us a call. It could make things much easier.

Before you pick up the phone, it’s a good idea to jot down some notes about your income and spending. And set some time aside – we’ll want to understand your situation in detail, so you might be talking for a while.

Worried you’ll miss a payment?

Call us on 0800 056 1411.

Missed a payment and want to catch up?

If you’ve missed a payment on your Barclaycard, you might be able to pay it using the Barclaycard app.

Alternatively, call us on 0800 161 5205.

Both lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 9pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am to 9pm.

Calls to 0800 numbers are free from UK landlines. Mobile charges may vary. Find out more about call charges.

You can also:

Use the Barclaycard app

Send us a message from the 'Help' section of the Barclaycard app. It's secure and You don’t have to wait for our reply, just log back in when you’re ready to see if we've replied.

You need to be 18 or over to use the app. T&Cs apply

Other ways you can get help

If you're struggling with a few different debts or money worries in general, there are organisations that may be able to help:

StepChange is the UK's largest provider of genuinely free independent debt advice and managed solutions, helping almost 600,000 people a year resolve problems, repay debts and rebuild lives.

The National Debtline offers free independent support for advice on how to deal with your debts, including live online webchat with a National Debtline advisor.

MoneyHelper provides a range of free and impartial money advice over the phone and online, including tools and calculators to help you manage your finances.

Are you receiving all your benefits?

Find out if you're getting all the money you could be entitled to.

Visit entitledto and use their free benefits calculator to understand if financial support is available.

Get local debt help

Contact Citizen's Advice Bureau for a list of debt counsellors in your area.

To protect the privacy of our customers, we have used photographs of actors and fictitious names, but they are based on real situations.

How close are you to a Debt Problem?

If you're worried that you need help with your finances then you can try StepChange Debt Charity's 60-second debt test. By answering a few simple questions they'll be able to tell you if you need debt advice.

StepChange Debt Charity 60-second debt test, opens in a new window, third party site