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Worried about back to school or college debts?

You are not alone

The cost of sending children back to school or college is a financial strain for most families. Shopping around for the best value and spreading the expenditure over a number of weeks can help, but when you are already in serious debt, this time of year can be extremely stressful. It is common for parents to make additional sacrifices – cutting back on groceries and ignoring other bills to make sure their children have everything they need for their education.

The word insolvency is often associated with companies but the reality in Ireland at the moment is that many people are insolvent - which is really just another term used to describe serious financial problems. The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) is an independent government body set up to help tackle personal debt problems. The ISI understands that the effects of being insolvent in day-to-day life means that parents dread having to find money to pay for the necessities like school clothes and books and the extras like new football boots, dance lessons or a new laptop – all of the things they want to be able to provide for their children.

You might not realise it but you could be insolvent if:

  • You are not able to pay your bills in full when they are due.
  • You are paying a little off each bill trying to keep creditors (the people you owe money to) at bay.
  • You are reluctant to set up direct debits to pay bills in case your money cannot meet them.
  • You are receiving calls/letters from creditors about missed payments/threats of repossession.
  • You have made personal sacrifices to pay your debts.

Help is available

You might not be aware but the ISI has a range of debt solutions, such as the Debt Relief Notice which allows for complete write-off of debts under €35,000 for those with a low income and few assets.

If you have a mortgage or debts over €35,000 you could be eligible to apply for a Debt Settlement Arrangement or a Personal Insolvency Arrangement - solutions which allow for some write-off and restructuring of your debts.

The ISI believes you are entitled to a reasonable standard of living while you address your debt problems. With the ISI's solutions, there is a minimum standard of living you are entitled to which allows for expenses such as food, clothing, education, healthcare and savings. The figure is often higher than the amount people in debt live on before seeking an insolvency solution. You can calculate your family’s reasonable living expenses on the ISI’s website. Thousands of people have already availed of the ISI’s solutions. Now is the time to tackle your debt and get a fresh start. Taking control of your financial circumstances means you can start looking forward to the future and making plans for your family.

Visit for more information or Freetext GETHELP to 50015.


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