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Personal budget sheet

Your personal budget sheet (PBS) is a summary of your income and outgoings in an easy to read format. It is your most important tool in determining how to deal with your debts, as it will show how much you can afford to offer your various creditors.

You can view your PBS by clicking on 'My Budget Sheet' towards the top of the page when you are logged into My Money Steps.

Priority debt

This is a debt which could result in the loss of something important if you do not address it.

For example, mortgage arrears are a priority debt because your home could be repossessed if you do not make an arrangement to pay. Electricity and gas arrears are priority debts as your supply could be disconnected if you do not make an arrangement to pay. If you do not make the required payments on a magistrates' court or sheriff court fine, there is a risk of imprisonment.

The most common examples of priority debts:

  • magistrates’ court fines (or sheriff court fines in Scotland);
  • rent arrears;
  • mortgage and secured loan arrears;
  • Council Tax arrears;
  • gas or electricity arrears with your current supplier;
  • arrears on hire purchase agreements; and
  • child maintenance arrears.

Other priority debts include:

  • TV licence arrears;
  • income tax, national insurance and VAT arrears; and
  • benefit overpayments which can be deducted from your ongoing benefits (including Social Fund loans).

Where there are no arrears on these things, they are often referred to as 'priority bills'. 

Pro rata offers

Pro rata means dividing any available money amongst your creditors fairly, so that those to whom you owe the most are offered the greatest amount.