Advice centre:
What to pay first

For many of us, the list of things that need to be paid every month can seem endless. But not all bills are the same. The consequences of not paying some bills are much more serious than others. These bills must be your priority – for instance, if you didn’t pay your mortgage you could lose your home.

Here’s a list which explains what the consequences of non-payment might be for different types of bill.

Mortgage: Losing your home
Rent: Losing your home
Secured loan: Losing your home
Council tax or rates: A visit from bailiffs, attachment of earnings order, or imprisonment
Magistrates court fines: A visit from bailiffs, attachment of earnings order, or imprisonment
Tax, VAT or National Insurance: A visit from bailiffs, attachment of earnings order, a fine or imprisonment
CCJs: A visit from bailiffs, a charging order, attachment of earnings order, or imprisonment
Child maintenance: A fine, attachment of earnings order, or imprisonment
TV Licence: A fine, attachment of earnings order, or imprisonment
Gas/electric/other: Disconnection
Hire purchase: Disconnection
Telephone: Disconnection