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Managing Money: What Bills Should I Pay First?

There are some bills that are essential to pay in order to maintain your household - these are called priority debts. These payments should be made before any others because of the seriousness of what might happen if you don't pay them.

What would happen if I don't pay


If you fall behind with your rent we will try to come to an arrangement with you to schedule payments. If you don't make an agreement to clear your arrears or make one and don't manage to stick to it, you could lose your home.

Council Tax

A court can instruct bailiffs to take your belongings. In some cases, non payment of council tax can lead to imprisonment. If you're struggling to pay your council tax, speak to your local council for support. 


If you don't pay your bill your gas could be cut off. You may also be forced to have a pre-payment meter installed to manage your heating costs.

Check out our money saving tips to help reduce your gas bills.


You could have your electricity cut off if you don't pay your bill. Additionally, you may have to have a pre-payment meter installed to run your power and help you manage your costs.

Check out our money saving tips to help reduce your electricity bills.

TV Licence

You could get a court fine of up to £1,000. In some cases, non-payment can lead to imprisonment.

Court fines

Court fines can lead to bailiff action which could result in your belongings being taken and sold to pay off your debts. Money can also be taken directly from your earnings and you could be sent to prison.

Child Maintenance

Non-payment of maintenance bills can lead to bailiff action in order to take your belongings in order to sell them and pay off your debts.

Secured Loans

If you don't pay a loan secured using another item as a guarantee or a bill for an item purchased on credit (such as a car / electrical goods), the item used to secure the loan / purchased is at risk of being taken from you.