These are debts that aren’t immediately going to cause you significant loss, such as losing your home or car but still require attention. You can contact the companies to arrange a small payment or to freeze the debt while you pay your priority debts. You can then focus on clearing the non-priority debts, usually starting with the one that’s charging you the highest interest rate first.

Non-priority debts include unsecured loans, credit cards, overdrafts, store cards, benefit overpayments, student loans, friends and family, or an HP agreement where the item isn’t essential.

If you communicate well, most lenders will be patient as long as you stick to what you say you’re going to do.