The first thing to do would be to call a customer service representative at the relevant collection agency. A serious collection agency will help you make a payment plan, based on your finances.

We have a tool called Plan & Pay that enables you to make a budget for the month and work out what you have left over for repayments. It'll help you put the plan into action.

It's also a good idea to collect together all of the information relating to the debt - the letters, any record of the original transactions - and keep them in one place for easy reference.

But, first and foremost, our two main pieces of advice are these:

1. Don't worry. Help is available.
2. Contact the people who have asked for the payment. They should be able to help you find a solution that suits.

And then, you can start to think about clearing the debt.

This film gives more information about what happens in this situation.