Money matters and debts

Financial problems caused by debts
It's easy to get into financial difficulties caused by debt. Buying on hire purchase and/or taking out (personal) loans can get you into debt: when you decide not to pay in full straight away or decide to take out a loan you build up debt. In addition, as you have to pay interest on the money you owe this increases your debt. If you get behind on your repayments then your debt increases further because you have to pay fines and collection and/or bailiff's charges. As a result, your debt continues to grow.
Your income and spending need to be in balance: when you spend more than you earn you will ultimately be unable to pay your bills – with all the associated consequences.

How do you get out of debt?

  • Make sure that you don't get into debt!
  • Make a list of your financial problems: what have you borrowed from whom and how much do you owe now?
  • Make a list of priorities so that you know what you have to pay to whom and when.
  • Try to arrange a repayment schedule with your creditors: make agreements on what you will pay and when.
  • When you can’t solve your problems you can ask your Municipality for debt counselling or, in a number of cities, help in settling your debts from the Information centres for prostitutes.

A bank account
You need a bank account to keep your money safe and pay your bills. You have already tried to open a bank account but been refused. However, in many cases you are still entitled to open a bank account.
This is because when you

  • are older than 18,
  • have a permanent place of domicile and residence in the Netherlands or a postal address with an official relief organisation or government body,
  • and can show valid proof of identity,

you are always entitled to open a basic bank account.

You can use a basic bank account to transfer money, authorize your bank to pay bills (such as gas and electricity bills) from your account, use an ATM and make PIN and smart card payments.
Information about applying for this type of bank account is available from the Dutch Banking Association (only in Dutch).

More information
More information about getting out of debt is available from the National Institute for Budget Information (NIBUD).