This is a question that pops up quite often. If you believe the debt collectors, they will tell some astronomical amount and make every threat imaginable. They are shooting for the stars and hope that you somehow manage to come up with the money.
However, the reality of the situation is often a much different picture than the one they are painting.
If you are contacted by a debt collection agency and the debt is real, you should try to work out payment arrangements with them.
More than likely, they will try to get a significant payment from you and tell you if payments are not made on schedule, they will own your home before you know it.
Listen to what they have to say, and then tell them how it is really going to go.
When faced with a situation like this, you need to show intent in making good on your debt. If you know how much you can afford each month, offer that amount.
If you do not know, tell them to call you back or you can call them back in a day or so to give them a figure.
They will rant and rave, but disregard it because the ball is now in your court.
Regardless of how small the amount is, offer them the payment on a weekly or monthly basis, whatever works best for you.
Even if it is only £25 per month, it is what you can afford to pay and you will surprised at how quickly they offer to take the payment.
If they refuse, send documentation to them that you offered and it was refused. Get a receipt of delivery as well.
If the terms are accepted, have them send you the payment terms in writing so there is no discrepancy if they it turns into a legal battle.