Money And Debt Advice

You could find yourself struggling with debt if things change in your life. Here's how to get help and advice.

Many people find themselves getting into debt or requiring money management advice following a change in their circumstances. This can include:

  • Change of benefit entitlement
  • Redundancy
  • Ill health
  • Birth of a baby.

Top tips for tackling debt

Don’t panic - get advice

Get in touch with a Money Management/Debt Advisor

It is important to seek advice, as the longer you leave it, the worse it will get. Contact our Money Management Advice Officer on 01202 451 266

Get help to draw up a financial budget, which you can show to creditors who you owe money to.

Get advice to pay off the debts first which could result in you losing your home or the gas and electricity being cut off

Don’t ignore debts

They will not go away and the debts will increase in value.

Don’t borrow more

Borrowing more could result in high interest charges and could make the problem worse. Get advice, as there are debt agencies charging expensive interest rates which you may need to avoid.

Get organised

  • Spend some time organising and filing all your bills and accounts. 
  • Make sure you keep copies of all letters you receive and send relating to any debt

Benefits

  • Make sure you are getting all the benefits which you are entitled to. You can find out your benefit entitlement on line at www.turn2us.org.uk or call 0808 802 2000.
  • The national number for claiming Welfare Benefits is now free from most mobile phone networks. Call 0800 055 6688

Payment Protection for ill health or redundancy

If you cannot work due to redundancy or ill health, check if any debt is covered by Payment Protection Insurance.

Finally, beware of borrowing money from loan sharks

A loan shark is someone who lends money as a business without the appropriate licence required by the Office of Fair Trading. They rarely give any paperwork and if repayments are missed they often use violence and intimidation to get their money back.

Report a loan shark

If you know of any illegal money lending, you can report a loan shark in confidence by phoning the Illegal Money Lending team 0300 555 2222.     

More help with money and legal advice

 Organisation  How they can help
Citizens Advice Bureau

Money management / debt advice. Face to face, online and telephone.

Phone: 08444 111444 or 08444 994105

Faithworks Wessex

Debt counselling and budgeting support via home visits. Open: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Phone: 01202 429037

Housing benefit support  Help to manage benefits. 
Money Advice Service 

Free and impartial money advice set up by the government. Open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday, 9am to 1pm.

Phone: 0800 138 7777

National Debtline

Debt advice /support provided on the phone or online. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm, Saturday 9.30am to 1pm.

Phone: 0808 808 4000

Payplan

Debt advice and solutions. Support provided on the phone or online.  Open Monday to Friday 8am to 9pm, Saturday 9am to 3pm.

Phone: 0800 280 2813
or (from a mobile) 
0207 7608980

Salvation Army

Face to face debt advice. Open Thursday 2pm to 4pm

Phone: 01202 830024

Shelter

Money management and debt advice via face to face appointments. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Phone: 0808 800 4444

Step Change Debt Charity

Debt advice and solutions. Support provided on the phone or on line. Open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 3pm.

Phone: 0800 138 111

Legal Advice Finder Find a legal advisor or solicitor in your area.