Money Management and Debt Advice
Help with the cost of living
Many more of us are experiencing money problems, often for the first time. The earlier that you get the help you need, the easier they are to solve.
People experience financial difficulties for numerous reasons, many not realise they are entitled to support. Whether you need help with budgeting and managing your money or guidance on what help and support is available to you, there is advice and support available. Please visit the Citizens Advice and Money Helper.
Citizens Advice have information on grants and benefits available to help with energy bills, including the Warm Home Discount as well as scheme and grants from energy suppliers for people in debt. There’s also a handy guide on checking how much your appliances cost to use.
If your bills are starting to pile up, it is best to organise them in a way that is understandable to you or talk to somebody who can help you organise them. If you leave your bills to become unmanageable, you could end up in debt. Make sure you know when each bill needs to be paid and how much is due by writing it on a calendar or putting a reminder on your phone for each month.
If you cannot pay a bill, you should contact your supplier. They should help you create a payment plan that you can work around.
Advice on managing bills
MoneyHelper.org has a range of helpful guides and information, including how to manage money well and deal with money troubles.
Money Helper is a free service provided by the Money and Pensions Service. It brings together the support and services of three government-backed financial guidance providers: Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise. It is committed to ensuring that people throughout the UK have guidance and access to the information they need to make effective financial decisions over their lifetime.
Free impartial money advice is available
- on line or by using a web chat Where to get free debt advice on moneyhelper.org
- over the phone on 0800 138 7777, or
- Via WhatsApp on +44 77 0134 2744
Moneywise is a website owned by St Leger Homes of Doncaster that is full of helpful hints to help manage your life and money on a limited budget or to find local groups in your area regarding bills.
For landlord & tenant advice, including on rent arrears visit The Doncaster Council private renting webpage.
Shelter provide a range of advice on housing issues including support for renters.
Support with water bills
Yorkshire water have a number of support schemes that may be useful to you if you are having trouble with your water bills. You can find information on all of their schemes through their help paying your bill webpage.
If you are worried about debt or struggling to manage your finances, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. There are various independent agencies and charities offering free, independent and confidential advice who may be able to help.
If you are in debt, you do not need to struggle alone. You may be tempted into taking out a loan to pay it off, however, this can sink you into further debt.
There are places where you can talk to an experienced debt advisor for free. They will give you the best options on how to deal with your debt, organise priority and non-priority debts and advise you on how to manage your money so most of it goes towards paying off your debts and you still have enough to live off.
Debt Advice Providers
For more information on the services available, visit their websites:
Citizen's Advice has a range of information and guidance on Citizens Advice - debt & money , as well as
- National Advice line: 0800 144 8848
- NationalFreephone Debt Advice line: 0800 240 4420
Our local Citizens Advice Doncaster Borough offers advice by phone, face to face or via video calls.
Doncaster Borough Advice line number: 0808 278 7955
There are several local offices located around Doncaster, as well as community outreach advice sessions. See Citizens Advice Doncaster borough advice
Money Helper: Money Helper is a free service provided by the Money and Pensions Service. It brings together the support and services of three government-backed financial guidance providers: Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise. It is committed to ensuring that people throughout the UK have guidance and access to the information they need to make effective financial decisions over their lifetime. Free impartial money advice is available
- on line or by using a web chat Where to get free debt advice
- over the phone on 0800 138 7777, or
- Via WhatsApp on +44 77 0134 2744
National Debt Line
An independent charity offering free, impartial and confidential debt advice.
Tel: 0808 808 4000
StepChange Debt Charity
Offering free debt advice to help you deal with your debts and find a solution.
Tel: 0800 138 1111
Debt Respite Scheme or Breathing Space
The Debt Respite Scheme, or Breathing Space is a free scheme, launched by the Government on 4 May 2021. It aims to help relieve some of the pressure of dealing with your creditors, so you can focus on getting debt advice and setting up your debt solution without worrying about being chased for payment or incurring extra charges.
If you pass the eligibility checks, your creditors won't be able to add interest or fees to your debts, or take enforcement action, for 60 days. You'll still need to keep making your regular payments if you can afford to. More information is available here Breathing Space Scheme or from the debt advice providers listed above.
If you are having difficulty paying your Council Tax, Our staff will be sympathetic of your situation and will work with you to try and put arrangements in place that take your financial circumstances into account.
The best way to get help and advice about what to do, is by contacting the Council Tax team by phone on 01302 734454, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our having difficulty paying page for more information.
We all need to borrow money sometimes but not all of us can do this easily, especially if we’ve had debt problems in the past. Sometimes, it can feel like the only option is to borrow from a ‘doorstep’ lender or get a payday loan. This can be a very expensive way of borrowing money – you may have to repay much more money than you originally received.
A money lender has to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to lend money legally. Money lenders who aren’t authorised by the FCA are known as loan sharks.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team provides more information www.Stoploansharks.co.uk or telephone 0300 555 2222 to report a loan shark.
If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions you might be borrowing from a loan shark:
- Did they offer you a cash loan?
- Did they not give you paperwork?
- Did they add huge amounts of interest or APR to your loan?
- Have they threatened you?
- Are you scared of people finding out?
- Have they taken your bank card, benefit card, passport, watch or other valuables from you?
See this animation Credit Union Animation - YouTube which raises awareness of loan sharks and promotes credit unions as a safer alternative.
Credit unions are community banks – members pool their savings to provide each other with credit at a low interest rate. Loans usually work out cheaper than home credit (sometimes known as doorstep loans) or payday loans.
Our local Credit Union is Community First Credit Union. It used to be called Danum CU before expanding into North Yorkshire. It provides accounts, loans and online banking services. For more information see www.communityfirstcu.co.uk or telephone: 03 03 03 000 10
A money lender has to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to lend money legally. Money lenders who aren’t authorised by the FCA are known as loan sharks. The England Illegal Money Lending Team provides more information www.Stoploansharks.co.uk or telephone 0300 555 2222 to report a loan shark. See this animation Credit Union Animation - YouTube which raises awareness of loan sharks and promotes credit unions as a safer alternative.
For a wealth of advice on how you may be able to get help with your childcare, visit the Families Information Service.