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Money Management and Debt Advice

Managing Debt

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.

For more information on the services available, visit their websites:

Citizen's Advice

Appointments can be phone, face to face or via video - all offices provide general debt and benefits advice.

For general advice you can contact the team via-

Doncaster Borough Advice line number: 0808 278 7955 
National Advice line number: 0800 144 8848
Email: advice@citizensadvice-doncasterborough.org
Webchatwww.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/web-chat-service/
Video appointmentshttps://attenduk.vc/CADB-waiting-room or visit an Advice Pod location

Citizens Advice Doncaster Borough has several local offices located around Doncaster, details of which can be found at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/local/doncaster-borough 

  • Doncaster Town Centre - 63 Hall Gate Doncaster DN1 3PB
  • Stainforth - The Hope Centre Church Road DN7 5NS
  • Mexborough - Adwick Road S64 0DB

Outreach sessions are held across Doncaster.

Debt appointments (including bankruptcy & DRO applications) 01302 499330

Universal Credit - Help to Claim - Freephone 0800 144 8 444 - (face to face can be made if required)

National Freephone Debt Advice line: 0800 240 4420

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

National Debt Line

An independent charity offering free, impartial and confidential debt advice.

Tel: 0808 808 4000

www.nationaldebtline.org 

StepChange Debt Charity

Offering free debt advice to help you deal with your debts and find a solution.

Tel: 0800 138 1111

www.stepchange.org 

Speak to the Council Tax Team

If you are having difficulty paying your Council Tax, 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 localtaxation@doncaster.gov.uk.

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.

You can also visit our having difficulty paying page for more information.

Managing Bills

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.

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.

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 more details, see the SLHD Moneywise entry in the Community Directory.

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 during coronavirus.

Affordable Credit

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 on line banking services. For more information see www.communityfirstcu.co.uk or telephone: 03 03 03 000 10

Support for renters

Renters going through the court process for eviction can access the Rental Mediation Service, a new pilot introduced as part of the current court process for housing possession cases. Mediation is free for all landlords and tenants and helps resolve cases without the need for a face-to-face court hearing.

As announced on 12 May, notice periods, previously extended to six months as an emergency measure during the pandemic, are now set at four months. The restrictions on bailiff enforcement have also now lifted, although bailiffs have been asked not to carry out an eviction if anyone living in the property has COVID-19 symptoms or is self-isolating.

You can find further guidance on the Government Website.

You can read the Announcement at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/support-for-renters-continues-with-longer-notice-periods

 

Last updated: 5/26/2021