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Financial difficulties

Increasing Your Income

  • Budgeting. A useful budgeting tool is avaialble here
  • Getting a Second Job – Although this is not suitable for everyone, it is a good way to increase your earnings and helps to keep on top of your payments.
  • Claiming Benefits – Check that you are receiving all of the benefits that you’re entitled to. The One Stop Shop will look into your Housing Benefit and Council Tax entitlements. Staff at the local Job Centre can look into any other benefits you may be entitled to. You can also check out our income maximisation page
  • Other Adults – Is there anyone else living with you who could contribute to the Rent, Mortgage or other household bills?
  • Fuel Bills - For those on a low income, your energy provider may be able to help if you’ve fallen into arrears with your Gas or Electricity bills.
  • Make a list of all your debts and put them in order of priority
  • Attend a lifeskills course run by Christians Against Poverty. Details can be found here

 

Mortgage Options

  • Change Your Payment Plan – Your Mortgage Lender may allow you to make changes to your payments for a short  period (Reduced Interest Rates, Interest Only, Reduce the amount you’ve borrowed, Extend the time over which  you pay) Remember to discuss the long term effects of  these options with your Lender.
  • Switching Mortgage Lender – Other lenders may offer an alternative Mortgage deal that will be better suited to you. Keep in mind that any arrears with your current lender will still need to be paid. There may also be a charge for switching lender
  • Ensure that you make payments – devise a household budget, cutting your expenditure and looking at ways of boosting your income. If you show your lender that you are committed to pay as much as you can they should give you more time to resolve your financial issues

You may be eligible for assistance from Support for Mortgage Scheme

 

What is the Support for mortgage Interest?

This is  help towards interest payments on:

your mortgage
loans you’ve taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home.To qualify for Support for Mortgage Interest you must be out of work or of pension age. You also usually need to be claiming one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit

This is a scheme where the Government steps in and makes interest payments on the first £200,000 of your outstanding mortgage or £100,000 if you are in receipt of Pension Credit for the time you cannot afford them. The level of interest is set by the government.

Who can qualify for the scheme?

You need to be in receipt of:

  • Income support
  • Income based Job seekers Allowance
  • Income based employment support allowance
  • Pension Credit

Further information can be found here

 

Is there any help if I have rent arrears?

Getting into rent arrears can be distressing, but do not ignore the situation. Rent arrears are a priority debt which means the consequences of not dealing with them are serious - there is a risk you could lose your home. Check that you owe all the money your landlord says you do. Contact your landlord as soon as possible to explain your situation and make arrangements to pay back the arrears that you owe.

You might not be responsible for all the arrears if:

  • You are not the tenant or someone else you live with owes the money
  • Your landlord has not recorded all you rent payment correctly
  • You took over the tenancy from someone and your landlord is trying to charge you for rent from before you took over the tenancy

If you can't pay your rent, you have missed rent payments or you're worried your payments are not being made, sort things out as soon as you can. Even if you have other debts, make

sure you prioritise rent arrears

Even if you already receive Housing Benefit, if it doesn't cover your rent you may be able to get some extra money – called Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

 

Further Help

Ther following organisations can also provide you with advice and assitance. Click on their logo to go to their website