12th March 2018
As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column this week we focus on debt and money problems.
I was made redundant last month and I’ve already started to fall behind on my bills. I’m looking for work, but is there anything else I can do so I don’t end up in debt?
There are steps you can take to avoid your bills from building up. Last year we helped with more than 4500 money and debt problems.
First, check that you’ve been paid any redundancy money you’re entitled to – you might get statutory redundancy pay and possibly contractual redundancy pay if you’ve been in the job two years or more. This should be evident on your final payslip, but if it’s not contact your employer.
Then look at ways to boost your income. See if you’re eligible for benefits by using the Citizens Advice on-line benefits calculator. Also, consider contacting your local authority to find out if there is any help available for Council Tax payments. You could also check if you can make savings on your bills, for example by switching to a cheaper gas or electricity deal.
Now look at how much money you have coming in and compare it to your essential spending. Priority bills include your rent or mortgage and council tax, and should be paid first as there can be serious consequences for missing payments.
If you own your home, contact your mortgage lender to see if you can negotiate on your monthly repayment. You could also see if your credit card provider will negotiate on repayment amounts to give you some breathing space.
For more information and advice go to www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Look out for our column next week when we focus on workplace disputes.
The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date version, please visit the Citizens Advice website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk