Advice Column: Money Problems

Thursday 24th October 2019

As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column we focus on dealing with money problems.

 I recently become a carer for my partner who I live with and can no longer work. We’ve started falling behind on our bills and I’m worried our debts are only going to get worse. I’m on Carer’s Allowance but what else can I do to turn things around?

A change in circumstances can often trigger financial problems. It’s good to see you taking action now as this will stop you from sliding into further debt.

See if you can make any savings on your household bills by switching suppliers, or changing deals. You may be able to get a reduction on your council tax bill – speak to your local authority directly about this.

Try to boost your income too. You may be able to apply for benefits jointly with your partner to be paid alongside Carers Allowance. This could be Income Support, income-related Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit.

You should contact your creditors and ask if you can reduce your repayments until you’re back in work. They can also freeze any interest and charges so your debts don’t go up while you pay less. Check to see if you have payment protection insurance to cover giving up work to become a carer as well.

If you’re still struggling to cover your outgoings, it’s important to prioritise paying your household bills like your council tax and rent or mortgage.

For further help working out your budget, negotiating with creditors or checking which benefits you’re entitled to visit: www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Look out for our column next week when we focus on the extension of the Blue Badge scheme.

 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