Debt & Money Advice
Debt is a big problem especially during this Cost-of-living crisis and can have serious consequences, so you should not ignore it. The earlier you get advice for your debt problems the better. However, don’t worry – there are lots of organisations that can provide free debt advice and they are listed below.
Remember: If you cannot pay all your bills make sure that you always pay the following bills first: rent or mortgage, gas, electricity, council tax, TV licence, Magistrates Court fines and child support. These bills are priority debts because late payment can be more serious than for other debts: you can lose your home, have your fuel supply cut off or even be sent to prison.
If you need advice and support here are some agencies that can help you:
National Telephone Debt advice services
These providers and useful links include:
Rethink Mental Illness
All providers have an extensive, informative website dedicated to debt and money advice. They contain comprehensive information including:
• Fact sheets
• Money saving tips
• Budgeting planning and tools
• Online triage through interactive tools
• Regulated debt advice accessed via webchat, phone, or email
National Business Debt line
National Business Debt line is aimed at self-employed people for business and personal debt. Their website covers business-related debt matters and they offer advice through webchats and phone calls.
Money Advice & Pensions Service
The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) was established in 2019,to help people manage their money. They provide accreditation to free debt advice providers that meet their quality standard so that people can be reassured the advice they are receiving is of a high and consistent standard. Their Money Helper website brings together the support and services of three government-backed financial guidance providers: the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise and provides a range of information and advice on financial matters including dealing with debt.
For details of national debt advice providers accredited by the Money and Pensions Service visit the MoneyHelper free debt advice and help locator tool. You can search for online and phone advice services, and also local face to face services by postcode.
Local Debt advice services
The following local organisations provide independent Debt and Money advice in County Durham:
Citizens Advice County Durham
Citizens Advice County Durham is a local charity which provides debt and other advice to thousands of people every year. Its services are free, confidential and impartial.
If you’re struggling with your Council Tax bill, or any other debts, the service can provide guidance, money advice and debt solutions.
Tel: 0808 278 7821- general queries
For debt advice 0800 240 4420Monday to Friday 9am-4pm Make a self-referral online for debt advice
Community Money Advice County Durham
Delivered by Durham Christian Partnership, this project offers a free, non-judgemental, and confidential service for anyone struggling with financial issues, debt or managing their money. Appointments are available at a number of foodbank centres across the county, with advice also available via telephone, email, post or video call. In specialcircumstances home visits can be arranged.
Tel: 0191 303 7514 to request a call back.
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.
East Durham Trust
East Durham Trust is a local charity which provides support services to people living in the east Durham area.
This includes benefits advice, debt advice and emergency food parcels.
Tel: 0191 569 3511
Monday to Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday 9am-4.30pm.
Karbon Homes Money Matters Team can help you to understand your rights and responsibilities and those of your creditors. We’ll also help you weigh up your options in relation to dealing with debt. Our debt advice service is free and impartial. This service is available for those who are a Karbon Homes tenant.
Stop Loan Sharks
Avoid borrowing from someone who could be a loan shark at all costs. The England Illegal Money Lending Team gives advice on how to spot, report, and deal with loan sharks; Stop Loan Sharks investigates and prosecutes illegal money lenders and provides support for borrowers in the UK. If you have borrowed from a loan shark or are worried about someone else they are there to help and keep you safe. Their specially trained staff will provide you with emotional and practical support that is tailored to your needs. You can call them 24/4 on 0300 555 222
You can visit www.stoploansharks.co.uk.
Cost of Living
If you are affected by the Cost of Living Crisis DCC also have a page to look at what other options may be available to you to help you manage if you are struggling with money.