This page provides advice on the range of financial support you may be entitled to which could make a real difference to you and your family, as well as advice on money management and dealing with debt.
Help in a crisis
- Warwickshire Local Welfare Scheme – a Warwickshire County Council scheme that aims to support Warwickshire residents who are in immediate need of food, heating and access to preventative services such as debt management.
- Budgeting loans – are tax free loans from Jobcentre Plus for people on certain benefits. No interest is charged but you do have to pay the loan back. Budgeting Loans can help pay for essential things like rent, furniture, clothes or hire purchase debts.
- New Central Credit Union Ltd loans – low cost loans for New Central Credit Union members.
There are an estimated 310,000 households across the UK in debt to a loan shark. Loans sharks typically befriend their borrowers before forcing them to pay back above and beyond what they have borrowed and can afford. Exorbitant extra amounts and interest payments are added at random, and items including passports, bank cards and driving licences are taken as security on the loans. As the debts cannot legally be enforced, in many cases the loan sharks will resort to threats, violence and other bully tactics. Do not suffer in silence if you are in debt to a loan shark – report it. To report a loan shark: Call the 24/7 confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222 Text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003 E-mail Stop Loan Sharks: firstname.lastname@example.org Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject
Homelessness and housing worries
- Nuneaton Borough Council – Housing Advice and Homelessness
- North Warwickshire Borough Council – Housing Advice and Homelessness
- Rugby Borough Council – Housing Advice and Homelessness
- Stratford-upon-Avon District Council – Housing Advice and Homelessness
- Warwick District Council – Housing advice an homelessness
- Shelter – the housing and homelessness charity advice web pages.
- Citizen’s Advice – Housing Advice
Help for veterans and the Armed Forces community
- www.warwickshire.gov.uk/veterans All the information you need about housing, education, benefits and healthcare.
- Veterans Contact Point – provides a confidential and free service for veterans and their families living and working in Coventry and Warwickshire. They will work with you to help you obtain the right support from those who can best help you —when you need it and for as long as you need it. Veterans Contact Point offer a specialist service to veterans who have come into contact with the Police, Probation or Prison Services or who have a criminal record.
- Royal British Legion – If you are having financial difficulties, feeling overwhelmed by debt or confused about the benefit system, the Royal British Legion Benefits and Money Advice team can help.
Welfare Reform – how it affects you
- North Warwickshire Borough Council
- Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council
- Rugby Borough Council
- Stratford District Council
- Warwick District Council
Or your local Housing Association pages:
Money Management and dealing with debt
- Budgeting and managing finances
- Dealing with debt
- Mortgages and loans
- Savings and investments
- Citizens Advice Bureau – Money Management – advice on managing debt, bankruptcy, mortgage problems, credit problems, bailiffs, debt management companies, court action for debt and budgeting.
- National Debtline – gives free, confidential and independent advice to people with debt problems.
- Step Change – is a national debt help charity who offer free advice to help people who are in financial difficulty. They are the Citizens Advice Bureau’s preferred partner for debt management plans and they are endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. They provide free, independent and realistic advice on personal budgeting, use of credit and dealing with debt problems including debt repayment.
- The Debt Support Trust – is a registered charity who can give you expert debt advice and support if you are struggling to manage your debts.
- Age UK – Money Matters – Independent money management and benefits advice for older people.
- SuperScrimpers – A Channel 4 show that advised how to scrimp and save in these difficult times with entrepreneur, journalist and mother-of-three Mrs Moneypenny.
- Money Saving Expert, Martyn Lewis – MoneySavingExpert.com is the UK’s biggest consumer website dedicated to cutting your bills. It focuses on finding deals, saving cash and campaigning for financial justice.
- Money Advice Service – An independent service, set up by Government, to help people make the most of their money. The service provides free, unbiased money advice to everyone across the UK – online, over the phone and face to face. It provides advice on issues such as credit cards and loans, mortgages and homes, insurance, pensions and retirement, savings and investments, tax and benefits.
- This Way to a Better Credit Score
- Debt Advice for families in crisis in Nuneaton
- How to choose a bank account
- How to open a bank account
- How to make payments using your bank account
- How to use your bank account to make budgeting easier
- Worried about paying your rent?
- Christians Against Poverty – provides advice to people who are in debt. Call 0800 328 0006 to access a debt coach.
- Debt Advice Foundation – offers free, confidential advice on any aspect of debt.
- Orbit Heart of England – free & confidential advice open to Orbit residents. Call 0800 678 1221 ask for Money Advice Service.
- Mental Health & Debt 2015
Benefits you may be entitled to
- bringing up or expecting children
- in work, out of work or looking for work
- a lone parent
- an older person on a low income
- a sick or disabled or you have children who are sick or disabled
You can download our ‘Financial help fact sheets’ from the Downloads and documents section of the Family Information Service page, which will also tell you what benefits and grants you may be entitled to.
- Gov.uk – Benefits – provides an overview of the wide range of benefits and allowances you may be entitled to.
- Citizens’ Advice Bureau – Benefits information – includes advice on benefits and tax credits for different groups as well as information on help with council tax and housing costs, the payment of benefits and what to do if you have any problems with benefits.
- Citizens Advice Bureau – Benefits for people who are sick or disabled – Gives information about benefits and tax credits that you or a family member may be entitled to.
- Gov.uk – budgeting loans – are tax free loans. No interest is charged but you do have to pay the loan back. Budgeting Loans can help you spread the cost of things you need to buy every so often.
- Warwickshire Welfare Rights Advice Service – is an advice agency for the people of Warwickshire, which raises awareness of Social Security benefits and how to claim them.
- Turn2us – Benefits and Grants advice – Turn2Us is an independent charity that can help people to get the money available to them – through welfare benefits, grants and other help.
- Age UK – Money Matters – Money management and benefits advice for older people
Universal Credit will be introduced from October 2013. It provides a single monthly payment if you are on a low income or out of work. It includes support for the costs of housing, children and childcare, as well as support for disabled people and carers. Between April 2013 and the end of 2017, Universal Credit will replace:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
Financial help for people affected by disability
- whether you or members of your family are eligible for specific financial help.
- how to claim and when to claim benefits and grants.
- how different benefits are paid.
- Citizens’ Advice Bureau – Benefits for people who are sick or disabled – gives information about the benefits and tax credits that you or a member of your family may be entitled to.
- Gov.uk – Financial Help for Disabled People – includes information about Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, tax relief and other deductions that you may be able to claim if you or another family member has a disability.
- Contact a Family – Benefits for looking after a disabled child – gives details of benefits and tax credits that you may be entitled to if you are looking after a disabled child, how they are paid and when to claim them.
- Gov.uk – direct payments – Arranging your own care and services – Direct payments are made by councils to people receiving social care services instead of the council providing the service directly. This link tells you more about whether you can get direct payments, what they can be used for and how to apply for them.
- Family Fund – The Family Fund supports families caring for children under 16 who are severely disabled or seriously ill. They provide grants and information to make life easier and more enjoyable for the disabled child and their family.
Financial help if you are bringing up children
- Gov.uk – benefits for families – including information about benefits, grants and allowances that you may be entitled to.
- Gov.uk – tax credits – are payments from the government. If you’re responsible for at least one child or young person who normally lives with you, you may qualify for Child Tax Credit. If you work, but earn low wages, you may qualify for Working Tax Credit.
- HRMC – Tax Credits Calculator. – This online tool helps you to work out roughly how much tax credit you are entitled to.
- Child Maintenance Options – gives advice and support to help parents make the best choices about child maintenance options to suit their individual circumstances.
- The Child Support Agency – helps tackle child poverty by making sure that parents who live apart from their children contribute financially to their upbringing by paying Child Maintenance.
- Financial Services Authority – Parents guide to money – aims to help parents and their families learn more about money and managing their finances (pdf, 581Kb)
- The Money Advice Service – Divorce and Separation – If you are going through divorce or separation, the Financial Services Authority Money Made Clear team can help you with the financial issues you face, providing advice to help you stay on top of your financial situation.
- Healthy Start – financial support towards food and vitamin supplements for pregnant woman or parents (with a child under four) on certain means-tested benefits.
- Free School Meals – for school children where a parent or carers is in receipt of a qualifying benefit.
Help with childcare costs
Childcare can be expensive. There are, however, a number of financial support schemes which could help you with the costs of childcare including Gov.uk – Tax credits, childcare voucher schemes and nursery education funding. Find out more about help with childcare costs.
Help with household bills
- Council Tax bills
- Gas and electricity bills
- Water bills
- Affordable Warmth Grants – If you’re on a low income, or you receive certain benefits, you may be entitled to free home improvements that will reduce your heating bills.
- Gov.uk – Council Tax Benefit – Whether you are working or not, if you are on a low income and need help to pay your Council Tax bill, you may be able to get Council Tax Benefit.
- Gov.uk – Housing Benefit – You could get Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent if you’re on a low income. Housing Benefit can pay for part or all of your rent. How much you get depends on your income and circumstances. You can apply for Housing Benefit whether you’re unemployed or working.
- Severn Trent Water – If you are having trouble paying your water bill because of high water usage or because you are on a low income, this page has useful information on options to help you pay.
- The British Gas Energy Trust – aims to help those most in need by providing grants to help families pay for their energy charges and other household bills and costs.
- npower – Spreading Warmth – The npower Spreading Warmth programme offers help to those most in need such as the elderly, low income families, disabled and chronically sick by helping people to manage their bills, keep warm and reduce their energy costs.
- Act on Energy provides advice on how to save money on fuel bills.
- Severn Trent Water Sure Scheme can help you if your income is low and you use a lot of water, which makes managing your account and payments difficult.
Credit Unions in Warwickshire
Nuneaton Credit Union, Hatters Space, Upper Abbey Street, Nuneaton CV11 5BT Tel: 024 7664 2480
Rugby Credit Union, CVS House, North Street, Rugby CV21 2AG Tel: 01788 577900