City : Money and Benefits Market : Managing Debt and Money Advice

Money and Benefits Market

Top tips about debt:

  • Not all debt is bad, some debt is OK: Don’t be in a rush to pay off your mortgage if you have other debts, pay them off first as mortgages tend to have lower interest rates than other debt.
  • Some debt is bad: Credit card debt is the big one to avoid as it tends to have higher interest rates than other kinds of debt.
  • Control your spending.
  • Pay your highest interest rate debts first.
  • Avoid the ‘minimum’ trap: If you just pay the minimum due on credit-card bills it will take you years to pay off your balance and will cost you more in the long run.
  • Try and avoid taking out pay-day loans if you can.

For advice and support about debt and money issues here are some of the organisations you can go to:

  • Money Advice Service

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    What is it?

    The Money Advice Service was set up by the Government to help people make the most of their money. It gives free money advice online, over the phone and face to face.

    Things to think about: When you leave school or college you will have some big decisions to make that involve money. You could get information from the Money Advice Service about the costs of learning to drive and getting a car, choosing your first bank account or starting your first job.

    Want to know more? Click here

     

  • National Debt Line

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    A telephone helpline that provides free advice on how to deal with debt problems.

    Some user Feedback:

    "You have made my life so much more bearable. Please keep this service going - the help you have given me has been a godsend."

    "Excellent - very knowledgeable and reassuring."

    "The advice given was extremely helpful and has given me the information needed when I attended court."

    "You have been a friend and a lifeline - thank you."

    "Following the advice given, I am gradually working my way back on top of my financial state and feel a lot happier with the position I am currently in…Many thanks."

    "Keep up the good work, many, many thanks for your assistance."

    Want to know more? Click here

  • County Court Judgement

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    Someone who is owed money - and has made every effort to get it without success - can apply to the county court. A summons is then issued to the person who owes the money. That person can reply to the summons - or simply pay the debt - and the court then decides whether or not to proceed. 

    If the case proceeds, the court will decide whether there is a debt to pay. If there is, they will issue a County Court Judgment (CCJ) and this will set out how the debt should be repaid.

    Once a CCJ is issued, the person who owes money must pay the debt, plus a court fee which is currently £60. If they do not repay the debt, the person owed money is entitled to employ bailiffs to seize items to the value of the debt.

    Why you don't want one

    A CCJ will affect a person's chances of getting credit in the future. For example you probably wouldn’t be able to get a mobile phone contract or a credit card or a bank loan to set up a business.

    If you can't pay a bill, don't ignore it. If you know you owe money, it's important to act even if you don't know how you will pay. Although it might be difficult at the time, it's far better to say something. You may be able to negotiate weekly repayments, which can be quite small.

    Find out more here

     

     

  • Christians Against Poverty

    What is it?

    It is a national charity which offers debt and money advice to anyone regardless of religion. They provide debt counselling workshops, job clubs and money courses all for free.

    For more information click here

  • Citizens Advice Bureau

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    The Citizens Advice Bureau delivers free, confidential advice to anyone who needs it. They help people resolve their problems with debt, housing, discrimination, benefits, and a number of other issues.

    Here is the Wokingham Citizens Advice Bureau Site

  • Help Finding Housing

    If you are looking for accommodation, you might find it useful to get hold of:

    • names of hostels, bed & breakfast hotels and emergency accommodation.
    • names of accommodation agencies.
    • addresses of local housing associations and housing cooperatives.
    • advice on approaching the local authority as a homeless person.
    • information on local housing available for people with special needs.

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    The Homeless UK website has information about services for homeless people, including hostels, day centres and other advice and support services. Go to homeless UK

     

    If you're looking for private rented accommodation, check if landlords are part of an accreditation scheme. Accreditation schemes are voluntary schemes that landlords join to show that they provide good quality accommodation. For more information about accreditation schemes in England, go to ANUK.

     

    Information on housing for young people living in the borough of Wokingham can be found here.

  • Welfare Rights

    What is it?

    Reading Community Welfare Rights are Specialists in welfare benefits, debt, & housing advice. They can give free advice on whether you are receiving the correct benefits, if you have a problem with a creditor or debt collector, advice on your right to challenge decisions, advice if you are facing eviction or bailiff action, advice on what the law says and if it has been applied correctly and advice and representation with Benefit Appeals or Court Hearings.

    Want to know more? Click here

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