Covid, followed quickly by the cost of living crisis, has made the recent past particularly difficult for many concerning health, careers and finances.
Banks and businesses have been considerate of these changes, introducing payment holidays that allow their customers, either extensions on payments or extensions on 0% interest rates.
If you're concerned about your finances, mortgage payments, credit card payments or have seen a decrease in your income due to lost jobs or reduction of wages, it's always worth speaking to your bank, credit card provider or other creditors to see what they suggest for you.
If you don't reach out to those who are expecting payments from you and start to miss payments this is likely to have a negative impact on your health, causing stress. It will also affect your credit score, making getting future credit harder and more expensive.
There are many debt advice organisations that may be able to help you figure out the best way to debt situations.
Some things you might want to look at beforehand include:
The Citizens Advice service helps people resolve a number of issues including debt, disputes, housing and immigration. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions you might find that much of their support is now online or over the phone.
They provide free, independent and confidential advice.
StepChange (formerly the Consumer Credit Counselling Service)
StepChange Debt Charity is the UK’s leading debt advice charity, helping over 630,000 every year to take back control of their finances, and their lives. The support they offer is free, impartial and confidential and every client receives expert personalised advice to help them deal with their debts.
Visit their website for online advice at www.stepchange.org, email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 303 5300.
The Money Charity
The Money Charity, formerly Credit Action, is a national money education charity which offers a range of resources, tools and training to help people to manage their finances.
They provide education, information, advice and guidance to people of all ages, helping them to manage their money well and increase their financial well being.
The Money Advice Service
The Money Advice Service offers free and impartial money advice, set up by the government, to offer advice and guides to help improve finances. As well as tools and calculators to help keep track and plan ahead.
The support is available online and over the phone.
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
The DWP is the government department responsible for welfare and employment issues, formerly known as the Department of Social Security (DSS).
For information about Universal Credit, which replaces the six former benefits available to those who qualify, including income tax and housing benefit.
Debt Advice Foundation
Debt Advice Foundation is a registered UK debt advice charity, which offers free, confidential, impartial support and advice to anyone worried about debt, including loans, and credit.
Directgov is the official UK government website providing information about government services for the public all in one place.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
The FCA is the independent regulator for all providers of financial services in the UK and provide information about financial products.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
HMRC collects and administers tax, and also pays and administers Child benefit, Child Trust Funds and Tax Credit.