City : Money, Housing and Benefits : Managing Debt and Money Advice

Money, Housing and Benefits

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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    What is it?

    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 attend 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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    What is it?

    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 if 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, in Bracknell this is called the Kerith Centre support. 

    For more information click here.

     
  • Citizens Advice Bureau

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    What is it?

    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 Bracknell and District Citizens Advice Bureau[AP1] 

  • Welfare Rights

    What is it?

    For independent advice on your welfare benefits, debt and housing you can go to the Citizens Advice Bureau in Bracknell or contact Shelter, a national housing and homelessness charity. You can call them or go to one of their Centres. The nearest one to you is in Slough; click this link to see the full contact details.

     

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