Benefits and debt advice - coronavirus update

Debt and money advice

We all have debts through using a credit card, taking out a loan, having a mortgage or using a bank overdraft. It's easy to fall behind with repayments if your situation changes as debts can then become problematic.

If your debts are causing you difficulty, then you must seek advice on how best to manage these whether they are for

  • credit card
  • bank loan
  • an overdraft
  • Council Tax
  • catalogue payments
  • rent or mortgage payments
  • unsecured loan

If you already have a repayment plan in place, then consider if seeking a payment holiday may be appropriate. Speak to an advisor before you seek a change and never stop making payments without the agreement of your creditor.

Managing your money

It can be useful to create a household budget, so you can keep track of your money. There are several online resources to help with this such as the Citizens Advice work out your budget tool or the Money Saving Expert Budget Planning

The Money Advice Service has a useful money navigator tool to help work out  ways of managing your money if you are worried about not having enough.

If you are spending more than you have got coming in, then you need to take stock of your finances.

Reducing expenditure is an obvious starting point though it takes some effort to shop around for best value. You can

  1. Plan meals in advance so you can shop wisely.
  2. Review your gas and electricity bills and switch supplier to save money.
  3. Check all your contracts for services such as phones, broadband, insurance, subscriptions.
  4. Think about what you spend on going out and buying clothes – can you reduce this?

For more in-depth information on managing money during this crisis please go to the Money Advice Service website

Affordable credit

You may wish to consider getting more affordable credit. There are organisations in Edinburgh that could help. Capital Credit Union and Castle Community Bank both provide loans and savings facilities. Scotcash provides loans and can help with accessing a bank account.