Money, bills and debt support
Worried about Money?
We understand that everyone is worried about money during the cost-of-living crisis and we want to help you by sharing information that can help you, whether that be additional monies you may be entitled to, ways to save money or budgeting help.
Debt and borrowing advice
We understand our residents may be worrying about their borrowing, that was previously affordable but now making payments may be a struggle. It is important to seek advice as early as possible from advice agencies as finding a solution is much easier in the early stages.
If you are looking for advice with your debts, you can contact the following Advice Agencies who will be able to help:
- Citizens Advice Ashfield
- website: Citizens Advice Ashfield
- telephone: 01623 203080
- Step Change
- telephone: 0800 280 2816
- website: PayPlan
Also, always speak to your creditors to see if there is anything they can do to help.
Mental health and money advice
Providing advice and support for anyone experiencing issues with money and their mental health.
- website: Mental health and money advice
Income and budgeting
Budgets are a really good way of keeping track of exactly what is going in and out each month and help you understand what you can afford. You can find help with budgeting from the agencies mentioned in the debt and borrowing advice section, or you can use the budget planner on the Money Helper website.
- website: Money helper - Budget planner
You may wish to check your banking app, as many banking apps now have built in budgeting tools which tracks your spending directly from your account.
When budgeting, it is a really good idea to have an understanding of your take home pay and how much you are paying in taxes, in national insurance and into your pension.
Money Saving Expert have a calculator to help you understand what your take home pay is, or may be, each month.
You may also wish to look at logging onto your Government Gateway account or creating a Government Gateway account to check your tax code is correct.
Struggling to afford your rent or mortgage payments?
Rent and mortgage payments are important and it’s good to know where you can go for help when you need it.
It is important that you speak to your mortgage provider or landlord as soon as you have trouble as they will be able to provide advice to help you.
If you have a mortgage, speak to your mortgage provider as they will have a team who is dedicated to helping you. Please also see the advice from Citizens Advice website and contact the local office if you need to speak to someone.
- website: Citizens Advice - Mortgage problems
If you have a mortgage and are receiving Universal Credit, you may be able to get help, please speak to your work coach who will be able to give your advice and information.
If you rent and have a change in circumstance that means you may not be able to afford your rent, then you can apply to the council for a Discretionary Housing Payment. These payments are not guaranteed and are paid for a period of 6 months, but if awarded they can help you make your rent payments whilst you improve your circumstances or look for cheaper accommodation.
If you would like advice about your housing or if you are worried about becoming homeless, please contact the Housing Options team and they will be able to provide you with some advice.
If you are an Ashfield District Council tenant, we have our own in house Money Management team who can help you with your rent and managing your finances.
If you are struggling due to being on a low income, please use the calculator on the entitled to website, to check if you could be entitled to any benefits or any additional financial help that may be available to you:
- website: entitledto
You can also speak to Turn 2 Us who can assist you in applying for benefits.
- website: turn2us
If you are responsible for council tax and you are the single adult in the property, you can apply to the council for a 25% discount on your council tax.
You can also apply for a reduction in your council tax if you are in receipt of benefit income only:
We understand that fuel prices are at their all-time highest, and this is causing worry to us all who need to travel on a regular basis.
Which? have put together a list of different ways to try and save money on your transport costs:
Other ways to save may be through petrol station apps, for example, Shell Go gives you money back every 10 visits and ESSO and Tesco petrol stations offer Clubcard points when you spend with them. Check other local petrol stations to see if they have a loyalty club too.
If you are an electric vehicle owner or looking to purchase one, you may be eligible for free charging stations to be installed in your home. Please see the gov.uk link for eligibility and how to apply
- website: Plug in vehicle grants - GOV.UK
We offer time-limited free parking at some car parks in the district, so if you want to come to shop or eat in the district, check where you can park for free and how long for:
- link: Car parks
Trent Barton Buses offer a saver ticket which reduces the cost of buying individual tickets if you do multiple journeys within the area each week:
- website: Trent Barton Buses - Saver tickets
Stagecoach Buses allow up to 4 children per household, aged under 5, to travel for free, and also offer half price tickets for jobseekers:
- website: Stagecoach Buses
If you are travelling within or out of the district by train, it may be worth seeing if you can book your tickets online in advance, as this will likely save you money. East Midlands trains offer group tickets and season passes, so check the website before travelling to see if you could save:
- website: East Midlands Railway
If you want to save money on travel and keep healthy and fit, the government run the Bike2Work scheme which is run through your employer. Please see the link to the information for employees and speak to your employer about the scheme if you are interested.
- website: Bike2Work scheme
Government information and support
- website: Budgeting loans - GOV.UK
- website: Options for dealing with your debts - GOV.UK
- website:Court claims, debt and bankruptcy
- website: Money Helper - Debt advice locator
- website: Money Helper - Budgeting
Help for people on benefits
Did you know that you can apply to have some of your bills paid directly out of your benefits, if you're having difficulties? This includes rent, services charges, fuel or water bills. This is called ‘third party deductions’ and sometimes Fuel Direct.
The government have introduced an Energy Bills Support Scheme, which will give all households a £400 non-repayable discount on their energy bills over the coming winter (2022 to 2023).
- website: Help with your energy bills - GOV.UK
- website: Guidance - Getting the Energy Bills Support Scheme discount - GOV.UK
The Cost of Living payment scheme has also been introduced in addition, to give financial support to eligible persons (persons on a low income or tax credits, people with a health condition or disability and pensioners), to help with extra costs such as energy bills:
- website: Cost of Living Payment - GOV.UK
- visit the Government's Simple Energy Advice website to find out more information about the grants available in your area and get specific advice to improve your home.
There are various forms of assistance from the government available during winter for eligible groups of people
- website: Winter fuel payments - GOV.UK – for people born on or before 25 September 1956. If you’re entitled to a this payment for winter 2022 to 2023, you will get an extra £300 for your household paid with your normal payment from November 2022. This is in addition to any Cost of Living Payment you get with your benefit or tax credits.
- website: Cold weather payment - GOV.UK – a £25 payment for every 7 days of very cold weather (below freezing) between November and March.
- website: Warm Home Discount - GOV.UK
- website: National Concessionary Fuel Scheme - GOV.UK
We've gathered information on various ways you can save energy and save money on your energy bills:
- website: Energy Saving Trust - Quick tips to save energy
- website: National Energy Action - Advice and resources - including how to save money when running household appliances
- website: Severn Trent Water - Big Difference Scheme - if you are having difficulties with your water payments, Severn Trent’s Big Difference scheme is available for those on a low income.
How we can help you
Affordable Warmth Grant
We offer an Affordable warmth grant to residents who suffer with long term health conditions, which could be made worse by the cold:
- link: Affordable Warmth Grant
Winter energy support
We have information on various sources of advice and assistance on how to keep warm during winter:
- link: Winter warm help