Help with debt and money management
If you find yourself in debt and don't know where to turn, there are many agencies and organisations that provide free and confidential service offering in-depth advice, based on your personal circumstances.
Dealing with debt
If you owe money and you're struggling to pay it back, make a list of all the debt you owe and include details of each debt, such as:
- who you owe the money to - this is your 'creditor'
- when you first missed a payment
- how much you owe - this might be in a recent statement
- your account or reference number - this might be at the top of your statement
- what the creditor has done to get the money back - for example, sending you letters or taking you to court
Try not to worry when you see all your debts written down - the important thing is that you're sorting them out.
Who to contact with my questions?
There are various options that exist to help you deal with your debt problems.
Preston and District Citizens Advice Bureau offer free debt support and money management advice through appointments and advice in their website's Debt and Money section.
Citizens Advice have information on each of the options, including;
- Debt relief orders
- Debt management plans
- Administration orders
- Debt consolidation
- Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs)
- Debt remedy tool
Citizens Advice can explain how these work and whether they might be right for you.
If you would like to talk to someone at Citizens Advice, please contact Preston Citizens Advice on 0300 330 1172.
Citizens Advice also provide a budgeting tool to help you understand, what you're earning and spending and where you might be able to cut costs.
Preston City Council
Preston City Council can provide free and confidential services offering in-depth advice, based on your personal circumstances.
If you are struggling with debt issues and their related problems, they are sure they can help.
Preston City Council who are based in the Town Hall, have trained advisers who specialise in money advice and offer a full welfare benefit and debt advice service over the phone for people who are struggling financially for reasons such as job loss, income reduction and financial issues.
This service is only for residents within the boundary of Preston City Council.
The service is available from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. Call 01772 906838.
What information will I need?
To ensure you receive the correct information and advice have the following details to hand:
- Details of all your debts - recent statement, chasing letters, original agreement.
- Your income - including any benefits or pensions
- Your household bills - for items such as food and utilities, with details of any missed payments
- Approximate values of assets - like your home or car
Lancashire Women's Centre
Lancashire Women's Centre provides a safe and non-judgemental space. Their free Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulated debt counselling and money advice appointments offer services that can help with:
- Benefit advice, including rent arrears
- Benefit applications
- Mandatory reconsideration and appeals
- Debt issues and options
- Back to work calculations
- Budgeting advice
The centre offers a safe female-only space where you can drop in between 10am-3pm.
The centre also offers advice for other genders by appointment only, outside of their core hours. You can contact them for advice and book one-to-one appointments by:
Christians Against Poverty
Christians Against Poverty provide free debt advice as well as job clubs, fresh start groups and life skills groups.
You can call their debt help service on 0800 328 0006. Their lines are open, Monday - Thursday 9.30am - 5pm and Friday 9.30am - 3.30pm
For more details of their services and to attend one of their groups visit Christians Against Poverty - I Want Help and enter your postcode for your local clubs and groups.
The Money Advice Service
The Money Advice Service is a free and impartial service set up by government. Their website offers a web chat, or you can call them on 0800 138 7777, Monday - Friday between 8am - 6pm.
For help sorting out your debts or credit advice, you can also use their WhatsApp service by sending them a message on 07701 342744.
Step Change are a debt charity with helpful information on their website.
You can also chat with advisors using their live online chat service or call them on 0800 138 1111, Monday - Friday between 9am - 5pm.