Debt and arrears
Are you having difficulty paying your rent?
If you rent your home, paying the rent should always be your priority. If you let rent arrears build up, you could end up losing the roof over your head. If you do lose your home, having rent arrears makes it much harder for the council to help you find somewhere else to live. If you are getting behind with your rent or think you might not be able to pay your rent in the future, it is important to act quickly.
Housing Benefit and Discretionary Housing Payments
Housing Benefit is a means tested benefit available to people who are on a low income, have limited savings and are liable for rent. To find out if you qualify and make a claim, see the section on Housing Benefit.
The agencies below offer free, independent advice on welfare benefits and debt. They could help you maximise your income by advising you on your entitlement to welfare benefits. They can also reduce your outgoings by advising you on budgeting, helping you to prioritise your debts and negotiating with your creditors.
Local Advice Agencies
- Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) 03444 111 444
- Christians Against Poverty (CAP) 08003280006 capdebthelp.org
- Wantage Independent Advice Centre 01235 765348 www.wantageadvice.org.uk
Free and impartial money advice set up by the government, www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en
- Advice and guides to help improve your finances
- Tools and calculators to help you keep track and plan ahead
- Support in person, over the phone and online
National Advice Agencies
- Civil Legal Advice (CLA) 0345 345 4345 You must be eligible for Legal Aid to use this service.
- StepChange 0800 138 1111 www.stepchange.org
- SSAFA 0845 241 7141 www.ssafa.org.ukThis service is only available to people who are currently serving, or have previously served in Her Majesty’s regular or reserve forces.
At risk of homelessness?
If you are at risk of homelessness because your money problems make it difficult to pay your rent, contact the Housing Needs Team. We can fast-track your case to a Money Advice service which can help you deal with debts, make the most of your income and keep your home.
Last reviewed: 14 - 04 - 2016