Help with money and debt
If you are struggling with managing your money, debt or the causes of debt, there are several organisations that can help guide you.
What help is available?
Everyone needs some help from time to time. There is plenty of help available for every type of situation. We have collated a list of council and third party services that can help, plus a range of benefits and grants to help you get on top of your situation.
Money management and dealing with debt
Managing your money can be a difficult enough job at the best of times. The services listed below will give you support and advice on dealing with day to day financial issues such as:
- Budgeting and managing finances
- Dealing with debt
- Mortgages and loans
- Savings and investments
- East Sussex 1Space - A local directory of help and advice covering care, support and wellbeing services across the county.
- Citizens' Advice- This National charity offers local support on managing debt, bankruptcy, mortgage problems, credit problems, enforcement agents (bailiffs), debt management companies, court action for debt, budgeting and more.
- Money Helper - An independent service, set up by Government, to help people make the most of their money. The service provides free, unbiased money advice to everyone across the UK - online, over the phone and face to face. It provides advice on issues such as credit cards and loans, mortgages and homes, insurance, pensions and retirement, savings and investments, tax and benefits.
- National Debt Line - gives free, confidential and independent advice to people with debt problems.
- Step Change - is a national debt help charity who offer free advice to help people who are in financial difficulty. They are the Citizens Advice Bureau's preferred partner for debt management plans and they are endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. They provide free, independent and realistic advice on personal budgeting, use of credit and dealing with debt problems including debt repayment.
- Turn2Us - Turn2us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help - online, by phone and face to face
- The Debt Support Trust - is a registered charity who can give you expert debt advice and support if you are struggling to manage your debts.
- Age UK - Independent money management and benefits advice for older people
- Debt Advice Foundation - offers free, confidential advice on any aspect of debt.
- Christians Against Poverty - provides advice to people who are in debt. Call 0800 328 0006 to access a debt coach.
- Money Saving Expert - MoneySavingExpert.com is the UK's biggest consumer website dedicated to cutting your bills. It focuses on finding deals, saving cash and campaigning for financial justice.
- East Sussex Credit Union - A not-for-profit savings and loans co-operative. They help you to save money and offer cost effective and flexible loans, which meet your individual needs.
- Money Helper - Problems Paying Your Rent
- Problems paying your council tax?
- Homeless or at risk of losing your home?
- Struggling to page energy bills?
- Money Helper - How to choose the right bank account
- Money Helper - How to open a bank account
- Money Helper - How to make payments using your bank account
- Money Helper - How to use your bank account to make budgeting easier
- Money Helper - How to improve your credit score
Other support services
- Armed forces - help and support for current and previous armed forces personnel
- Bereavement - help and support services for when someone dies
- Addiction - help and support for people affected by addiction.
- Mental health - help and support for people affected by mental health issues.
Financial help and support
- Gov.uk - Benefits - government benefits you can apply for including Universal Credit, Job-seekers Allowance, Tax Credits, Child Benefit, Pension Credit and many more.
- How to claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction - help with payment of rent and/or Council Tax if you have a low income
- Discretionary housing payments - this is money to help pay your rent for a short period of time if you are experiencing financial hardship
- Council Tax discounts
- Council Tax exemptions
- Council Tax - exceptional hardship payments - a discretionary payment to help you pay your Council Tax if you are claiming Council Tax Reduction and are facing extreme financial hardship
- Citizens Advice - help with claiming Universal Credit - Help with claiming Universal Credit via Citizens Advice telephone helpline or web chat
- Home improvement grants
- Heating, hot water, and repair grants
- Discretionary East Sussex Support Scheme
- Low cost furniture - find low cost new and pre-owned furniture
- Food banks and soup kitchens - food is available to those residents identified as in immediate need of food and support.
- Food banks and soup kitchens - emergency food parcels are available to those that need it
Financial help for people affected by disability
If you or someone in your family is disabled, you may be entitled to financial help or support from local and national organisations.
- Citizens’ Advice Bureau – Benefits for people who are sick or disabled - gives information about the benefits and tax credits that you or a member of your family may be entitled to.
- Gov.uk - Financial help if you're disabled - includes information about Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, tax relief and other deductions that you may be able to claim if you or another family member has a disability.
- Contact a Family – Benefits for looking after a disabled child - gives details of benefits and tax credits that you may be entitled to if you are looking after a disabled child, how they are paid and when to claim them.
- Gov.uk – direct payments – Arranging your own care and services - Direct payments are made by councils to people receiving social care services instead of the council providing the service directly. This link tells you more about whether you can get direct payments, what they can be used for and how to apply for them.
- Family Fund - The Family Fund supports families caring for children under 16 who are severely disabled or seriously ill. They provide grants and information to make life easier and more enjoyable for the disabled child and their family.
- Gov.uk - Disability Living Allowance is a new website set up to help with enquiries about Disability Living Allowance claims that are due to swap to Personal Independence Payments.
- Disabled Facilities Grant
- Council Tax discounts
- Council Tax exemptions
- East Sussex County Council - Blue Badge - Apply for a disabled parking badge
- Disabled person bus pass
Financial help if you are bringing up children
Bringing up children can be costly and expensive. The web pages listed below will provide information on benefits, grants and allowances available to working and non-working parents including Tax credits as well as information to help you with the planning, budgeting, managing and balancing of your family finances.
- Gov.uk – benefits for families - including information about benefits, grants and allowances that you may be entitled to.
- Gov.uk - tax credits - are payments from the government. If you're responsible for at least one child or young person who normally lives with you, you may qualify for Child Tax Credit. If you work, but earn low wages, you may qualify for Working Tax Credit.
- HMRC Tax Credits Calculator - This online tool helps you to work out roughly how much tax credit you are entitled to.
- The The Child Support Agency - helps tackle child poverty by making sure that parents who live apart from their children contribute financially to their upbringing by paying Child Maintenance.
- Money Helper – Divorce and Separation - If you are going through divorce or separation, the Financial Services Authority Money Made Clear team can help you with the financial issues you face, providing advice to help you stay on top of your financial situation.
- Healthy Start NHS - financial support towards food and vitamin supplements for pregnant woman or parents (with a child under four) on certain means-tested benefits.
- East Sussex County Council - free school meals - for school children where a parent or carers is in receipt of a qualifying benefit.
Help with childcare costs
Childcare can be expensive. There are, however, a number of financial support schemes which could help you with the costs of childcare including Gov.uk - tax credits, Childcare voucher schemes and Nursery education funding.
- East Sussex Children’s Centres - Health and wellbeing support for families
Financial help for businesses
From starting a business to finding out about financial support available at a local and national level.
- Gov.uk – Business finance and support
- Finance, funding and grants for businesses
- Starting or growing a business
- Business rates reliefs and discounts
- Rateable value and rateable value appeals
Household Support Fund
This fund can be used to support households in the most need with food, energy and water bills. It can also be used to support households with essential costs related to those items and with wider essentials costs.
This scheme reopened on 24 May 2022