If you are having difficulty paying your housing costs, you can contact our Housing Options Team using our online form.
To complete the form you will need:
- your name address and contact details
- your email address
- details of you current living arrangements including any tenancy or rental agreements
Making your money go further
It is important that you budget your money and if you have debts that you priorities these correctly.
You can get professional advice on managing your money from
When making ends meet becomes a struggle, it can be helpful to take some time to have a closer look at what is coming in and what is going out. This will identify any potential savings or cut backs you could make. The Money Advice Service has pulled together some of the best ways to make sure you’re using all the tricks in the book to help you stay in control when you’re on a tight budget:
How to prioritise your debts
You should repay priority debts first.
These debts may not be the largest or have the highest interest rate but if you don’t pay them, they could lead to serious problems. If you are unable to meet all your bills and debt repayments, you should pay these first:
- mortgage, rent and any loans secured against your home
- income tax, National Insurance and VAT
- Council Tax
- court fines
- gas and electricity bills
- child maintenance
- TV licence
- hire purchase agreements, if what you are buying with them is essential
You should only pay non-priority debts after you have paid your priority debts. Non-priority debts include:
- credit card, store card debts or payday loans
- catalogue, home credit or in-store credit debts
- bank or building society loans
- personal loans
- money borrowed from friends and family
You can look at the Money Advice website for more help on prioritising your debts.
Your credit score
Building a good credit score is crucial because it can affect your ability to get a mortgage, loan or credit card.
You can check your score for free and if it isn’t in the best shape, there are things you can do to improve it. You can find out how to how to improve your credit score on the Money Advice website.
Getting back on track
If you are looking to reduce your bills you can:
- save money on your energy bill, by joining the Energy Switch Scheme
- apply for the warm home discount scheme if you are on a low income
- make your home energy efficient with the help of grant funding and energy saving tips
- check if you qualify for grant funding to replace your old boiler if you are a home owner or private tenant
You can use the free benefits calculator to check:
- what benefits you can claim
- you are claiming the right benefits
If you need further help paying for goods or services you can search for charitable organisations that provide grants through the Turn2US website.
People often struggle with paying bills if they are out of work.
The best way to improve your financial situation is to find work, but for those who have been unemployed for a long time this may be daunting.
You can find information on finding work on Living Well Essex website.
View our list of debt advice contacts.