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Money and debt advice

Find out how you can get help to manage your money.

 

Depending on your situation, you can get advice to help with your budget, finance and debt matters.

Listed below are different ways you can seek advice and help.

Owing the council

If you owe more than one council department and are finding it difficult to pay, our Multiple Debt team may be able to make things easier. Contact us to see if you can agree a single affordable monthly payment.

Call 020 7527 6161 or email MultipleDebtTeam@islington.gov.uk.

Help with the cost of living

We’re helping with the cost of living crisis. Visit our cost of living page for details of the support available through the council and local partners.

You can also contact us for friendly advice and support. We can help you work out what benefits and financial support you are entitled to, whether you will be better off in work, including affordability of childcare costs, and help you to make a claim. Call 020 7527 4990 or email claimit@islington.gov.uk

Check what government support you're entitled to through the Help for Households campaign. 

Help paying your rent

If you're having trouble paying your council rent, please contact your local area housing office for advice.

You may be entitled to benefits and support if you're on a low income or are receiving benefits such as Jobseekers Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit.

Help paying your council tax

In certain circumstances you may be able to get money off your bill.

If you pay your Council Tax by direct debit you can spread your council tax payments over the year, which may be easier for you to afford.

Free advice about money

Talk to our team 

Our income maximisation team (IMAX) can help and advise you on getting the most money possible in your circumstances. We provide advice and support with benefits and tax credits to ensure you get the correct money. Call 020 7527 8600 or email claimit@islington.gov.uk.

Money Adviser Network

If you are in debt and need advice, get support from the Money Adviser Network (MAN). Complete the online form and you will be referred to qualified debt agencies. You will either receive a call back or you can request a call back at a time that suits you.

Help with childcare costs

All three and four year olds, and some two year olds, in Islington can get free early education or childcare, usually 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year. Some working families can get up to 30 hours a week of free childcare for their three and four year olds. Find out how to get help paying for childcare; or contact Islington’s Family Information Service, 020 7527 5959; fis@islington.gov.uk

We may also be able to help with a childcare bursary if you are starting work, a work placement, or short-term training. Find out about the childcare bursary.

Help to buy healthy food

If you are on income support and are pregnant or have a child under the age of 4, or you are under 18 and pregnant, you may be eligible to receive a Healthy Start prepaid card. Healthy Start payments can be used to buy milk, fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables, beans and pulses, and infant formula.
If you are eligible, the Healthy Start card can give you:

  • £4.25 each week of your pregnancy (from the 10th week of your pregnancy)
  • £8.50 each week for children from birth to 1 year old
  • £4.25 each week for children between 1 and 4 years old

Find out more about the Healthy Start Scheme

Energy bills

Our energy advice website can give you lots of useful advice to help you save money on your energy bills. 

Budgeting loans and advances

Budgeting loans

Budgeting loans can help you pay for essential things like rent, furniture, clothes or hire purchase debts. The smallest amount you can borrow is £100.

These loans are:

  • interest free so you only pay back what you borrow
  • usually repayable within two years
  • available if you’ve been getting income-related benefits for the past six months

Find out more on GOV.UK or visit your local Jobcentre Plus office.

Budgeting advances

If you get Universal Credit, you can apply for a budgeting advance instead from your local Jobcentre Plus. The budgeting advance is a loan – you will have monthly repayments taken directly from your Universal Credit payments, and will need to plan for a reduced income while you are paying the loan back.

Short term benefit advances

If you’re making a new benefit claim and you need financial help before you get your first payment, or your situation has changed and your benefits will increase, you can apply for an advance.

They are available if you claim any contribution - or income-based social security benefit, including Universal Credit. You’ll be paid either on the same day or the next day.

The Advance payment is a loan – you will have monthly repayments taken directly from your Universal Credit payments, and will need to plan for a reduced income while you are paying the loan back.

Find out more on GOV.UK about a short term benefit advance.

Broadband and phone packages

Ofcom's website can give you lots of useful advice to help you save money on your broadband and phone packages. 

Help with costs at school

We offer financial support to help with the cost of childcare and grants for families with school-age children and young people.

We have more information in our benefits and financial support section for children and families.

Hardship payments

If your benefit has been cut or reduced because of a sanction or penalty, then you may be able to get a hardship payment if you are suffering financial hardship and are in a vulnerable group.

This could be if you have children in your household or a health problem. To request a hardship payment you need to check with your local Jobcentre Plus office.

 

Resident Support Scheme (RSS)

If you are facing extreme hardship, and cannot receive a budgeting loan or advance, a short-term advance or hardship payment, read more about how the Resident Support Scheme (RSS) may be able to help you.


Credit Union

The London Capital Credit Union is a savings and loans co-operative that offers low interest loans. Their aim is to promote saving and help those dealing with debt. If you are struggling with debt they have saver loans which allocate part of the repayment to your own savings account, meaning that as the loan is paid off you accumulate savings. This allows you to build savings and prevent future borrowing. They also offer financial advice and can guide you through financial decision making.

Find out more at the London Capital Credit Union website.

Help to Save

Help to Save is a savings account backed by the government so all the savings in the scheme are secure. Certain people entitled to Working Tax Credit or receiving Universal Credit can apply for the account and they will get a bonus of 50p for every £1 that they save over four years.

Find out more on GOV.UK
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