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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 department in the Council and you 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.

Phone 020 7527 6161 or email

Help with Council Tax and rent

We offer discounts on council tax for people in certain circumstances. Find out how 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.

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

Maximise your income

The income maximisation team (IMAX) works to help and advise you on getting the most money possible in your circumstances. We give you advice and support with your benefits and tax credits, advice with benefit changes like Universal Credit to ensure you get the correct money.

Freephone 0800 731 8081 or 020 7527 8600, email

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

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.

Energy bills

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

Help with childcare costs

All three and four year olds, and some two year olds, in England 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.

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.

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