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Household Support Fund

Due to predicted high demand, applications for the Household Support Fund have now closed. Further support can be found on our Cost of Living and Household Support pages

If you are struggling with managing debts advice is available whether your debt is big or small

Stop! Think Fraud. The National Campaign Against Fraud

The Home Office has launched a campaign to tackle fraud. Leading counter fraud experts are providing consistent, clear and robust anti-fraud advice to the public as part of the Stop! Think Fraud campaign.

The campaign includes an online fraud hub which will provide concise, simple-to-follow advice. It will also signpost victims to relevant organisations for further advice and support.

National online debt advice services

These online services are secure, and you can get immediate, personalised help. Some services are available 24 hours a day.

National Debtline

Step Change Debt Charity

Debt Advice Foundation

Pay Plan

Borrowing

Breathing Space - debt respite scheme

If you live in England or Wales, you can get temporary protection from your creditors while you get debt advice and make a plan. This scheme is called ‘Breathing Space’.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice offer a debt helpline freephone service 0800 240 4420 (or Relay UK 18001 then 0800 240 4420). The debt helpline is available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. It’s not available on public holidays. Calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

You can also talk about your debt issue with a trained adviser online. 

Live4Less

Live4Less is a free course offered by Adult Learning. It looks at:

  • budgeting
  • how to be energy efficient
  • reduce your travel costs
  • make simple and cost-effective meals

The course is 2 hours long and held across the borough in various venues. For more information, or to book a free place, call Adult Community Learning on 01384 818143 or email acl@dudley.gov.uk

West Midlands Gambling Harms Clinic

The West Midlands Gambling Harms Clinic support people affected by problem gambling. They can provide therapies, treatment and recovery to those in need. They also offer tools, support and resources for those who may need them such as family and friends.

Stop loan sharks

People are struggling to cope with rising food, fuel and energy bills and loan sharks may try to cash in. They use fear, intimidation, and control to create a vicious cycle of debt for those unable to pay back their loans which pushes their clients into poverty.

Contact:

Stop Loan Sharks deliver free sessions to community groups and organisations to raise awareness. Please contact Nadeem Mahammed from the England Illegal Money Lending Team

Stop Loan Sharks App

Recognise the signs and report loan sharks through the Stop Loan Sharks app.

Newsletter

The Stop Loan Sharks newsletter contains information about their latest arrests, investigations and prosecutions. It also contains information on awareness raising events and other financial education initiatives.

To sign up to receive this newsletter, or to find previous editions, visit the Stop Loan Sharks website.

Priority bill payments

It is important that you manage your budget and bills and avoid missing payments or getting into debt as it can seriously affect your credit rating.

If you are considering future loans or possibly buying your property at some point, or even getting a phone/internet contract and you have arrears this can affect your future chances of getting credit.

Sometimes people have to make hard choices about what gets paid but knowing the consequences for not paying will hopefully make those decisions easier.

The most important payments to make are known as Priority Payments.

If you have to make choices on what to pay first, find below an order of priority payments.