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Money advice


terraced houses

If you can’t pay your rent, you have missed rent payments or you are worried your payments are not being made, sort things out as soon as you can.

Even if you have other debts, paying your rent should always be your top priority!

It is best to talk early.  This will help prevent your debts from building up.  It is all too easy to bury your head in the sand but the problem won’t go away unless you face it and deal with it.  If you are having problems paying your rent on your council home, contact:

Rent Arrears team now on (01903) 737850.
We can help you to prepare a simple weekly budget. We have a simple Personal Budget form which you can download and complete.  Please contact us and we will try to help you agree a reasonable repayment plan for your rent.
Managing your money
    • It is important that you take responsibility for starting to improve the situation.
    • Make a list of all the debts you owe and put them in priority order
    • Write down all your income and expenses
    • See how much you have got to pay your debts
    • Work out how much you can afford to pay to each creditor (a person or organisation you owe money to)
    • Consider seeking advice from a debt advice agency such as the National Debtline
    • Most importantly contact the Council’s Housing Department now to discuss ways of paying your arrears by instalments so that you can keep a roof over your head.
Prioritising your debts
Arun District Council produce a helpful booklet called Managing Your Money
Everyone may be asking you for money but the most important things to pay are bills for your home and essential services.  The most important debts aren’t necessarily the biggest ones.
Priority debts are ones where serious action can be taken against you if you don’t pay what you owe. Your home is your first priority.  Low priority debts can be reduced by spreading them over longer terms or deferring payment. When money becomes tight, it pays to look at priorities:
Top Priority
Council Tax
Low Priority
Hire purchase
Mail Order
Car Finance
Help with paying your rent
If you’re on a low income, or having financial problems, check if you qualify for any benefits - such as Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit or tax credits.
You don’t have to be out of work to claim benefits and you could qualify for more than one.
Even if you already receive Housing Benefit, if it doesn’t cover your rent you may be able to get some extra money - called ’discretionary housing payment’. Contact the Housing Benefit department to see if you qualify.
The Council might need more information to deal with your claim. Do seek advice from the Council or an independent adviser who may be able to assist you with making a claim; incomplete paperwork will hold up your claims. Tell the Housing Department what is going on and keep any correspondence.
For advice from Arun District Council Housing Benefit department
For national guidance on Benefit Entitlement
 For national guidance on Tax Credits
(for families, and for people who work over 30 hours)
Get Advice
Consider seeking advice from a free debt advice agency.  They should be able to advise you on how to maximise your benefits, deal with creditors and reduce your outgoings.
Beware of Loan Sharks
Loan sharks are illegal money lenders who often charge very high interest rates - check if a company is licensed and how to report one that isn't.
If you spot a loan shark, or have borrowed money from one, you can report them in confidence.

Report a loan shark - 0300 555 2222 Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm

Text  LOAN SHARK and the lender's details to 60003

On line  reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk


Check to see if a lender is licensed

You can check to see what companies have a licence by contacting

Consumer Credit Register  020 7211 8608 Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.00pm

On line http://www2.crw.gov.uk/pr/Default.aspx


West Sussex Credit Union
For advice on savings and low cost loans, contact West Sussex Credit Union, 129 Montague Street, Worthing, BN11 3BP, telephone 01903 237221 or 01903 210172, or visit their website at www.westsussexcreditunion.co.uk



The Citizens Advice Bureau offers debt counselling, as well as advice on other benefits that may be available to you.
Telephone a local office on 0344 477 1171 or visit them at:
Bognor Regis
Bognor Regis Town Hall
Clarence Road
Bognor Regis
PO21 1LD                    E-mail bognor@arunchichestercab.org.uk
14-16 Anchor Springs
BN17 6BP                    E-mail littlehampton@arunchichestercab.org.uk
 The local branches have their own website at http://archi.csm4u.net
Th Village Information Centre
1B Churchill Court
The Street
BN16 3DA
Arundel Council Offices
BN18 0BX

The National Debtline web site - Offers expert advice via the telephone and e-mail, enabling clients to deal with their debts in an informed and proactive way.  Freephone telephone number is 0808 808 4000.

The Shelter web site - Offers advice on reducing rent arrears, you can e-mail them, go on-line or telephone them for advice, information and advocacy on any housing problem including homelessness. Freephone telephone number is 0808 800 4444
Step Change Debt Charity  - Offers free debt advice, at www.stepchange.org or Freephone 0800 138 1111

Age UK - Gives free advice on benefits and financial concerns for the over 50s, at www.ageconcern.org.uk or telephone 0800 169 6565

Financial Services Authority - Free Government money advice service, at www.fsa.gov.uk or telephone 0300 500 5000


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