Debt advice

If you are struggling with debt then there are organisations you can contact to get independent advice about your options and practical assistance with managing your debts.

They will be able to help you to understand which debts are most important, what could happen if you do not pay, and how you can get back on track.

Budgeting

If you are struggling to make ends meet each month you may find it useful to keep a track of your money. Try an online budgeting tool to understand what you’re earning and spending and where you might be able to cut costs.

The Citizens Advice provide an online budgeting tool.

Council rent arrears

If you have fallen behind with your council rent, please do not ignore it. For information on what to do and how to contact our rent arrears team view our webpage problems paying your rent

Homeless or at risk of homelessness

If you’re homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, our housing options team can offer you help and advice.

For advice about issues affecting your housing situation and how to contact us please view our webpage advice about homelessness.

You may also wish to contact the homeless charity; Shelter.

Mortgage or private rent arrears

If you are unable to pay your rent or mortgage speak to your landlord or mortgage lender. Do not ignore their letters.

The homeless charity; Shelter offer lots of help and advice about how to deal with rent arrears or mortgage arrears.

If you are worried about being made homeless please view our webpage advice about homelessness.  

Help with mortgage interest payments

If you’re a homeowner you might be able to get help towards interest payments on:

  • your mortgage
  • loans you’ve taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home

This government help is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI).

Claiming benefits

It’s important to get all the help you are entitled to. To see what benefits you could qualify for, use the online Turn2Us benefits calculator.

If you already receive Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit and it does not cover your rent, you may also be able to get an extra payment through a discretionary housing payment.

You can find lots more information about benefit eligibility, tax credits, pensions and Universal Credit on the government website.

We also offer help if you’re on a low income or having financial problems, to see what we can help you with, view our benefits page.

Beware of loan sharks

Loan sharks are illegal money lenders who often charge very high interest rates. You can check if a company is authorised to lend money using the Financial Conduct Authority search facility.

You can report a loan shark online or phone 0300 555 2222

Always speak to an independent debt councillor or money advisor before taking out a loan.

Getting help

There are lots of specialist organisations that offer free advice:

Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice

Offers debt counselling, as well as advice on benefits that may be available to you.

Online Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice

Phone 0800 240 4420

MoneyHelper

A government backed service offering clear guidance to help people clear their debts, reduce spending and to make the most of their income.

Online MoneyHelper

Phone 0800 138 7777

National Debtline

Is a debt advice charity offering free and confidential expert advice to help you improve your situation and take control of your debts.

Online National Debtline

Phone 0808 808 4000

Shelter

Offers advice to anyone struggling with a housing issue including homelessness. Their solicitors can also provide free legal advice and help those who have lost their home or are facing eviction.

Online Shelter

Phone 0808 800 4444

Christians against poverty (CAP)

Provides free debt help and runs local community groups offering help with money management, life skills, breaking habits and finding work.

Online Christians against poverty

Phone 0800 328 0006

Step Change Debt Charity

Offers free debt advice to help you get your finances back on track

Online StepChange

Phone 0800 138 1111

Age UK (West Sussex)

Provides a free money advice service covering financial matters such as benefits, budgeting, debt and other financial concerns for the over 50s

Online AgeUK

Phone 0800 019 1310

Help with gambling problems

GamCare

GamCare is a gambling charity, and the leading UK provider of free information, advice and support for anyone harmed by gambling.

Online GamCare

Phone 0808 8020 133