Where to get help with debts

A number of charities offer free debt advice to the public. Most services are currently offered online or by phone.

Breathing Space is a new scheme that could help if you're struggling with debt, including rent or mortgage arrears.

Find out if you can get breathing space from your debts

How a debt adviser can help

A debt adviser could help you to:

  • claim benefits 

  • manage your money

  • prioritise your debts

  • draw up a financial statement

  • negotiate with lenders and other creditors

Regulated debt advice

Some debt advice is regulated. For example, advice on Breathing Space, debt relief orders, IVAs or bankruptcy.

Shelter does not provide regulated debt advice to the public but the following charities do:

All provide high quality online information, self help tools, online chat and phone service.

Be wary of debt management companies that charge for their services. Some advertise free debt advice through online adverts but could be offering debt management plans that you pay for instead.

Legal advice if your home is at risk

You could qualify for free legal advice and representation if your home is at risk because of rent or mortgage arrears and you're on a low income.

Civil Legal Advice provide phone advice and may refer you to a solicitor for further help.

Check if you qualify on GOV.UK

Or contact Civil Legal Advice on 0345 345 4 345

You can ask them to call you back if you can't afford the call.

Can't afford your rent or mortgage?

Stay in touch with your landlord or lender.

Let them know you're taking steps to get advice and deal with your situation.

How to deal with rent arrears

How to deal with mortgage arrears


Last updated: 8 September 2021

If you need to talk to someone, we'll do our best to help

Get help