Get advice on how to make your money go further if you’re struggling with rent and bills.
Claim housing benefit if you are renting
If you’re on a low income you may be able to claim housing benefit.
Check the Local Housing Allowance website for details of the maximum housing benefit for private renters in your area.
You may need to move to a cheaper property to avoid rent arrears if you already claim housing benefit and it isn't enough to cover your rent.
If moving home isn't an option, claim a discretionary housing payment from the council. This may give you time to explore other options.
Get help with paying council tax
You might be able to get council tax support if you are on a low income or claim certain benefits.
If you live on your own, you are entitled to a 25% discount on your council tax bill.
Apply for Council Tax Support on GOV.UK.
Get advice from StepChange about dealing with council tax arrears.
Save money on mortgage costs
Check if you can find a better deal on your mortgage. You'll have more options if you do this before a big change such as taking maternity leave or redundancy.
The Money Advice Service has advice on changing your mortgage.
Save on buildings insurance
Buildings insurance helps with rebuilding costs if your home is damaged by fire, floods or subsidence.
It is important to have this type of insurance if you are a homeowner. Your mortgage lender may insist on it.
You don't have to buy insurance from your mortgage lender. Use price comparison websites or online searches to help find cheaper deals.
You may be able to reduce your costs by agreeing to a larger excess. This is the amount you pay if the insurer has to pay out on a claim.
If you own a leasehold flat or house, your freeholder should have arranged buildings insurance for the whole building. You'll usually pay for this as part of your service charges.
Check what cover is provided so you don’t end up paying for it twice
Switch energy supplier
You can usually choose to switch your energy supplier. It is worth shopping around for deals.
You may also want to compare results from price comparison websites such as:
Energy suppliers offer social tariffs with reduced rates for vulnerable or disadvantaged customers. They may be a useful option if you are over the age of 60 or claiming means-tested benefits.
If you can’t switch supplier there are still ways you can save on your energy bills.
Save money on water bills
There are two ways you can pay for water, either through water rates, or using a water meter.
You may save money by using a water meter if you are a small household and don't use much water. Once you have a water meter installed, you can't change back to paying water rates.
If your metered water bills seem very high, check there are no leaks in your system.
You can usually pay for water rates in instalments. Contact your water company for details.
Save money on food bills
Shopping online could help you budget your food bill or find the cheapest deals in the supermarkets. You can use price comparison websites, such as mySupermarket, to compare costs.
You could also:
- Make a shopping list so you only buy what you need
- Try supermarket own brand items
- Freeze leftovers
Get tips on how to make your food go further on Love Food, Hate Waste.
Pay your TV licence in instalments
Most people need a TV licence to use a television, but there are some exceptions.
You can pay in instalments to spread the cost of a licence if you have difficulty paying the whole cost at once.
Claim PPI compensation
If you’ve ever taken out a loan, mortgage, credit card, store card, or bought something on credit, such as a car, you may have been sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI).
If you think you have or have had PPI, you need to decide whether or not you want to complain.
There is a new deadline of 29 August 2019 to complain about the sale of a PPI policy. You will not be able to complain after this date.
The Financial Conduct Authority has all the information you need to make a decision about PPI.
Visit the Financial Conduct Authority or call 0800 101 8800.
Get advice on money problems
Check these websites for help with money problems:
Last updated 13 Sep 2017 | © Shelter
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