Where to get help with debts


A local Shelter advice centre or Citizens Advice bureau may be able to help if you're worried about debt. You can also get debt or money advice over the phone or online.

How a debt adviser can help

A specialist debt adviser could help you to:

  • claim any benefits you're entitled to
  • manage your income and expenditure  
  • prioritise your debts
  • produce a financial statement
  • negotiate with lenders and other creditors

Shelter advice services

Many Shelter advice centres offer specialist debt advice as well as housing advice.

Shelter may be able to help you with debt problems including:

  • rent arrears
  • mortgage arrears
  • utility bill debts – gas, electricity and water
  • debt collection companies or creditors
  • hire purchase, credit card or loan arrears

Civil Legal Advice

You might qualify for legal aid (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 telephone advice and may refer you to a solicitor for further help. 

Contact Civil Legal Advice on 0345 345 4 345 if you qualify for legal aid

Face-to-face debt advice

You can get face-to-face debt advice from Citizens Advice, Shelter and other independent advice agencies.

Use Shelter's directory to find a local debt adviser

National helplines

A number of charities have national helplines that provide free debt advice:   

Contact National Debtline on 0808 808 4000

Contact StepChange Debt Charity on 0800 138 1111

Contact the Money Advice Service on 0800 138 7777

Contact Debt Advice Foundation on 0800 043 40 50

These organisations also have useful websites with lots of information, self-help tools and a webchat service.

Online help

Several organisations offer online tools to help you budget and deal with your debts. 

Try Citizens Advice budgeting tool or Money Advice Service Budget Planner to help you work out a budget.

Try My Money Steps from National Debtline or Debt Remedy from StepChange to produce a personal action plan for dealing with your debts.

Last updated 11 Jul 2017 | © Shelter

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