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Help with housing arrears

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Shelter provides a free, national telephone advice line staffed by trained housing advisers - call 0808 800 4444.

8am - 8pm Monday to Friday
8am - 5pm Saturday to Sunday

The Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service is a free, independent, service set up by the Government. Advice and information is available online, over the phone and face to face. The service provides tailored money advice to help you make choices throughout your life, whatever your circumstances - call 0300 500 5000.

Keeping your home

Taking early action is particularly important if you are facing problems paying your mortgage or you have secured loans against your home that you are struggling to repay - you need to talk to your lender as soon as possible:

  • Take action early
  • Talk to your lender
  • Don’t ignore letters
  • Always attend court repossession hearings in person

Where to go for advice if you are a homeowner

For information and advice about mortgage problems follow the links below:

Financial help with mortgage or rent payments

Sale and rent back schemes

From 3 February 2012, the market for private sale and rent back schemes was closed following a review by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The FSA found that most sale and rent back schemes, that bought your home and rented the property back to you, were either "unaffordable or unsuitable and never should have been sold".

Debt advice

If you are struggling to pay off debts, don’t bury your head in the sand. Help and advice is available from:

Don’t borrow money from loan sharks - for more information follow the link below. You can report a loan shark in confidence to the Illegal Money Lending Team on 0300 555 2222.

Increasing your income

If your income has reduced or you have become unemployed, make sure you claim all the benefits to which you are entitled.

If you're responsible for at least one child or young person who normally lives with you, you may qualify for Child Tax Credit. If you work, but earn low wages, you may qualify for Working Tax Credit. For more information follow the links below or ring the tax credits helpline on 0345 300 3900 (textphone 0345 300 3909).

Try the online benefits adviser and calculator to find out what benefits and Tax Credits you may be entitled to:

Benefit helplines

  • For people with disabilities - 0800 88 2200 (textphone 0800 24 3355)
  • For advice about Pension Credits - 0800 99 1234 (textphone 0800 169 0133)
  • Jobcentre Plus new and repeat benefit claims - 0800 055 6688 (textphone 0800 023 4888)
  • Tax Credits - 0345 300 3900 (textphone 0345 300 3909)

Relationship problems

Money worries can sometimes cause problems within the family or relationship breakdowns. Advice and information is available from:

Other useful sources of advice and help

  • Ipswich County Court Advice and Representation Service (iccars)
  • Shelter - helpline 0808 800 4444

Looking after your health

Job insecurity, redundancy, debt and money problems can all cause feelings of distress. When times are tough, it's quite natural to feel worried or down. It's when these feelings go on for weeks that they can start to affect your health and wellbeing.

The NHS Choices website has information about where to get help if worries about money or losing your job are affecting your health, advice on ways to combat stress and how you can spend less on your food shopping and still eat healthily: