Can I get any financial support from the government?
Check you are getting all the benefits you can get
People in the UK miss out on billions of pounds in benefits and tax credits.
This includes a range of discounts and support.
Check what you can get by using our free benefits calculator.
The government no longer offers crisis loans.
You can apply for a budgeting loan instead.
You may be able to get this if you have an unexpected expense.
You must have been on one of these benefits for at least 26 weeks:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credits
You can use budgeting loans to help pay for things like:
- Moving costs
- Maternity expenses
- Travel costs
The amount you can apply for depends on your situation.
Repayments are taken off your benefits.
Hardship payments are for people who:
- Have had benefits sanctions
- Cannot pay their essential bills
Hardship payments apply to these benefits:
- Universal Credit (UC)
- Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Read our guide about hardship payments and how to apply.
Short-term benefit advances
You may be able to apply for a short-term benefit advance.
This is when the benefit is paid early.
- Deducted from future benefits
- Over about 12 weeks
You can get a short-term benefit advance if:
- You need money before your first benefits payment is made
- You need money now before your benefits go up
- Your benefits will not be paid on its due date
You can apply for most benefits through your local Jobcentre Plus.
Read our guide to claiming benefits.
Can I stop my creditors chasing me for money?
Ask for a payment holiday
You can apply for a payment holiday from your:
- Credit card
- Hire purchase agreement
You do have to make up the payments missed during a payment holiday. These get treated as arrears.
Interest and charges may continue to be added to your debt.
Use one of our template letters to contact your creditors.
You can also contact us for free help with your debts.
Breathing Space to deal with your money worries
Also called the Debt Respite Scheme.
Breathing Space stops your creditors from contacting you while you deal with your debts.
If eligible, you can get up to 60 days' break from interest, fees and court action.
- Breathing Space is available in England and Wales
- In Scotland, the moratorium is a similar scheme, available for up to six months
Read our guide to Breathing Space and find out if you can apply.
Some bills are priorities because the impact of not paying them are greater.
You should pay certain bills and arrears first. Like your:
- Council tax
Learn more about which debts to pay first
I cannot pay my utility bills, what can I do?
If you are struggling with payments, contact your supplier to let them know. They will discuss your options to help you repay the arrears.
Energy arrears are priority debts. We can work with you on a plan to:
- Make the repayments
- Avoid being disconnected
Energy companies have lower tariffs available.
These are usually called ‘social tariffs’. They offer services for people who need further help like:
- Hardship funds
- Priority services registers
If you have a pre-payment meter, some food banks can also help by giving you a small top-up if you are out of credit.
We have made a guide to dealing with energy bills, covering:
- If you owe the supplier money
- Being treated fairly
The Energy Saving Trust has useful tips for:
- Saving money on energy bills
- Applying for financial support
Water suppliers have support for people on low incomes and benefits.
Help varies between suppliers - find out more about support from water companies.
Can I get help with my mortgage?
Speak to your mortgage provider as soon as you can.
They can help you set up a plan to pay back missed payments.
They may also be able to offer you:
- A payment holiday
- An interest only mortgage
- A longer mortgage term
- An assisted voluntary sale scheme
Help from the government may be available if you receive benefits.
Find out more about mortgage arrears