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Money advice: How to maximise your income

Not sure what type of help you need? Take two minutes to find out.

Take our debt test

This advice applies to all of the UK.

Read our guides to make the most of your money. There may be more help at hand than you thought.

Our money advice guides:

Do not miss out on benefits

Millions of pounds in benefits go unclaimed each year.

You can apply if you are:

  • On a low income
  • Disabled
  • Care for someone who is disabled
  • A parent or guardian

Use our free online benefits calculator

Find out what you can claim.

Our calculator:

  • Is free
  • Is kept up-to-date in line with the latest rules
  • Covers a wide range of support

Try our benefits calculator now

How to apply for benefits

Do you think you could be missing out on support?

Read our guide to making a benefits claim.

Budget help and saving money

A budget is a list of:

  • All the money you have coming in
  • What you need to spend each month

A budget helps you:

  • See where your money is going
  • Plan ahead
  • Keep track of what you need to pay for

How to make a budget

What is an Individual voluntary arrangement (IVA)

More support with the rising cost of living

Lots of us are finding it hard to keep up with the cost of food or energy. Find out how to cope with the cost of living.

Council tax, rates, rent and mortgages

These are bills you have to pay.

You may be able to:

  • Ask for help
  • Arrange lower payments

Priority bills

'Priority bills' are ones that can impact your health and safety.

This includes:

  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Energy
  • Council tax

Pay these first.

Learn more about which debts to pay first.

Paying your council tax

Read our guide to find out how the council works out your bill. We can:

  • Show you how to pay
  • Help you find out if you can get a discount

Paying your council tax

Get support paying your mortgage interest

The government can help people on benefits with this.

Find out more about Government Support for Mortgage Interest

household bills iconWorried about money and your mortgage?

Maybe it is a strain to keep on top of monthly spending. Or you don't know what to do when your fixed rate mortgage ends.

Together, we can look at your situation and unlock your options.

Read our homeowner guides.

Other ways to get help

Financial support and grants

The National Energy Action (NEA)

  • England and Wales only
  • Offer free support to keep you warm and safe

Fuelbank Foundation

  • For people with no money to put in their pre-payment meter

Find out more about grants and funding to help with energy bills.

Government help with energy bills includes:

  • Getting money back on your council tax
  • The Warm Home Discount Scheme
  • Winter Fuel Payment
  • Cold Weather Payment

Energy saving to cust costs

Simple Energy Advice can tell you how to:

  • Insulate your loft and walls
  • Draught-proof windows and doors
  • Upgrade your boiler
  • Install double glazing
  • Use other energy sources like solar power
  • Get a home energy grant

The energy efficiency calculator can help you cut the cost of your energy bills.

A water meter might save you money if you:

  • Do not use much water
  • Have more bedrooms than people in your house

Find out more about water meters

Water suppliers:

  • Have ways to cap charges
  • May let you pay a lower rate
  • May let you to pay your bills through your benefits

Find out about how to get help with your water bills.

You may be able to pay less for your phone or internet.

Many companies offer 'social tariffs' for people in need.

Learn about social tariffs.

Make sure you are being paid under the right tax code

You could be on the wrong tax code if you:

  • Just started work
  • Have more than one job
  • Recently changed jobs

You can find your tax code on your latest payslip, P45 or P60.

If you think your tax code is wrong:

If you think you have paid too much tax:

You will not have a tax code if you are:

  • Self-employed
  • Unemployed
  • Only get a state pension

Debt and mental health support

If you are finding it hard to cope, you are not alone.

Read our guides to debt and mental health.

Debt and mental health evidence form (DMHEF)

This can help the people you owe to:

  • Understand your situation
  • Support you

A medical professional can fill out the form for you. You can ask:

  • Your GP
  • A mental health practitioner

They need to sign and date the form.

Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space (MHCBS)

MHCBS is for people in mental health crisis treatment.

It gives them time and space to deal with their debts.

  • England and Wales only
  • You must have one debt that can be included

Need debt advice?

We are here to help you. Answer a few questions to find out what help you need.

Not sure where to start?

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Katie, Tyne and Wear

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