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Get help with bills

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, there are specific things you can do to sort out your finances.

Check what benefits or grants you can get

Check whether you're eligible for any benefits by using our benefits calculator.

If you're missing out on a benefit you're entitled to then you're not getting money that could make a real difference to your income.

Money from grants

There are grants available based on where you live and your working background. Use the Turn2us checker to search for grants and apply. Grants don’t have to be paid back.

Clear rent arrears

It's more important to deal with rent arrears than other spending debts like credit cards, as you could lose your home.

You'll need to know how much you can offer to pay off to clear the arrears. Then read our advice on how to deal with your landlord.

Sort out your rates bill

Find out whether you can get help with your rates bill if you're already in arrears.

Manage loan repayments

Don't be tempted to get another loan to pay off one you already have.

If you can’t afford your current living costs or debts each month, borrowing more isn't going to change this. In fact, it could make the situation worse.

You must deal with things like mortgage or rent arrears, Council Tax arrears and energy bills before loans. This is because the consequences for not paying these are more serious.

It's still important to speak to your loan provider and explain your situation to stop it getting worse.

Read our advice on how to deal with your creditors to see what you can do.

Deal with credit card debts

Credit card debt can build up quickly and be very worrying, but it's important to first sort out any other debts like arrears on your mortgage, energy bills or Council Tax. This is because the immediate consequences of not paying these things are much more serious.

It's still important to speak to your card provider and explain your situation to stop it getting worse.

Read our advice on how to deal with your creditors. It tells you how to ask your credit card provider to freeze the interest and hold off taking any other action against you while you deal with other debt.

Reduce your interest charges

If you're managing to pay off credit card bills at the moment but are worried about interest charges, switching could help you save money.

Transferring your balance to a card with 0% interest means you just have to pay off the current amount with no additional interest, as long as you don’t add anything new to it. This will cost you less than increasing your credit limit on your current card.

Several websites offer credit card comparison tools, so you can find the best one for your situation.

Manage mortgage payments

You need to talk to your mortgage lender straight away if you're struggling to pay your mortgage.

Read our advice on how to deal with your mortgage provider.

Don't put this off. It's important to do it as soon as possible to stop your lender beginning court action against you.

If you've already received court papers, you need to get immediate help and advice. Contact your local Citizens Advice and they will help you.

Mortgage interest help if you're on benefits

You can apply for help with the interest payments on your mortgage if you get:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit

Find out more about Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) if you get one or more of these benefits.

SMI can't help with missed mortgage payments. If you're already in arrears, read our advice on what to do about mortgage debt.

Reduce your regular mortgage payments

If you're not in arrears but are worried about your regular mortgage payments, look at our advice on cutting your mortgage costs. You might be able to temporarily reduce your monthly payments, or even switch to a better deal.

Further help

f you've got lots of different debts and don't know how to deal with them or what to do first, read our advice on how to sort out your debts

If you have mental health problems - or care for someone who does - the free Mental Health and Debt Guide on the MoneySavingExpert website might be useful to you. It offers tips and small steps to cut your debt.

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