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Help with debt

Being in debt is one of the most stressful things that can happen to us. There are lots of things you can do and many organisations that can help you get out of the situation.

The first thing to do is to recognise that you must deal with the problem now. Ignoring it will only make it worse. You will start to feel better immediately once you have sought some advice and made a plan. Lots of people have been in your situation and have gone on to live a debt free life.

Trusted organisations to help you

The following organisations offer a range of online self help tools and free advice. 

Mental Health and Money Advice service help you understand, manage and improve your mental health and money issues.   

Use this benefit calculator to see what benefits you might be entitled to.   

Step Change are a charity who offer free advice and practical solutions to debt problems.

Telephone on 0800 138 1111 

National Debt Line offers free, confidential and impartial advice on money and debt problems.

Telephone on 0808 808 4000

National Citizens Advice Bureau offer a wide range of advice on money and debt and self help tools you can use to manage your debt and money including budgeting.

Barking and Dagenham Citizens Advice Bureau hold weekly drop in advice sessions.

Telephone on 020 8507 5969

Debt Advice Foundation are a specialist debt charity who offer free, confidential advice on any aspect of debt.

Telephone on 0800 043 4050       

DABD are a charity based in Dagenham who offer free advice and solutions on money and debt issues as well as independent financial advice including welfare benefits and help getting into work.

Telephone on 020 8592 8603       

The Money Advice Service offer free and impartial advice on all things related to money and have a range of tools and advice to help you.

Loan sharks

Loan Sharks are illegal money lenders who often target low income and desperate families. Some of them may threaten you with prosecution or even prison if you don't pay up. In fact they have no legal right to make you repay the loan back at all because it is illegal. The Money Advice Service has some very useful information and advice about loan sharks.     

Debt and mental health 

It is widely acknowledged that being in debt can impact our mental health, and that those living with mental health issues have particular needs. Moneysavingsexpert.com have produced this useful guide about mental health and debt (PDF).

They also run an online forum where you can talk to other people in debt and get advice and support.       

Help with Gambling

If  you think you have a problem with gambling you can get help from Gamcare. They provide support and advice for anyone affected by problem gambling.     

First steps to a debt free life

Making a list of all of your debts will help you to prioritise what you must tackle first. The debts listed below have the most severe consequences. 

Rent arrears

You may be evicted from your home. If this happens you are unlikely to be eligible for council or other social housing.


If you have an eviction notice because of rent arrears please call us on 020 8724 8323 

Council Tax 

Your possessions can be taken by bailiffs and deductions can be made from your wages or benefits. 

If you have already moved onto Universal Credit or soon will be, don't forget you must still claim Council Tax Support from the council. Universal Credit does not include an amount for Council Tax. Make sure you get your claim to us or you may find yourself in arrears with extra costs to pay.  

Court fines and child maintenance or support 

Your possessions can be taken by bailiffs, deductions can be made from your wages or benefits or you can go to prison.

Gas and electricity

Your supplies can be cut off. 

Income Tax, VAT and National Insurance 

Your possessions can be taken by bailiffs and deductions can be made from your wages or benefits.   

TV licence fine

If you have been fined for not having a licence and don't pay it, you can go to prison.    

Loan sharks

Loan Sharks are illegal money lenders who often target low income and desperate families. Some of them may threaten you with prosecution or even prison if you don't pay up. In fact they have no legal right to make you repay the loan back at all because it is illegal. The Money Advice Service has some very useful information and advice about loan sharks.     

Debt and mental health 

It is widely acknowledged that being in debt can impact our mental health, and that those living with mental health issues have particular needs. Moneysavingsexpert.com have produced this useful guide about mental health and debt (PDF).

They also run an online forum where you can talk to other people in debt and get advice and support.         

Help with budgeting

Borrowing money and credit 

If you get or need to claim Universal Credit

Homes and Money Hub

A dedicated team who can help those who currently receive or need to claim Universal Credit with the following:  

  • advice on managing your money
  • welfare benefit advice
  • help with making your Universal Credit claim online
  • understanding the requirements of Universal Credit
  • debt advice
  • support to make payment arrangements for debts
  • help to get into work

Address:

Barking Learning Centre, 2, Town Square,  IG11 7NB

Find Barking Learning Centre on the map

Telephone: 020 8724 2115  

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm. 

Or

Dagenham Library 1 Church Elm Lane, Dagenham, RM10 9QS

Find Dagenham Library on the map

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm