May’s Advice Column
I recently become a carer for my partner who I live with and can no longer work. We’ve started falling behind on our bills and I’m worried our debts are only going to get worse. I’m on Carer’s Allowance but what else can I do to turn things around?
A change in circumstances can often trigger financial problems. It’s good to see you taking action now as this will stop you from sliding into further debt.
See if you can make any savings on your household bills by switching suppliers or changing deals. You may be able to get a reduction on your council tax bill – speak to your local authority directly.
Try to boost your income too. You may be able to apply for benefits jointly with your partner to be paid alongside Carers Allowance. This could be Income Support, income-related Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit.
You should contact your creditors and ask if you can reduce your repayments until you’re back in work. They can also freeze any interest and charges, so your debts don’t go up while you pay less. Check to see if you have payment protection insurance to cover giving up work to become a carer as well.
If you’re still struggling to cover your outgoings, it’s important to prioritise paying your household bills like your council tax and rent or mortgage.
For further help working out your budget, negotiating with creditors or checking which benefits you’re entitled to, contact Sudbury & District Citizens Advice. We are providing advice by telephone and email, Monday – Thursday, 10am – 1pm. Please phone 01787 321400 if you need advice and leave a message and someone will call you back when available. We will attempt three times to call you back, so please expect a call from a withheld number.
You can also ring our Advice line on Freephone 0808 278 7868 or 0800 144 88 48.