If you have no money and need help, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to look. How do you pay for housing, food, utilities and mounting debts? Thankfully, there is help at hand via both the UK government benefits system and a number of charitable organisations.
If you have no money, you should speak to Citizens Advice who can help you with housing, food and other essentials. If you have debts you cannot pay, speak to your creditors and to StepChange, the debt charity.
Being left with no money and nobody to fall back on can create a very dark and a very lonely environment. The sooner you can get help, the sooner you can get yourself back on your feet and reduce some of the mental pressure that often follows.
So, where do you start if you have no money and need help?
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Many local authorities in the UK will offer a local welfare assistance scheme which is there to help those experiencing extreme hardship. It is there to help with the cost of essential goods such as food, clothing, household items and covering your utility bills.
In theory, this emergency financial help should allow you to get through the short-term while awaiting approval of your benefits claim.
It is advisable not to make any hasty decisions when faced with serious cash flow issues and in need of assistance. Yes, at some point you may need to sell your property and downsize or release equity in your home. However, the first thing to do is sit down and face your financial difficulties head-on. What are your income prospects in the short to medium-term, what are your expenses and what are your debts?
For many people, reality will begin to hit home when they see their whole financial life written down before them. This can often focus the mind, and you will begin to see an element of light at the end of the tunnel.
The UK government is attempting to simplify the benefits system with the introduction of universal credits. This should be your first port of call when looking for immediate financial assistance.
On average, it takes around five weeks to receive your first universal credit payment, but in the meantime, you can apply for an advance.
Once your universal credit application has been approved, it usually takes up to 5 weeks before you receive your first payment. In the meantime, you can apply for a universal credit advance which is repaid over a 12 month period by taking relatively small payments from your future universal credit payments.
If you have no accommodation, then the authorities are obliged to place you in emergency accommodation while a more long-term arrangement is put in place. Once long-term accommodation has been identified, you will also receive assistance regarding rent, removal costs and furniture for your new home.
Many people also use prepayment meters for their utilities which ensures no large bills are waiting around the corner.
If you ignore your debt repayments and do not inform your creditors of your predicament, then they will simply continue to contact you for repayment. These debts will not disappear overnight, and it is very important that you contact your finance providers as soon as your situation changes.
The sooner you tell them, the more options available and the more assistance they can offer you.
If you have no money, but you do have regular benefits payments coming in, then you may be able to arrange an adjustment in terms of your loan. This may involve lower monthly repayments by extending the term, but there are also other options such as IVAs, debt management plans, debt relief orders, debt write-offs and bankruptcy.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to financial difficulties, so it is very important to take professional advice.
If you have been experiencing financial difficulties for some time and find yourself with no money, and debts beginning to build up, then your credit rating should be the last thing on your mind. You need to focus wholly on your short-term cash flow; finding accommodation and the funds needed to cover short-term bills.
If you have missed any repayments, then the likelihood is that your credit rating will have deteriorated already. However, there are more pressing issues to focus on in the short-term!
The pressure of living day-to-day is enough, but regular demands from your creditors to repay debts can be too much for many people. If this is your scenario, then you need to take professional advice regarding debt management.
There are various options available, many of which will offer legal protection from your creditors and stop them from hounding you. In the event that your finances are unlikely to improve in the short to medium-term many of the debt management options will offer an eventual write-off of your debts. The chance to clear your head, start again and begin to look forward to the future.
The loan industry is based on regular income where there is an element available to cover debt repayments going forward. So, on that basis, yes, you can apply for a loan while on benefits.
The type of loans available can vary significantly from payday loans of just a few days to longer-term arrangements dependent upon your level of income and credit rating. Just because your regular income comes from benefits does not mean that you cannot apply for finance.
When you suddenly see your only income source removed and there is no immediate help to hand it can be a very difficult and a very lonely place. Thankfully, there are numerous organisations out there who can offer both financial and practical assistance to get you back on your feet.
There is hope, there is help available, and there is a way back to a more balanced lifestyle and regular income.
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s debt release brokers. They have already helped thousands of people reduce and remove a high percentage of debt, and if you are struggling with debt, they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent adviser means they won’t recommend a scheme unless they are sure it is in your best interests. Their advice is also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
If you would like to speak to one of these brokers, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.
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