Dealing with debt or a crisis
Having less money coming in than going out is worrying. The best thing to do is to not ignore debt and get help as soon as possible.
Citizens Advice offer free online advice on all sorts of issues including debt. There's a Dartford branch of Citizens Advice where you can call into one of their drop-in sessions or for more complicated queries, an appointment may be booked for a longer interview – Telephone Adviceline 0300 330 9001.
Money Advice Service offer free and impartial money advice online, over the phone, by web chat and in printed guides – 0800 138 7777.
StepChange is a charity that works to help people resolve debt problems through their free online debt remedy tool or helpline – 0800 138 1111.
National Debtline is a charity that offers free guides, fact sheets, budgeting tools and sample letters to help you write to your creditors. You can also get debt advice by using their webchat service, emailing them or by calling their helpline – 0808 808 4000.
Debt Advice Foundation is a charity offering free, confidential telephone support and advice to anyone worried about loans, credit and debt – 0800 043 4050.
PayPlan provide advice, guidance and support for anyone struggling with debt – 0800 280 2816.
Smart Advice for Everyone (SAfE) offer free help with problems such as debt, benefits, housing and employment. Their free drop-in service is open every Tuesday from 10.30am until 12.30pm at Temple Hill Living Well Centre; alternate Wednesdays from 10.30am to 12.30pm at the Community Centre, St Mary Greenhithe; every Wednesday from 11am to 12.30pm at Hive Hope Foodbank, Northfleet; and every Wednesday from 10.30am to 12.30pm at the Old Fire Station Café, Swanscombe.
Kent Support and Assistance Service may be able to help if you're having serious difficulties managing your income due to a crisis or if you are facing exceptional pressures because of an emergency. They don't offer money but they can provide essential home items such as groceries (for up to 7 days), clothing, baby food, milk and nappies, furniture, crockery, bedding, essential electrical appliances. They may also be able to help with utilities (gas and electric for up to 7 days) and emergency travel arrangements via public transport (for example to flee a crisis).
Budgeting Loans are interest-free so you only pay back what you borrow. They're used to help pay for essential things like furniture or household items, clothes, rent in advance, moving costs, home maintenance or security, travelling costs within the UK, costs linked to getting a job, maternity costs, funeral costs or hire purchase debts. You must be receiving certain benefits to be able to apply. The smallest amount you can borrow is £100 and you repay it out of your benefits.
Civil Legal Advice provides free and confidential advice as part of legal aid. If you're eligible, you can get help from them for problems including debt, if your home is at risk – 0345 345 4345.