If you are struggling with debt, help is available. Never ignore bills. It is important that you take action and seek expert help to show you how to work out the best way to deal with your debts.
For advice on paying your council tax call 01626 215 000, or for the Housing Options team, who can offer free money advice for housing related debts, phone 01626 215 388.
If we cannot help with your debt problem, there are many organisations offering confidential and independent debt advice over the phone, face to face or online. They can make sure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to, prioritise your debts, act for you in negotiations with your creditors, and help set up arrangements for payment.
They will also be able to answer any questions you have and advise on the recovery action process.
Organisations offering free independent advice are shown below and a list is also available at www.gov.uk
Citizens Advice Bureau can help you resolve legal, money and other problems by providing free information and confidential advice from over 3,200 locations around the country. www.citizensadvice.org.uk
The National Debtline offers free, confidential and independent help over the phone for people in England, Scotland and Wales. Call the helpline 0808 808 4000 Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm and Saturday, 9.30am to 1pm, and also download publications from their website. www.nationaldebtline.co.uk
AdviceUK is a network of independent advice centres for people living in England, Scotland and Wales. To find your nearest agency telephone 0300 777 0107 or visit www.adviceuk.org.uk
The Business Debtline provides a free telephone debt counselling service for the self-employed and small businesses facing financial hardship. 0800 197 6026 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. www.businessdebtline.org.uk
The Money Advice Service (MAS) was set up by the Government and is a nationwide service providing free and independent information to help people needing practical money advice, whatever their financial circumstances. They offer free printed guides, giving clear, unbiased information and advice, offering a good starting point for general information about financial products and services. www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
If you qualify for legal aid and live in England or Wales, Gov.uk can provide free help or legal advice over the phone. They can help with debt, housing, employment, education, welfare benefits and tax credits. www.gov.uk/legal-aid
Payplan provides free advice to people living in the UK on debt and budgeting, including free debt management plans and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) without upfront fees. Monday to Friday, 8am to 9pm and Saturday, 9am-3pm. www.payplan.com
The Insolvency Service offers free general information on insolvency legislation and procedures in England and Wales.
Call 0845 602 9848 Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.
Homemaker Southwest offers free confidential and independent advice on arrears, including a free information pack.
Call 01392 686 752 www.homemakersw.org.uk
Shelter offers free confidential advice on housing, debt, welfare benefits, care and health needs (including disability rights and entitlements). General Advice 0300 330 1234 www.shelter.org.uk/get_advice
Step Change Debt Charity provides free and confidential counselling on debt problems including personal budgeting and credit advice. 0800 138 1111 Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm www.stepchange.org
Tax Aid provides help with tax problems. 0345 120 3779 www.taxaid.org.uk
Law Centres help if you are being threatened with legal action, and you qualify for legal aid. You can get free and independent advice from your local Law Centre. www.lawcentres.org.uk
South West Water Assistance with paying your water bills if you are on means-tested benefit or tax credit. Call 0844 346 1010 www.southwestwater.co.uk