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 (contact us to arrange an appointment to help you find your best option and help you switch), 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, depending on where you live.
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 understanding your options visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk or, if you need more advice, contact the Citizens Advice Forest of Dean on 01594 823937; visit our website www.forestofdeancab.co.uk, or find us on Facebook or twitter.
Please note there are drop-in services at: our Cinderford office on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 10am to 12.30pm; at our Coleford office on Monday afternoons 1.30pm to 4pm; in Newent Library Thursday mornings 10am – 12.30pm; and in Lydney Library every Thursday afternoon from 2pm to 4pm. Note that the Coleford office is now located in the Main Place (Coleford Library building).
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