Man with too many credit cardsDebt and money management

Almost everyone has some form of debt, whether it is money owed on a credit card, a bank loan or overdraft, or a car loan or mortgage.

Thousands of households are also borrowing money from illegal money lenders.

If you’re having trouble paying your bills or loan/credit card repayments, you should get help as soon as possible.

This page provides some general information to help you manage your money to avoid unmanageable debt including advice on how to create a budget including identifying what your priority payments should be for example; housing and fuel costs.

There are also links to help you find an independent financial adviser and information to help you deal with your debts and other ways to keep track of your money.

Managing your money

The Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service is here to help you manage your money better. The service does this by giving clear, unbiased money advice to help you make informed choices. The right money advice can make a difference to your life. And, when you take steps to manage your money better, you can live better too. The Money Advice Service is a free, independent service. It was set up by government and is funded by a levy on the financial services industry. Because they’re not selling anything themselves, or for anyone else, you can trust their advice.
Telephone: 0300 500 5000

Managing your money

Visit the Directgov website for information about managing your money to help you avoid getting into debt.

Independent financial advice

Visit the website to find a local independent financial adviser who can help you to identify the financial products you may need.
Telephone: 0800 085 3250

Bank accounts

Information about the types of bank account that are available.

Basic bank accounts

Information from the Money Advice Service about basic bank accounts that can help you to manage your money without getting into debt.

Buying or selling on credit

This fact sheet can help you to work out who is responsible for your purchases when things go wrong.

Credit charges and APR

This fact sheet tells you how to calculate the total charge for credit and the annual percentage rate of charge.

Choosing and using credit cards

'Choosing and Using' is a free and impartial guide to choosing and using a credit card. The guide has been put together to help you understand how credit cards work, the factors that you should consider when making your choice and the best ways to use your card.

Think...before you borrow

Part of the keep debt under control series, this fact sheet offers basic and impartial advice for people who are thinking of borrowing money.

Home Budget Planner

This home budget planner can help you to keep debt under control.

Top ten credit tips

If you're going to use credit, these ten tips will help you to borrow safely.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

If you have suffered loss as a result of a financial services firm closing down, you may be entitled to claim compensation. If you have tried everything else to get your money back, you might be able to get help from the FSCS. The FSCS website can help you to determine whether they can help you with a claim.
Telephone: 020 7892 7300 or 0800 678 1100

Credit Reference Agencies

Nobody has the right to credit. Before giving you credit, lenders such as banks, loan companies and shops want to be confident that you can repay the money they lend. To help them do this, they may look at the information held by companies called credit reference agencies.

Debt advice

Managing debt

Visit the Directgov website for information about managing debt.

National Debtline

The National Debtline is a helpline offering information and advice on debt, including bank, credit card, finance house, mortgage arrears, council tax, catalogues, hire purchase, utility debts. The helpline also deals with county court, refusal of credit, benefits, bankruptcy, bank charges, harassment, housing, homelessness and bailiffs.
Telephone: 0808 808 4000


Payplan provides face-to-face and telephone advice on debt. Information or help is also available via email and the Payplan website.
Telephone: 0800 716239

Community Money Advice

Community Money Advice assists churches and other community organisations in setting up debt advice centres in their local community. Their website can help you find your nearest money advice centre.

Consumer Credit Counselling Service

The Consumer Credit Counselling Service can provide casework and counselling for people with debt problems. The service provides debt management plans, which include debt repayment schedules and advice on all aspects of money management.
Telephone: 0800 138 1111

Stop Loan Sharks

Have you been approached by a loan shark? Lending money without a licence is illegal. If you suspect someone is a loan shark you should report them either by phone, by text/SMS or via email.
Telephone: 0300 555 2222
Text: 60003


The Adviceguide website is the main public information service of Citizens Advice, providing people with round-the-clock access to CAB information on their rights - including benefits, housing and employment, and on debt, consumer and legal issues.

NHS Stressline

Job insecurity, redundancy, debt and money problems can all cause feelings of distress. When times are tough, it’s quite natural to feel worried or down. It’s when these feelings go on for weeks that they can start to affect your health and wellbeing. Are your worries about the credit crunch interfering with your life? Get some help. Simply call the NHS Stressline and speak to someone who cares.
Telephone: 0300 123 2000

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