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Debt advice

Debt advice

With winter upon us, it’s common to worry about how to afford higher utility bills while the weather’s much colder. And with the added pressure of Christmas, you might be wondering how to bring in some extra money.

Debt Advice Coordinator, Michael Agboh-Davison, from StepChange Debt Charity has some practical tips for cutting winter costs: “If you’ve got a pre-payment meter, chat with your energy supplier to see if you can swap to an ordinary meter and pay by Direct Debit instead. That way you can spread the cost of the higher winter bills over the year.

“Another useful tip is to apply for warm home discount off your electric bill to save a chunk of cash you can use elsewhere. Pensioners who get pension credit can claim £140 off, and others on a low or benefit-only income can check what they qualify for. Why not give your electric supplier a call?

“When it comes to Christmas, saving for it can be tough. How about checking with your local credit union about a Christmas savings account? They can help spread the cost so you still have a lovely Christmas on a budget.

“If you’re worried about affording your bills, take our 60-second debt test to see if you need debt advice. If you do, we’re on hand to help you get back on track.”

The Welfare Benefits Coordinator for Together Housing, says you could maximise your income by checking your benefit entitlement: “Not many people know this as it’s a hugely under-claimed benefit, but if you are pension age, you may be able to claim pension credit to top up your weekly income.

“If you have a long term illness or disability, you may also be able to claim Attendance Allowance which is not affected by any other income you have. Find out how to claim. If you would like any more advice on benefits, text BENEFITS HELP to 07537 402 499 and our expert Welfare Benefits Advisors will contact you.”

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