Warning If you are in debt

If you are in debt, there are things you can do.

Help and advice when you are in debt

Budgeting tools

Recording money coming in and going out is essential to good budgeting.

Write in a notebook every time you spend money. Include automatic payments like your rent or phone bill and all essential and non-essential items.

If you have a computer, you could put this information into a spreadsheet.

Or you could download a budgeting app to your smartphone.

Best budgeting apps (Which?)

Ask your bank if they have a budget planner for online customers.

MoneyHelper Budget Planner breaks down your spending to show where you could make savings.

Priority bills

Once you know where your money is going, you should put your bills in order of importance. These are:


Rent arrears can lead to eviction. If you think you cannot pay your rent, seek help or talk to your landlord straight away and, if you can, before you get into arrears.

Rent arrears


If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, speak to your bank immediately. They will want to help you.

A guide to mortgage payment holidays (MoneyHelper)

If you’re on certain benefits and struggling to pay your mortgage, you might be able to get a loan from the government to pay the interest on your mortgage.

Support for Mortgage Interest (MoneyHelper)

Council Tax

You may be able to get help with your Council Tax through a discount or reduction scheme.

Help with Council Tax

Energy and water bills

Need to speak to someone about your energy and water bills?

Contact Disability Energy Support service

Get help with your energy bills

Discount on water bills


There are places where you can get free or cheap food. You do not need a referral to use some local food banks and pantries.

Free food and food banks


If you buy 4 or more prescriptions in 3 months, or 12 or more prescriptions in 12 months, it may be cheaper to buy a prescription prepayment certificate.

Who can get free prescriptions (NHS)

Get a prescription prepayment certificate (GOV.UK)

Warning Supporting your mental health

If you need support with your mental health, ask when you can.

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing is important. Everyone manages their mental health differently.

There are many things you can try.

Managing your mental health

Check your direct debits

Go through your statements or ask your bank or check online for a list of your direct debits. Look for subscriptions or memberships you’re not using.

Things to look out for include:

  • gym or swimming pool membership you rarely use
  • magazine or club subscriptions
  • online shopping site memberships
  • fees for bank accounts or credit cards you no longer use

How to stop spending tool (MoneySavingExpert)

Cheaper broadband and telephone: social tariffs

Ask your telephone or broadband supplier if they offer a cheaper deal. Some suppliers offer cheaper 'social tariffs' if you receive certain benefits.

Free mobile data, text and calls to people in need (National Databank)

Social tariffs: cheaper broadband and phone packages (Ofcom)

Cheaper social tariffs (MoneySavingExpert)

Finding and comparing deals online

If you have a computer and access to the internet, it’s easier to find deals that can save you money. Or you could ask a friend or family member to help.

Request free IT support at home (AbilityNet)

Finding the best deals on price comparison sites (MoneyHelper)

For example, you could:


If you’re looking for ways to budget for mobility or other equipment, adapting your home or taking a short break, find out more about grants and funds.

Finding and applying for grants

Money-saving ideas

Think about your other everyday expenses. Ask others for their tips on saving money.

Disability Money Matters online forum (MoneySavingExpert)

Talk to our online community about the cost of living


There may be discounts available to you for attractions, activities and travel.

Disability discounts for days out and travel

Financial support for sport and exercise

Loyalty schemes

Large supermarkets, pharmacies and department stores have loyalty schemes where you earn points or vouchers. Build these up over time and use them to buy food or gifts for a special occasion.

Credit cards

Credit cards can be useful if you want to spread the cost of a big purchase.

Look for a card that allows you to pay the bill over a longer time and without interest. But remember to pay at least the minimum monthly payment.

Consider switching to a new card once any promotional period is over.

Price comparison sites can help you find the best credit card deals.

Balance transfer credit cards (MoneySavingExpert)

Warning Credit card debt

Use credit cards with care. You could get into debt if you do not pay your bill on time and in full. Always read the terms and conditions.


Christmas, birthdays and socialising can be hard if you’re trying to save money. It’s important you share your money worries with friends or family.

If you can, build up some savings for big expenses like a broken boiler, important celebration or holiday.

Savings and benefits

Help to Save (GOV.UK)

If you’ve had difficulty opening an account with a bank or building society, you could try not-for-profit credit unions.

Credit union savings accounts (MoneyHelper)

Last reviewed by Scope on: 09/10/2023

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