Money matters

Pressure on people’s finances from the rising costs of energy, food and housing is creating new financial challenges for residents. There's a range of information and support services available to help you make sure you are making the most of your money.

This includes information on budgeting, saving, debt prevention, affordable credit, benefit entitlement, moving from benefits into employment and energy best deals.

Budget and save

Planning for the future, moving home, having a baby or retiring are some of the life changes that people go through. Prepare for these by putting some savings aside.

For information and help with budgeting and saving or for advice on bank accounts and credit visit the Money advice service.

Claim what you are entitled to

Millions of means-tested benefits go unclaimed every year. If you are on a low income, you may qualify for help with benefits and tax credits. Make sure you’re not missing out. The online calculator on Turn 2 us website can help you check your entitlement.

The council’s Benefits Service can also tell you what council tax and housing benefit you are entitled to. Visit the benefits page or call 020 7364 5001.

There are also local advice agencies who can advise you on your particular circumstances.

Borrowing money

Borrowing may seem like a quick and easy solution to money problems but the high levels of interest charged by some creditors and lenders can make your money situation worse.

The Money advice service provides free impartial information and advice on borrowing options and dealing with problems with borrowing money and provide information on Social Fund and Credit Union loans

London Community Credit Union has three branches in Tower Hamlets. Call 020 7729 9218 or visit www.londoncu.co.uk for more information.

Debt advice

If you are struggling with debt including rent or mortgage arrears, fuel debts, payday loans or credit and store card debts, it is important to seek help. Don’t ignore your bills or debt letters.

You can get free independent help and advice from any of the following national or local advice agencies:

  • National Debtline 0808 808 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm; Saturday 9.30am to 1pm) www.nationaldebtline.co.uk 
  • StepChange Debt Charity 0800 138 1111 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 8am to 4pm) Freephone including mobiles or visit them online www.stepchange.org
  • Island Advice Centre 020 7987 9379 Island House, Roserton Street, London E14 3PG www.island-advice.org.uk
  • Toynbee Hall 020 7247 6943 28 Commercial Street, London E1 6LS www.toynbeehall.org.uk

Get online

Using the internet to purchase goods or services can save considerable time and money – and provide you with the widest choice.

Some of the best telephone, energy and insurance deals are only available online. Internet shopping can also save you money but remember to choose reputable shopping sites and ensure the website is secure before entering payment details.

There are also lots of online resources to help you manage your money and keep track of your bills. Free internet access and help with using a computer is available at our Idea Stores at local UK online centres.

Get skilled up

Developing your skills and work experience can open doors for you. Find out about training and employment opportunities at the council’s Skillsmatch service, Job Centre Plus or any of the local advice and employment support agencies available on the welfare reform page.