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?
Roger Naden, advice services manager for Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts advises these steps:
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 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.
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.
If you need further help or advice visit the Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts office at Town Hall, Bank Road, Matlock, from Monday to Friday, from 10am to 2pm or phone for advice on 03004568390 weekdays from 91m to 4pm.
Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts offers free, confidential and independent advice on any subject.