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Money and debt advice

Many people find themselves getting into debt or requiring money management advice following a change in their circumstances. This can include:

  • change of benefit entitlement
  • redundancy
  • ill health
  • birth of a baby.

Do not panic - get advice

Get in touch with a money management or debt adviser.

It’s important to seek advice, as the longer you leave it, the worse it will get. Contact our money management advice officer on 01202 451 266.

Get help to draw up a financial budget, which you can show to creditors who you owe money to. 

Get advice to pay off the debts first which could result in you losing your home or the gas and electricity being cut off.

Do not ignore debts

They will not go away, and the debts will increase in value.

Do not borrow more

Borrowing more could result in high interest charges and could make the problem worse. Get advice, as there are debt agencies charging expensive interest rates which you may need to avoid.

Get organised

Help yourself by getting everything organised:

  • spend some time filing all your bills and accounts
  • make sure you keep copies of all letters you receive and send relating to any debt.


Check that you’re claiming all benefits that are available to you:

Payment Protection for ill health or redundancy  

If you cannot work due to redundancy or ill health, check if any debt is covered by Payment Protection Insurance.

Finally, beware of borrowing money from loan sharks.

A loan shark is someone who lends money as a business without the appropriate licence required by the Office of Fair Trading. They rarely give any paperwork, and if you miss a payment, they often use violence and intimidation to get their money back.

Council house tenants

If you're a council house tenant, we can help advise you with debt issues.

Advice for Bournemouth council house tenants.
Advice for Poole council house tenants.

Report a loan shark  

If you know of any illegal money lending, report them in confidence by calling the illegal money lending team on 0300 555 2222.       

 More help with money and legal advice
 Organisation How they can help
Citizens' Advice  Money management/debt advice. Face-to-face, online and telephone. Call: 08444 111 444 or 08444 994 105.
Faithworks Wessex   Debt counselling and budgeting support via home visits. Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Call: 01202 429 037.  
Housing benefit support   Help to manage benefits.  
Money Helper  Free and impartial money advice set up by the government. Open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 1pm. Call: 0800 138 7777.  
National Debtline   Debt advice/support provided on the phone or online. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm, Saturday 9:30am to 1pm. Call: 0808 808 4000.  
Payplan  Debt advice and solutions. Support provided on the phone or online. Open Monday to Friday 8am to 9pm, Saturday 9am to 3pm. Call: 0800 280 2813 or (from a mobile) 0207 760 8980
Salvation Army   Face to face debt advice. Open Thursday 2pm to 4pm. Call: 01202 830 024.  
Shelter   Money management and debt advice via face-to-face appointments. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Call: 0808 800 4444.  
Step Change Debt Charity  Debt advice and solutions. Support provided on the phone or online. Open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 3pm. Call: 0800 138 111.  
Legal Advice Finder  Find a legal advisor or solicitor in your area.