If you find yourself in debt and don't know where to turn, we can provide a free and confidential service offering in-depth advice, based on your personal circumstances.
If you are struggling with debt issues and their related problems, we are sure we can help.
Here in the Town Hall, we have trained advisers who specialise in money advice.
We offer a free and confidential service to all the residents within the boundary of Preston City Council.
Call us for debt and welfare benefit advice
We are now offering a full welfare benefit and debt advice service over the phone for people who are struggling financially for reasons such as job loss, income reduction and financial issues as a result of lockdown.
I want to use the telephone service, when can I call?
Our staff will be available from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
What number do I call?
- Debt advice - 01772 906838
What information will I need for the advisor?
It is useful for our advisors and to ensure you receive the correct information and advice to have the following details to hand:
- Details of all your debts - recent statement, chasing letters, original agreement.
- Your income - including any benefits or pensions
- Your household bills - for items such as food and utilities, with details of any missed payments
- Approximate values of assets - like your home or car
You can use our My Scan app to send us your documents and evidence.
It is a quick, easy and secure way to send us your documents 24/7 from home via your computer, tablet or smartphone.
My Scan ensures that documents securely land in our back office systems ready for processing.
Work out a budget. Add up all the money you have coming in every week or month. Remember to include wages for yourself and your partner and/or any benefits you receive, plus rent from grown children and anyone else who lives with you. Then add up all the money you spend, including your mortgage/rent, council tax, utility bills, water bill, housekeeping, car tax, insurances, telephone, TV licence and any debts.
- Make sure you pay your priority debts first. Don't just pay the people who are knocking on the door first or the ones who keep ringing you. Priority debts are those which you would lose an essential service if you did not pay, for example, debts against your home, or those for which you could ultimately be imprisoned for if you didn't pay such as council tax. Gas and electricity bills are also priorities as these will be disconnected if you don't pay.
- Get in touch with your creditors. Do this straight away. Explain your difficulties. Go and see them, or phone or write to them. Very often they will be able to help. If the first person you speak to is unhelpful, ask to speak to somebody more senior who may be able to agree to help.
- Don't give up trying to reach an agreement even if creditors are difficult.
- Always keep copies of any letters you send or receive so that you can prove you have tried to reach an agreement if matters come to court.
What not to do if you get into debt:
Don't feel guilty - over 2 million people are having the same problem
- Don't borrow more money to pay off the debts you have
- Don't ignore the problem - it won't go away
- Don't agree to sign your home as security - you could lose your home if you do
- Don't offer to pay more than you can afford
- Don't let creditors harass you - they can be prosecuted
- Don't panic - there are things you can do
Preventing money problems
Local services that can give you advice about budgeting and money management.
Preston City Council Debt Advice Service - free and confidential debt advice
- Preston Debt Centre - give free debt help
- Citizens advice - help get your finances back in shape
- The Money Advice Service - advice and guides to help improve your finances
- Money Saving Expert - advice about getting a basic bank account
- Compare the market - information and advice on a range of basic bank accounts
- Credit Union Services for Preston offer responsible savings and affordable loans to help you to better manage your money.
Dealing with debt
If you are struggling with debt issues and money related problems, we have qualified advisers who specialise in money advice.
We offer debt advice services which is a free and confidential service to all the residents within the boundary of Preston City Council.
There are many websites offering advice to people struggling with debt, but some of these offer services that you have to pay for. Check whether the information on the websites above can help you, first.
- The Money Advice Service - managing debt
- Step Change Debt Charity - managing debt
- Citizens Advice - helping with debt
Self help pack
Download Preston City Council's Debt Advice Self Help Pack (PDF) [157KB] which can be used in getting back on track with your debts.