Help with your money
In this difficult time, there's support available immediately for all who need it, we appreciate many of you will find yourself suffering unprecedented financial hardship as a direct result of the ongoing coronavirus.
If your credit rating isn’t great you may be tempted by high cost debt providers such as quick cash or payday lenders to see you through the crisis. But these can work out more expensive, particularly if your benefits application gets delayed and you can’t repay the loan on time.
Credit Union loans are much cheaper than Payday Loans, and you can pay the money back at a rate you can afford once your cashflow stabilises.
Borrow between £300 and £500 and repay over 12 months at 3% per month (42.6% APR) by Direct Debit or directly from Child Benefits (application assessments are subject to affordability and credit checks).
You don’t need to be a member to apply but if approved you will have to pay £5 to join (£2 as a membership fee, £3 initial deposit to a Savings Account).
You’re eligible to apply for a Kent Savers Emergency Loan if you:
- Live or work in Kent, Medway or London Borough of Bexley;
- Are a UK resident aged 18 or over;
- Currently (or did until immediately prior to Covid19 Lockdown) receive wages or benefits of at least £125/week;
- Have a UK current account that receives your wages and/or benefits and from which you can instruct Direct Debit payments;
- Have a working mobile and email address.
If you are in employment
Many employees will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they fall ill. Recent changes have been made to make this payable from the first day of illness.
The government has advised people who aren't entitled to SSP, including those who are self-employed, to claim Universal Credit (UC) or contributory ‘New Style’ Employment Support Allowance (ESA).
Depending on your circumstances you may be able to claim other means tested benefits. Use an independent benefits calculator to find out what you can claim.
Landlord and tenants
If you are a tenant experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19, and are having difficulty paying your rent the government has put in measures ensure you do not face the threat of eviction for at least 3 months:
- landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least 3 months period. This applies to both private and social renters
- all new evictions are suspended, and no new possession proceedings will be permitted during the period of national emergency.
- at the end of this period or the of the national emergency, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances
- In the meantime, if you are able to pay your rent you should continue to do so
- If you are not able to pay your rent please let your landlord know so you can work out a plan and so that they can speak to their bank if they need to (banks have put in place measures to support those with mortgage during this period of uncertainty
The Money Advice Service have up to date information and guidance:
- coronavirus and your money - planning for the financial impacts of the current situation
- coronavirus: what it means to you - your rights to sick pay, changes to claiming your benefits and what it means for travel
ACAS have up to date advice for employers and employees.
Local advice and support
If you're struggling to pay your Council Tax bill, you may be eligible for Council Tax Support
If you're already in receipt of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, tell us about your change in circumstances so we can check your claim. You can also apply for extra help with your Council Tax by applying for Discretionary Council Tax Reduction
If you're struggling to pay your rent and aren't already receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, you should apply for Universal Credit for support with housing cost
If you're in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit housing costs, you can also apply for extra help with your rent by claiming Discretionary Housing Payments
Additionally, there are a range of advice and support services across the city, with more information available.