Common Money Questions

Answers to the questions that everyone is asking

This isn’t a nice situation for anyone. But it’s not an uncommon one.

The good news is that you can get free specialist advice and support on debt management plans and talking to creditors.

Getting this free advice really can make all the difference.

See our Support Services page for what services are out there.

Or and we’ll point you in the right direction.

But please do something. Speak to an expert now. Ignoring it only makes it worse.

This is really important. The internet has made it much easier for people to get hold of people’s financial details. Try these tips:

  • Frequently change your passwords
  • Never use public wi-fi
  • Enable two-factor authentication when you can
  • Don't open any emails that look strange
  • Avoid using automatic logins
  • Use your bank’s mobile app
  • Always update your computer and mobile when prompted
  • Never tell anyone your passcodes or passwords
  • Report any online crimes straight away to your bank and Action Fraud

Check out the Money Advice Service who have developed this handy guide to scams online.

Priority debts are those that carry the most serious consequences if you don’t pay them.

These don’t have to be the largest, or debts with the most expensive interest rates, but if you don’t pay them it could lead to serious problems.

We have some further information that you can read here on how to help identify the most important debts you may have.

We are sorry to hear that you have lost your job.

Your best bet is to call the ‘Make the Call’ campaign which has a freephone helpline set up by the Department for Communities to provide free advice on benefits entitlements. Give them a call on 0800 232 1271 or visit them online here.

You can also visit our page on Universal Credit for more information.

There’s lots of organisations that can help you find new employment.

You can also and we’ll point you in the right direction.

Hang on in there. Better days are ahead.

If you are on a low income you may qualify for Universal Credit or another benefit. Give the Make the Call campaign a ring on 0800 232 1271 or visit them online here.

There is also a wide range of organisations that can provide you with other forms of help.

We also have some handy tips on how you can reduce your costs.

Money issues can contribute to mental health issues, such as stress or depression.

The most important thing you need to do if your think you are experiencing mental health issues is speak to your GP or contact freephone help like Lifeline (0808 808 8000) or the Samaritans (116 123). Both are open 24/7 for anyone.

Don’t know your current account from your savings account?

Does a Stocks and Shares ISA blow your mind?

Don’t worry - you’re not the only one. Check out The Money Advice Service’s handy guides to bank accounts online here. They have everything from comparison tools through to info on overdrafts.

Benefits can be really tricky at times and it’s good to check out whether you will be better off financially in a job before you apply for or accept a job.

There are some free Better Off Calculators you can use provided by organisations such as Policy in Practice.

However they are only as accurate as the information you put into them. If you are unsure about this you can contact your local money and benefits advice organisation.

Auto-enrolment of pensions was introduced as a way of encouraging people to save for their retirement.

Even though it might feel like a long time away, it’s never too soon to start thinking about your pension.

We recommend visiting the Pensions Advisory Service for more information. They also have a freephone number as well as a web chat service so you can ask them questions.

In a nutshell it’s a number that shows how reliable you are at paying back your loans and debts.

Having a good credit rating makes it easier for you to secure loans or a mortgage.

For more information check about credit ratings visit the Money Advice Service.

A bank is a commercial, licensed financial institution that securely holds money people deposit into it. The bank pays interest on money it holds and also lends money out in the form of loans.

Credit Unions offer many of the same services as banks, such as savings accounts, loans, etc. But Credit Unions are owned and run by their members, for the benefit of those members.

Some Credit Unions have different rules for loans.

A person who may be denied a loan at a bank, may be granted a loan at a Credit Union, if they are a member.