The current situation brings many challenges for people. If changes to your income have left you struggling to make ends meet (or indeed you were already struggling), then the first step is to see what extra income might be available to you. Our financial inclusion team would be happy to help with this, and can be contacted on 0208 768 7925 or by email at Jherbert@hexagon.org.uk .Although it might take a bit longer than usual to respond to queries, we are still here to help. We would be happy to run through your options around benefits to see if there is anything you may be entitled to
The next step is to look at reducing outgoings. Making a comprehensive budget can really help with this. Calculators like the one offered by the Money Advice Service at https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/budget-planner are a good place to start. You can also look at whether you can get any of the services you currently use for less. www.moneys If you want more information on how the coronavirus outbreak impacts your money, our financial inclusion team remains available to help on 0208 768 7925 or by email at Jherbert@hexagon.org.uk . The current circumstances mean that it might take a bit longer than usual to come back to you, but we are keen to assist in any way we can.
There are also a number of other organisations that may help, and links to a few of these are provided below (although this is not a definitive list). Please note that these are external sites, and Hexagon is therefore not responsible for their content. These are provided for information only, and do not constitute a recommendation to take any particular course of action
https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus – A link to the main government site about the virus, including financial measures
https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/ – Some information about changes to Universal Credit relating to coronavirus
http://policyinpractice.co.uk/your-income-and-coronavirus-covid-19/?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Coronavirus%3A+we+can+help+you+support+vulnerable+people&utm_campaign=BAU-Webinar-DB-26Mar20-invite – This provides further information about financial options available to people impacted financially by coronavirus, and also a link to a basic version of the benefit calculator used by the team here at Hexagon
www.moneysavingexpert.co.uk – One of the UKs most popular money related websites, providing information on a wide variety of subjects
www.stepchange.org. – One of the largest free providers of telephone based debt advice in the UK
www.citizensadvice.org.uk – A source of free and impartial advice about a wide range of issues
If having done all of this you find that you don’t have enough money to meet all of your commitments, try talking to some of your non-priority providers (this would be people like TV subscriptions or credit card companies) to see if they would accept lower payments for a time while your income is reduced. This can reduce pressure while you income is lower, and you can make arrangements to catch up when things improve.
In addition to the above, providers of loans, credit cards and car finance are currently obliged to offer short payment holidays if asked (it is vital that you contact creditors to request a holiday rather than just stopping paying). Councils are also allowing the first instalment of Council tax to be paid in June rather than April, and this can help short term cash flow. Finally, utility providers have various schemes to help people impacted by Covid 19, so if you are struggling it is worth contacting your utility providers and asking for help.
If you are struggling to pay for even the bare essentials such as food and heating, or are worried that you might be falling into problem debt, contact our financial inclusion team on 0208 768 7925 or by email at Jherbert@hexagon.org.uk .Although it might take a bit longer than usual to respond to queries, we are still here to help, and would be happy to talk through any issues that you may be having.