Managing your money and debt
Citizens Advice can check if you might be entitled to any benefits and discuss ways of maximising your income. They can help you negotiate with companies you owe money to and ensure you have sufficient to pay for essentials. They can also discuss other problems with housing, employment and relationships.
From money, debt or housing worries, advisers understand how benefit changes can affect your finances and will offer you support and advice on everything. They can refer you to other sources of help such as food banks. Contact them for free, impartial advice in person, online or by phone.
Check area websites for up to date details of drop-in sessions local to you.
Ampthill and Biggleswade Citizens Advice (mid-Bedfordshire)
An appointment system is in place at both locations. Call between 10:30am and 2:30pm, Monday to Thursday (and Friday for the Ampthill office).
Telephone: 01525 402742 / 01525 841217 / 01767 601368
Visit Mid-Bedfordshire Citizens Advice's website (link opens in new window)
10 Bedford Street
Dunstable Citizens Advice
Open Monday to Wednesday, 10am to 12:30pm and 1:00pm to 3:30pm; Thursday and Friday, 10am to 12:30pm.
Telephone: 01582 661384 / 01582 670003
Visit Dunstable Citizens Advice's website (link opens in new window)
76 High Street North
Leighton-Linslade Citizens Advice
Open Monday to Friday 10am to 1pm, Monday 4pm to 6:30pm and Tuesday to Thursday 2pm to 4pm
Telephone: 01525 373878
Visit Leighton-Linslade Citizens Advice's website (link opens in new window)
The Bedford Credit Union and Money Matters Credit Union provide an alternative service to the high street banks and loan sharks and can help you with low-interest loans, money management advice, as well as guide you through banking concerns including savings and borrowing. They also offer a basic, easy-to-apply-for savings account. Find them at the following locations:
Bedford Credit Union
6 St Paul’s Square
Telephone: 01234 346352
Bedford Credit Union operates collection points in:
- Biggleswade on Tuesdays from 10am to midday
- Shefford on Fridays from 10am to midday
- Sandy on Tuesdays from 7pm to 9pm and Wednesdays from 10:30am to midday
Money Matters credit union
Lewsey Community Centre
Telephone: 01582 666877
Money Matters Credit Union covers the whole of the LU1 to LU7, and operates from the following locations:
- Lewsey Community Centre: Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 2:30pm and Saturday from 9:30am to 1pm
- Marsh Farm Futures House: Thursday 10am to midday
- Dunstable St Mary's Church: Sunday 11:30am to midday
- Houghton Regis Baptist Church Hammersmith Gardens: Wednesday from 11:30am to midday
The Department for Work and Pensions gives Budgeting Loans (link opens in new window) to help pay for essentials like rent, furniture, clothes or hire purchase debts. The smallest amount you can borrow is £100. The loans are interest-free, and you normally have to repay within two years.
Or call your local Job Centre Plus office on 0345 604 3719, or find them at these locations:
Luton Jobcentre Plus
55 Guildford St
Leighton Buzzard Jobcentre Plus
Biggleswade Jobcentre Plus
73 High St
Independent financial advice
Help with accessing benefits, charitable grants and other financial help. Online benefits calculator. Call 0808 802 2000, Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm.
Access self-help packs and help with debt management plans and Debt Relief Orders.
Telephone: 0808 808 4000 (freephone), Monday Friday 9am to 9pm; Saturday 9:30am to 1pm; (24-hour voicemail to request an information pack)
Money Advice ServiceAdvice includes benefits and dealing with debt. Online factsheets and budgeting tools are available.
Telephone: 0300 500 5000, Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm. Saturday, 9am to 1pm.
Visit the Money Advice Service's website (link opens in new window)
Debt management service, funded by the credit industry. Help with debt management plans and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA). Negotiates repayment plans direct with creditors.
Telephone: 0800 280 2816, Monday to Friday, 8am to 9pm. Saturday, 9am to 3pm.
Visit Payplan's website (link opens in new window)
StepChange Debt Charity
Debt advice charity (formerly Consumer Credit Counselling Service) offering practical advice including StepChange Debt Remedy: an online advice tool.
Telephone: 0800 138 1111, Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm. Saturday, 8am to 4pm.
Visit StepChange's website (link opens in new window)