My account - online forms
If you last used your account on or before Tuesday 1 August 2023 you will need to register again
Help to manage your finances, including information about how to open a bank account, and what to do should you find yourself in debt following the Christmas period.
What services do the Your Money team provide?
The Your Money team is available to help any local authority customers struggling with rent and/or council tax payments or repaying overpaid housing benefit.
We can negotiate affordable repayment rates and offer debt and budgeting advice. The team also carry out benefit checks to maximise our customers' income.
We offer a home visiting service or if you prefer, we can arrange an appointment at your local customer service centre.
We offer home visits to help vulnerable pension age customers apply for housing and council tax benefit.
Please send an enquiry about benefits online, and a benefit and debt advisor will be in touch with you.
Alternatively you can contact us on (01482) 394633.
If you would like help with budgeting, please visit our Benefit and Money Advice Service page.
How do I open a bank account?
Basic bank accounts are offered by all high street banks and everyone is entitled to one. However only Barclays and Co-operative offer specialist accounts if you are an undischarged bankrupt. Credit Unions also offer a banking service.
What are priority debts, and what are non-priority debts?
Priority debts are your most important debts - ones which cover your essential costs of living. Such essential costs include mortgage/rent, secured loans, council tax, gas, water, electricity, court fines and child maintenance. Non-priority debts include items such as sky television, mobile phones and store cards.
I cannot afford to pay my council tax/rent, what can I do?
You should contact the Your Money team for confidential free advice and continue to pay as much towards your council tax/rent as you can until a visit or appointment can be arranged.
Telephone: (01482) 394633.
I don't feel that I am able to accept my housing benefit payments and would like them to go directly to my landlord?
You should contact the Your Money team who may be able to offer you help and support with accepting and managing your own payments or may be able to arrange for your payments to be sent directly to your landlord.
Telephone: (01482) 394633.
I have found myself in debt, what can I do?
If you are struggling to meet repayments on credit cards or loans, then this could have an adverse effect on your income and affect your ability to pay other debts, such as your rent or council tax.
If this is the case and you are worried that you will not be able to pay these, please contact:
We can contact you to carry out a full income and expenditure analysis and liaise with the relevant sections of the council on your behalf to make arrangements to repay the debts. These arrangements need to be both affordable to you and sustainable and will avoid court summons charges which are expensive and add what you owe.
Rent and council tax are “priority” debts, so need to be dealt with as a matter of urgency.
Debts such as credit or store cards are “non-priority” debts. Although we cannot make arrangements on these for you, we can give you advice and refer into organisations or charities that can; such as the Citizens Advice Bureau or StepChange. Please contact the Your Money team on (01482) 394633 and we can discuss these with you.
To find online, face-to-face or telephone debt advice visit the money advice service online.
Where can I find information about debt, budgeting or other financial help?
Use our online budgeting tool to help you create your own personal budget plan to:
If you would like free and confidential help with budgeting from one of our benefit and debt advisors, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you to make an appointment to see how we can help.
Further information and advice about debt, budgeting and other financial help is available on our Your Money team page.
There are also a number of independent organisations who can provide useful advice and information for people who are experiencing financial problems.
What other organisations can provide financial advice?
There are a number of organisations who can provide useful advice and information for people who are experiencing financial problems:
Citizens Advice offers free, confidential, and impartial debt advice as well as a range of other services including budgeting help and making sure you are claiming the benefits you are entitled to.
StepChange offers free debt advice, budgeting help and a range of debt solutions.
The Credit Union can help with basic bank accounts, give access to low-cost loans and offer easy ways to start saving. You can contact them by telephone (01482) 778753 or visit their website:
This government website offers detailed and wide ranging information and advice on claiming benefits, job searching, further education, pensions and retirement planning, voting and much more.
Find out if you might be eligible for free school meals and clothing grants. You can also use our benefits' calculator to see if you are entitled to any other benefits.
What is Breathing Space?
As of 4 May 2021, a new statutory Breathing Space scheme can assist people in problem debt better manage their finances and reach sustainable solutions by seeking professional debt advice. This scheme is designed to provide people with debt problems the right to legal protection from creditors for a limited period of time.
To be eligible for Breathing space, an applicant cannot, or is unlikely to, repay all or some of their debt. If this is applicable, the applicant can then apply for one of two schemes. These are:
To be eligible for the Standard Breathing Space, applicants must be the following:
To be eligible for the Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space, you must meet the same criteria as the Standard Breathing Space. However, if an Approved Mental Health Professional can certify that you are in receiving mental health crisis treatment, then you may be eligible for protection provided under the Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space.
If you are eligible for the Standard Breathing space, you will be provided with legal protection from creditors action/fees for up to 60 days. If you are eligible for the Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space, you will be provided with legal protection for as long as you are receiving mental health crisis treatment plus a further 30 days. This is applicable no matter how long the crisis treatment lasts.
To start a breathing space application, you must contact a debt advice provider who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) use the Money Advice Service debt advice locator to find online, telephone and face to face advice services.
When applying for a Breathing Space, you must provide your debt advisor with:
When applying for a Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space, you must provide the same information. However, the following people can apply on your behalf: