We know at the moment life is a bit different to what we are used to, and everyone is living in their ‘new normal’. We want you to know that we are here for all our members and we are still providing our services to you remotely as part of the #stayhomesavelives guidelines.
Below we have some quick links to reputable websites that will help you prepare for the next few months ahead.
We hope this guide will also help our members who are key workers working tirelessly on the frontline and who’s time is now more precious than ever.
If you are working from home, have been furloughed, or perhaps you are just unsure about the future, now is a great opportunity to review your finances, as this is something that most of us normally don’t have time to do.
- Maximising your income
Firstly one of the most important things to think of at this time is how to maximise your income. We are constantly trying to think of how to cut down on what we spend however, we should also think of how we can increase the amount of income we receive. You can find out more information on the turn2us website, or if you struggle with computers, you can ring the helpline on 0808 802 2000. You can get help and advice on a wide range of topics which include specific Coronavirus benefits advice here:
TOP TIP: write down, or take a picture of your calculation reference number (if you need to leave your application and go back to it later, you won’t need to submit all the information again) and try to have all your income information to hand.
Many charities also offer non-repayable grants to help individuals on low incomes, why not check your eligibility by clicking here:
If you or a member of your household is a student, the website below can let you know if there is any funding you can apply for (you can also use the grants search above):
or to check if your student finance has been affected click here:
- Paying your bills
If you’re struggling to pay more than one bill, you need to prioritise, because the immediate consequences of not keeping up with some bills are more serious these are you Priority debts.
Mortgage Payments (Priority debt)
It’s important that if you are struggling to afford to pay your Mortgage you contact your provider as soon as possible. Any provider will be able to arrange a 3 month mortgage holiday to see people through this time. Click the link below to see some useful advice from the Money Advice Service about how to deal with mortgage payments:
Rent Payments for tenants (Priority debt)
Shelter can offer information and advice on a wide range of housing issues. They have a free emergency helpline which is open 365 days a year on 0808 800 4444 Click here to access the website if you need advice or assistance
If you are at risk of eviction, click here to find out your rights as a tenant or lodger and the new rules on evictions.
Council Tax Payments (Priority debt)
Council tax support is sometimes called council tax reduction and the scheme is run by your local council. Simply put your postcode into the search bar and will bring up your Local Authorities website. You can see if you are eligible for this benefit via this website. Rules vary but you can usually get a reduction on your bill if you’re on a low income.
Discounts on your Council Tax
You can get a 25% discount on your bill if you’re the only adult living in your home and you might qualify for a reduced council tax bill if a disabled person lives there. Your home must have extra rooms to meet the needs of that person or be adapted for wheelchair use.
Energy bills (Priority bills)
If you’re unable to pay a utility bill – like gas or electric, contact your provider as soon as possible. Depending on the type of bill, they may be able to arrange a payment plan, or have schemes in place for people in financial hardship.
More advice can be found here:
You can also check to see if you can apply for a grant to help you if you are struggling to pay your energy bills.
Repaying your Non Priority debts:
Click here https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip/ to view all the latest updates from the Martin Lewis website which has some really useful tips regarding payment holidays for credit cards to the revised overdraft rate and what impact this will have on your finances.
If you are struggling with your debts
Please speak to us about your Metro Moneywise loan as we have lots of options we can offer our members.
However if you do need debt advice, please use a reputable company who are independent and not-for-profit, and beware of the so called “easy” debt management solutions.
We like this website:
https://debtcamel.co.uk/more-information/where-to-get-help/ as they advise who you should, but also should NOT to talk to.
- Other useful links for our members
Our amazing NHS workers have never been so needed and valued, so to say a big thank you, we have included a link here on how to access deals and offers
Also most supermarkets are now providing early opening times or selected times throughout the day for key workers and we you can also access that info here:
Starting from Saturday the 11th April, eligible workers will be entitled to free travel on trams, find out if this applies to you here:
Nobody should suffer at home through already difficult times, so below are important links that can help with advice, support and care if you or someone you know is suffering whilst in isolation from domestic abuse
More and more people are relying on foodbanks , a fantastic community organisation that is on hand to help people to make sure everyone has food in their cupboards when they need it most
Click the link below to find or donate to your nearest foodbank.
Find out here if you are entitled to food parcels or supermarket vouchers while the schools are closed
It is also important that we take care of our mental as well as our financial health so here are some websites we have found useful:
The team at Metro wants to say thanks to you, our members, for being amazing and we wish you all the best to you, your families and friends.
Keep well and stay safe #stayhomesavelives