Useful Organisations and Websites

When you’re struggling with money problems it can feel as if you’re completely on your own, especially if you’ve hidden your problems from friends and family to ‘stop them worrying’. This is not the case however; in fact there are a number of organisations who can help. This help may range from giving you advice on your debts and the action you may be able to take, to simply by being there to listen to your worries and concerns, depending on which organisation you contact.

The most important thing to bear in mind when you are looking for an organisation to help you is that not all such agencies are free, and it’s not always easy to tell which will charge you. If in doubt, ask. If you are thinking of using an organisation which will charge for its services you will need to consider very carefully whether you really want to pay for this when other agencies may provide the same or similar services for free.

The following agencies all provide free and independent advice. Some will let you make an appointment to go in and speak to someone face-to-face, others let you phone them for free or offer a call back service (some include Typetalk), and some provide advice online or via email. We have explained who offers what so you can choose the service that you feel most comfortable with.

Web – Online help available
Phone Icon – Telephone help available
Face – Face to face help available
Email Icon – Email help available

(Please note that most helplines are only open during office hours. Where there are exceptions to this they are noted next to the number, however it may also be worth checking the website as we cannot guarantee that information shown here is up to date.)

Organisations have been divided up into the following categories to help you find the information you need as quickly and easily as possible.

  • Advice Now

    http://www.advicenow.org.uk/
    Web
    Provides advice on a wide range of subjects, including financial matters and benefits.

    Citizens Advice Bureau

    http://www.tamesidecab.org.uk/
    Web Phone Icon Face
    0161 330 2156
    Citizen’s Advice provide information and guidance on a range of issues from money and debt to housing and legal advice. They can be contacted over the phone, by dropping in to a General Advice session, or by arranging an appointment. They also have a website which offers further information and advice at http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/

    StepChange debt charity

    http://www.stepchange.org
    Email Icon Web Phone Icon
    0800 138 1111
    StepChange debt charity were previously known as Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) provide free debt help and advice online, via email and through their helpline number.

    Credit Action

    http://www.creditaction.org.uk/
     Web
    Credit Action is a national money charity offering a range of resources including training programs, information and advice both for debt advisers and for members of the general public. They also produce a monthly report of significant debt statistics which can be quite interesting to look at.

    Credit Action Money Advice Map

    http://www.moneyadvicemap.com/
    Face
    This service, run by Credit Action, allows you to search for agencies providing free face-to-face advice on a range of topics including debt, benefits and legal advice. You simply enter your postcode or the name of your area and it will give you a list of local advice centres which should be able to help you.

    Money Advice Service

    http://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/
    Web Phone Icon
    0300 500 5000
    A free, confidential helpline and website providing information to help people manage money better. The service was set up by the government and replaces Money Made Clear.

    Moneybasics UK

    http://www.moneybasics.co.uk/en/index.html
    Web
    Moneybasics is produced by a group of organisations (CCCS, Credit Action and GE Money) to provide free, independent advice on money management. Advice is provided online.

    National Debtline

    http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/england_wales/index.php
    Web Email Icon Phone Icon
    0808 808 4000
    National Debtline provide lots of information on dealing with debt including factsheets explaining different options and sample letters which you can use if you are writing to your creditors. They also offer advice over the phone and via email.

    Payplan

    http://www.payplan.com/
    Web Email Icon Phone Icon
    0800 280 2816
    Payplan provide free debt advice and can advise you on the options available to deal with your debts. They also provide budgeting and money management advice. They can offer help over the phone or via email.

    Tameside Debt Advice Service

    http://www.tameside.gov.uk/benefits/moneyadvice
    Web Phone Icon Face
    0800 328 0008
    Tameside council’s debt advice service allows you to request help online, over the phone or by text message (if you have would like advice on mortgage arrears you can text ‘mortgage help’ and your name to 07980 993 678). They also run a debt advice surgery twice a month if you would prefer face-to-face advice.

    Counselling-Directory

    www.counselling-directory.org.uk/debt.html

  • Advice Now

    http://www.advicenow.org.uk/
    Web
    Provides advice on a wide range of subjects, including financial matters and benefits. 

    Citizens Advice Bureau

    http://www.tamesidecab.org.uk/
    Web Phone Icon Face
    0161 330 2156
    Citizen’s Advice provide information and guidance on a range of issues from money and debt to housing and legal advice. They can be contacted over the phone, by dropping in to a General Advice session, or by arranging an appointment. They also have a website which offers further information and advice at http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/

    DirectGov

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm
    Web
    This website has information on a variety of public services. It’s really useful if you want advice on benefits or help finding a local service, as well as allowing you to do many other things such as apply for a passport or tax your car. Advice is provided online.

    Tameside Welfare Rights Service

    http://www.tameside.gov.uk/benefits/welfarerights
    Web Phone Icon Face
    0800 074 9985
    Tameside Welfare Rights service can provide advice over the phone, online or through a Customer Service centre. If you need long term support they may be able you allocate a caseworker to help you. They can also ensure women are seen by a female officer if they prefer, and arrange home visits for those who are ill or disabled.

    Turn2us

    http://www.turn2us.org.uk/
    Web
    Turn2us is a site which can help you find money which may be available to you, either in the form of grants or benefits. Advice is provided online, the site asks you to fill in some details about yourself and your situation and then searches for benefits and grants which you may be entitled to in order to help boost your income.

  • The Insolvency Service

    http://www.insolvency.gov.uk/
    Web Phone Icon
    0845 602 9848 (for queries about bankruptcy), 0845 145 0004 (for queries about redundancy payments)
    The Insolvency Service provides general advice on bankruptcy and administers the affairs of people and businesses that become bankrupt. They provide information online and can also be contacted by phone.

    Piggy Bankrupt

    http://www.piggybankrupt.co.uk/
    Web Email Icon Phone Icon
    0845 6434 470 (local rate number)
    Information and support for those who are bankrupt or considering bankruptcy. Guidance is provided online and there is a helpline number for further advice. 

  • Citizens Advice Bureau

    http://www.tamesidecab.org.uk/
    Phone Icon Face Web
    0161 330 2156
    Citizen’s Advice provide information and guidance on a range of issues from money and debt to housing and legal advice. They can be contacted over the phone, by dropping in to a General Advice session, or by arranging an appointment. They also have a website which offers further information and advice at http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/

    Tameside Housing Advice

    http://www.tamesidehousingadvice.org/
    Email Icon Phone Icon Face
    0161 331 2700
    Tameside Housing Advice offer advice on both social and private housing, as well as what to do if you are homeless or worried about homelessness. They can be contacted over the phone, by email or face-to-face by calling into their office in Ashton.

    Shelter Housing Advice Line

    http://www.shelter.org.uk/
    Web Phone Icon Face
    0808 800 4444 (For urgent advice)/0344 515 1640 (Greater Manchester Office)
    Shelter provides advice about housing and homelessness on their website, over the phone (including a Typetalk service) or in person if you wish to arrange an appointment. They have offices all over the UK, the nearest to Tameside being the Greater Manchester office.

  • Law Centres

    http://www.lawcentres.org.uk/directory/location/North-West/
    Face
    Law centres are not-for-profit organisations providing free legal advice to disadvantaged people. Staffed by solicitors and barristers who specialise in areas of civil law including employment, housing, discrimination, welfare benefits, education and immigration, they assist vulnerable people when they suffer injustice, educate people about their rights and tackle local problems.

    Community Legal Advice

    http://www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk/
    Web Phone Icon Face
    0845 345 4345
    Community Legal Advice (CLA) provides free and independent legal advice on a range of issues. They can also advise on legal aid and whether you may be eligible to receive this. (For more about legal aid, see our Legal Advice section.) You can get information and advice online or over the phone (including translation and call back services). The website can also help you find a legal adviser in your area.

  • Citizens Advice Bureau

    http://www.tamesidecab.org.uk/
    Web Phone Icon Face
    0161 330 2156
    Citizen’s Advice provide information and guidance on a range of issues from money and debt to housing and legal advice. They can be contacted over the phone, by dropping in to a General Advice session, or by arranging an appointment. They also have a website which offers further information and advice at http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/

    Consumer Direct

    http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/
    Web Email Icon Phone Icon
    0845 404 0506 (0845 128 1384 for minicom users)
    Consumer Direct is a government funded service providing information and advice on all consumer rights issues. They provide information online and can also be contacted by phone or email if you need further help.

    Consumer Focus

    http://www.consumerfocus.org.uk/
    Consumer Focus acts as a ‘consumer champion’ across the UK. They run campaigns and investigate serious consumer complaints. They also provide online advice on several areas which may be of interest to consumers, such as energy.

    The Electrical Safety Council

    http://109.75.163.57/public/guides-and-advice/safe-shoppers-guide//
    Web Phone Icon
    0870 040 0561
    Provides a guide to safety when buying electrical goods online. This can be useful if you are thinking of purchasing second hand goods through an internet site. Although this can be a good way to find some bargains, you may be concerned about possible safety implications. Advice is provided online and they also have a helpline number.

    Trading Standards

    http://www.tameside.gov.uk/ehealth/new/aboutus.htm
    Email Icon Face Phone Icon Web
    0161 342 8355
    Trading Standards work to safeguard business and consumer interests. They provide information on their website and can also be contacted by phone.

  • Money Saving Expert

    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/
    Web Email Icon
    This website offers up-to-date information on the best deals around, from financial products such as savings accounts to clothes and perfumes. If you sign up to their mailing list they’ll send you weekly updates on the latest bargains.

    Money Supermarket

    http://www.moneysupermarket.com/
    Web
    This is a comparison website which can help you find the best deals on a range of things from shopping to gas and electricity. For more information on money saving and comparison sites, check out our Increase Your Income section.

    My Supermarket

    http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/
    Web
    This site allows you to select your supermarket and items you usually buy, and will then search for similar products which may be better value. It currently only covers a limited range of supermarkets, however does include Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Ocado.

    Student Beans

    www.studentbeans.com/
    Web
    This website offers discount vouchers and codes for students. Vouchers are usually available directly from the site or emailed to you. You may need to print these out yourself.

  • Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL)

    http://www.abcul.org/home
    Web
    ABCUL is the trade association representing credit unions in the UK. They provide advice and training to credit union members and information for the public about credit unions throughout the UK.

    Cash Box Credit Union

    http://www.cashbox.org.uk/
    Web Phone Icon Face
    0161 343 7621
    Cash Box is a credit union in Tameside, providing affordable loans and savings for Tameside residents. They have also recently set up a White Goods Scheme – for more information give them a call, go to their website or take a look at our section on Credit Unions and CDFIs.

    Illegal Money Lending Project

    http://stoploansharks.direct.gov.uk/index.html
    Web Phone Icon
    0300 555 2222 (or text ‘loan shark’ and your message to 60003)
    Help for victims of illegal money lender. You can report a loan shark either online, over the phone or by text. The information you give is completely anonymous and the helpline is open 24 hours a day.

    Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

    http://www.fscs.org.uk/
    Web Phone Icon
    0800 678 1100
    The FSCS is the last resort for customers of financial services firms where the firm is unable, or likely to be unable, to pay the claims against it. If you have money in a bank, building society or other organisation which is protected by the FSA, you may be covered. The FSCS can be contacted by phone and also provides answers to some commonly asked questions on its website.

    The Financial Ombudsman Service

    http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/
    Web Email Icon Phone Icon
    0300 123 9123
    The Financial Ombudsman Service can help sort out disputes between consumers and financial organisations such as banks. If you have a problem with a financial service, you should first of all complain to the company who sold you the product. If you are not happy with their response, you can take the case to the ombudsman, who will make a decision. If you are still unhappy, you then have the option to take the case to court. The Financial Ombudsman Service can be contacted by phone and they provide information and complaint forms online. If you wish to make a complaint you will need to fill in a complaint form and post it to them.

  • obcentre Plus

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/…/LookingForWork/DG_10030134
    Email Icon Face Phone Icon Web
    (To find the phone number for your local office see http://los.direct.gov.uk/default.aspx?type=1&lang=en)
    Jobcentre Plus has offices all over the country where you can meet with advisers and search for work. They also offer an online job search service which allows you to search for a particular type of work in your local area.

    Next Step

    https://nextstep.direct.gov.uk/Pages/Home.aspx
    Web Phone Icon Face
    0800 100 900/0800 056 8865 (Mincom)/18001 0800 100 900 (TextTalk)
    Next Step provides free and impartial advice to adults about learning and job opportunities. They provide information online, over the phone or can arrange for you to have a face-to-face appointment with an adviser if you prefer. They also have several bi-lingual advisers available, who can give advice in the caller’s own language:

    Farsi – 0800 093 1116 : 9am – 5pm Mon – Fri
    French – 0800 093 1115 : 9am – 5pm Mon – Fri
    Gujarati – 0800 093 1119 : 9am – 5pm Mon – Fri
    Polish – 0800 093 1114 : 9am – 5pm Mon – Fri
    Punjabi – 0800 093 1333 : 9am – 8pm Mon – Fri
    Somali – 0800 093 1555 : 9am – 5pm Mon – Fri
    Sylheti – 0800 093 1444 : 9am – 5pm Mon – Fri
    Urdu – 0800 093 1118 : 9am – 8pm Mon – Fri

    Tameside Advertiser

    http://menmedia.co.uk/tamesideadvertiser/jobs/
    Web
    Local jobs are advertised in the paper and online. You can search by job type or by postcode.

  • Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)

    http://www.cpag.org.uk/
    Web
    Provides information and publishes policy relating to low income families. They also run courses on welfare benefits for advisers, but unfortunately do not provide advice directly to the general public.

    Connexions

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/YoungPeople/index.htm
    Web Phone Icon Email Icon
    0808 001 3219
    The Connexions service has now become part of DirectGov. Information is provided across a wide range of topics likely to affect young people; including work, money management and housing. You can contact a Connexions Direct adviser for help over the phone, through webchat, by text, by email or in a number of other ways – go to https://www2.cxdirect.com/home.htm for more information. 

    Off the Record

    http://www.offtherecord.demon.co.uk/
    Email Icon
    0161 355 3553 
    Off the Record provides a free, confidential counselling service to young people (aged 13-28) in Tameside, Glossop and surrounding areas. Appointments are with a fully trained counsellor.

  • Business Debtline

    http://www.bdl.org.uk/englandandwales.asp
    Web Phone Icon
    0800 197 6026
    This site provides information and advice for small businesses which are experiencing cashflow or debt problems. You can get help online or over the phone.

    Department for Business Innovation and Skills

    http://www.bis.gov.uk/
    Email Icon Phone Icon
    020 7215 5000 or 020 7215 6740 (Minicom)
    This Government Department provides information for businesses. They offer advice online and can also be contacted by phone.

    TaxAid

    http://taxaid.org.uk/
    Web Phone Icon Face Email Icon
    0345 120 3779 (between 10am and 12 midday, Monday to Friday)
    TaxAid are a UK charity providing advice on tax issues to those on a low income who cannot afford to pay an adviser for help. They run a website, a national helpline and have an office in Manchester for face-to-face advice. They can also give advice via email. When you call them they will ask for details about your income to check you qualify for their help, so ensure you have these to hand.