Managing your money
Whatever your financial situation, our Money Matters Team will work with you to give you all the support and advice you need.
Get help and support
Our Money Matters Team offers a free service to help you make the most of your money. The service is available to all customers and you do not have to be in debt to use it.
We can arrange a confidential, face-to-face chat.
To contact our Money Matters Team, you can:
Calls will cost the same as a call to a landline number and will be included as part of any inclusive minutes on your mobile phone package.
Our Money Matters Team can help you claim benefits you are entitled to, like Housing Benefit, Universal Credit and Pension Credit. You can use a benefit calculator to find out what benefits you could get.
Universal Credit is money to help with your living costs and housing costs. It is paid once a month and it is for people who are:
- on a low income
- out of work
- cannot work
Our Money Matters Team can help you apply for Universal Credit.
If you get Universal Credit, the team will also make sure you get the full amount you are entitled to.
Pension Credit is money to help with your living costs and housing costs. It is for people who have a low income and are at or over their State Pension age. This is the earliest age you can receive your State Pension. Check your State Pension age.
Pension Credit may also help you get other benefits like Housing Benefit, Council Tax discount and help with heating costs.
Our Money Matters Team can help you apply for Pension Credit.
Discretionary Housing Payment
Sunderland City Council provide a Discretionary Housing Payment to help with rent or housing costs. You can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment if you already get Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit.
Council Tax Support
Sunderland City Council also provide Council Tax Support to help with Council Tax costs.
Gentoo Crisis Fund
Our Crisis Fund can offer one-off payments that you do not have to pay back to help support customers in emergency situations.
The money can help pay for:
- energy, like gas and electric bills or prepayment meter top ups
- essential travel, like a bus pass to get to work
Cheaper broadband and telephone packages
If you or someone in your household gets certain benefits, you may be eligible for a social tariff that costs less.
About 30,000 homes in Sunderland can get cheaper broadband and could save an average of £200 a year. But the Digital Poverty Alliance reported that only 3.9% of homes apply for and get these packages.
Universal Credit is an eligible benefit with all providers that offer social tariffs. Other benefits that may be eligible include:
- Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Jobseekers’ Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Personal Independence Payment
Budgeting your money
As the cost of living increases, it is important to keep track of your money.
MoneyHelper was set up by the government to give clear advice that can help you make informed choices about your money. They have many free and useful guides, tools and planners, including an easy-to-use budget planner.
There are things you can do to reduce your debt. We recommend you to:
- start dealing with your debt rather than ignore it
- find all your debts and rank them by priority
- contact your creditors and let them know your situation
We can work with you to arrange a repayment plan.
Other help and support
If you are in financial hardship or need advice to help you work out your debts and how you might pay them, contact a debt advisor. You can get free, impartial and non-judgemental advice from:
Discount on your water bill
If you are struggling to pay your water bill, apply to Northumbrian Water for a discount on your water bill. They have a discount scheme that can reduce your bill by one-half.
If you need help to apply, our Money Matters Team can help you.
Energy costs, energy bills and fuel debt
We can offer energy advice that can help you reduce your energy costs and recover from fuel debt.