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Stage 1: More money in your pocket

Advice on how to get more money and make paying bills easier.

Could I get more money?

What help can I get to find work?

To get help finding work, see the Newham Workplace website, and search online for jobs through the Universal Jobmatch tool.

Could I get benefits if I am working?

Could I rent out a room?

Check that your landlord or mortgage lender agrees. Under the Rent a Room Scheme, if the rent is below a set limit, you do not pay tax on it and it does not affect any tax credits you get.
Get information on the Rent a Room Scheme

Could another adult in my home pay towards expenses?

If a non-dependant (adult son or daughter, relative or friend) lives with you, they should pay you for their share of household expenses, even if their only income is benefits. If you are getting Housing Benefit or Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), check how much is being taken off payments because a non-dependant lives with you.

Could I get child maintenance?

If a child lives with you, you may be able to get maintenance from either of their parents who live elsewhere. You could make an arrangement between yourselves or, if you think this might not work, you can ask the Child Support Agency to help.
Get information on child maintenance options

Could I reduce how much is taken off my benefit/tax credit for an overpayment?


Could I get a refund on the cost of Payment Protection Insurance?

If you took out Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) with a loan either:
  • not realising that you were taking out a policy you did not actually want 
  • without the policy’s being properly described to you, so you did not understand how it worked
you may be able to get a refund of at least some of the cost. But bear in mind this could affect whether you could claim on the insurance.
Get further information on what to do if you think you were mis-sold PPI 

Could I make paying bills easier?

Could I reduce mortgage payments?

It is important to pay your full mortgage instalments if you possibly can, but contact your lender if you cannot. Depending on your payment history, how long your difficulties are likely to last and how much equity your home has, your lender may be able to suggest a way to help you through a difficult period.
If you have lost your job or are sick and can claim on mortgage protection insurance, do so within the time limit. If the insurer will not pay, look at the Financial Ombudsman Service web site to see whether you might want to complain.
Get information from the Financial Ombudsman Service on mortgage protection insurance 

Could I get Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)?

If you are a home owner and get certain income-based benefits you may qualify for help towards your mortgage interest payments. This is known as Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). The interest is at a set rate, not the rate your lender charges and payments can be reduced for various reasons. Any SMI you get is unlikely to cover your full mortgage instalments. Depending on which benefit you are getting, any SMI payments may not start for some time after you claim and may not last longer than two years.
Get more information on Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)

Could I get Housing Benefit?

You may be able to get Housing Benefit if you rent and: your income (and your partner's income) is low. This applies whether or not either of you is working.
Get more information on Housing Benefit

Could I get a Council Tax discount?

You may be able to get a discount if:
  • you are the only person in your household aged 18 or over
  • your home has a facility that is important to a disabled person (yourself or someone living with you)
  • you are over State Pension age (whatever your income) and any other person in your household aged 18 or over has a low income
Get more information on Council Tax discounts 

Could I claim Council Tax Reduction?

You may be able to get Council Tax Reduction if your income and your partner’s income is low. This applies whether or not either of you is working.
Get more information on Council Tax Reduction

Could I spread paying Council Tax?

If you pay the yearly bill over 10 months, you can ask to pay over 12 months and pay less each month.
Get more information on paying Council Tax

Could I reduce fuel bills?

You may be able to get a better deal by switching supplier.
Get information on how you may be able to reduce your fuel bills or call the Home Heat He​lpline on 0800 33 66 99 (minicom 0800 027 2122)  

Could I spread paying fuel bills?

Check your bill to see how you may be able to pay by Direct Debit or standing order. Most suppliers give a discount for paying monthly by Direct Debit.

Could I spread paying for a TV licence?

You can pay monthly by Direct Debit or weekly or monthly by TV licensing payment card.

Could I get water bills reduced?

You may be able to get your bills reduced if your water is metered, you get tax credit or an income-based benefit and either:
  • you have at least three children under 19 living with you or
  • someone needs extra water for a medical condition.
Get more information on this WaterSure scheme 

Could I spread paying water bills?

You can pay by Direct Debit or by cash instalments at Paypoint venues.
Get more information on spreading your water bill payments
To go to the next stage, visit the Stage 2: Am I liable to pay the debts? page
If you are sorting out debt problems, start at the beginning of this guidance, otherwise you may miss valuable information.

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