Struggling to pay

Where to find help if you're struggling to pay

In an ideal world, we’d never have to worry about being able to pay our bills on time. Our circumstances wouldn’t change suddenly and nasty surprises, such as major repairs to our homes or cars, wouldn’t happen.

At East Northamptonshire Council, however, we realise life doesn’t always go to plan. If you’ve got money worries and are unable to pay your bills, one important thing to remember is you’re not alone.

We’ve joined with other useful organisations to provide information about where you can go for free help and financial advice and how to check you’re getting all the discounts and reductions you’re entitled to.

So take the first step and get in touch. After talking it through, you’ll have a better understanding of your current situation and will be able to find the best solution to get your finances back on track which will make you feel a whole lot better too.

David Oliver, Chief Executive | East Northamptonshire Council


Help from your council

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support is money to help you pay your rent and/or council tax. We can pay housing and Council Tax Support to people liable for rent and/or council tax and who are on a low income.

For further information and advice on whether you are eligible to claim or are likely to qualify for help please visit our website www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk

Alternatively you can call us on 01832 742097 or email benefits@east-northamptonshire.gov.uk

Council Tax / Business Rates

General advice on Council Tax; including disability relief, discounts, exemptions:

Call 01832 742007 or email rv@east-northamptonshire.gov.uk

If you are struggling to pay and you are already in arrears: Call 01832 742118 or email rv@east-northamptonshire.gov.uk

General advice on business rates,rate reliefs & exemptions:

Call 01832 742011 or email br@east-northamptonshire.gov.uk  

Customer Service Centres

For general information, application forms, checking application forms and copying original documents.

Mon–Fri 9am–4.30pm  East Northamptonshire Council, Cedar Drive, Thrapston NN14 4LZ. Appointments are not always necessary, but advisable call 01832 742330

Mon–Fri 9am–4.30pm Rushden Customer Service, Newton Road, Rushden NN10 0PT

Mon–Fri 10am–1pm Oundle Customer Service, Fletton House (Ground Floor), Glapthorn Road, Oundle PE8 4JA

Wed 10am-1pm Irthlingborough Library, High Street, Irthlingborough NN9 5PU

Tue 10am-Noon Raunds Library, High Street, Raunds NN9 6HT

Drop in arrears surgeries, no appointment necessary Are you concerned about your council tax? Do you have arrears?

Telephone or visit now; the sooner you contact us the sooner you can get help. In privacy we will workout a reasonable payment plan with you to help you pay your council tax arrears.

Rushden Centre 2pm-4.30pm Last Friday in every month.

Thrapston 9am-4.30pm Monday to Friday

Call 01832 742118 (arrears advice only)

Disabled Facilities Grants

This grant is designed to enable a disabled person to continue living independently in their home. A range of works and adaptations are available but only when recommended by the Community Occupational Therapist. For further details call 01832 742055.

Save money on energy bills by switching

One of the easiest and most effective steps households can make to cut their energy bills is to ditch their old tariff and switch to a new supplier.

The savings can be huge, particularly if you have never switched before, and you might be surprised by how simple the switching process can actually be.

For more information on switching call the Private Sector Housing team on 01832 742055

Struggling to pay your mortgage?

If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage due to redundancy or a cut in working hours, help is available within East Northamptonshire.

If you’ve fallen behind with your mortgage payments, you need to contact your lender as soon as possible to discuss the options available to you.

If this doesn’t help, then contact Homes Direct or the council. For free, impartial advice and support please contact one of the agencies below.

Key contacts:

Homes Direct 50 High Street South, Rushden, NN10 0QX - 0345 600 5050

Housing Services Officer - East Northamptonshire Council, Cedar Drive, Thrapston NN14 4LZ. 01832 742040

Community Law Service 32 High Street, Rushden, NN10 0PW. 01933 313020


Help from other organisations

Housing Advice

Homes Direct provides the housing advice service in East Northamptonshire giving advice and assistance on a wide range of housing related issues including: accessing the Housing Register, Choice Based Lettings, general housing advice, and advice and assistance to people who may be threatened with homelessness. To obtain housing advice, or make an appointment to see a Housing Options Officer please call on 0345 600 50 50.

Spire Homes | Income Recovery Team Manager

If you are a Spire Homes tenant, our Money Guidance Officer can help if you are having difficulty paying your rent or struggling with money problems. Getting help early on is the best way to take control.

When money is tight sometimes your finances are the last thing you want to face - but ignoring things can make it much worse in the long-term.

We offer a service that meets your needs and help you get on top of your money worries, rather than letting them getting on top of you.

What can we do for you?

Offer free confidential advice about your financial situation and your debts.

Help you to identify the most important debts you have and help you to deal with them.

Help you with details on basic bank accounts and low cost loans.

Offer advice about the benefits you can claim.

Please don’t struggle - we are here to help.

You can get help by: calling 0300 123 66 11 | or emailing steve.thomas@longhurst-group.org.uk

Rockingham Forest Housing

If you have a problem paying your rent you should contact your Housing Officer straight away to discuss the situation. It’s important to deal with the problem quickly before it becomes unmanageable.

Your Housing Officer will:

Make sure you are given basic money and benefits advice. If your circumstances are complicated they will refer you to another agency that can offer more specialist advice such as Community Law Service.

Agree a realistic and affordable repayment plan with you to clear any rent arrears based on your individual circumstances.

It is important you keep to any arrangement made to clear your rent arrears, and any other debt you have with RFHA. Please keep us informed of any changes in your circumstances that may affect your ability to make the agreed payments.

We take a firm but fair approach to dealing with rent arrears. We will give you help and assistance if you are facing genuine difficulties. However, you do need to be aware that if you have rent arrears and do not work with us to put the problem right you face the risk of losing your home.

If you are in a tenanted property please contact your landlord to find out what help they can offer you.

Anglian Water

Problems paying your water bill?

If making payments is a problem, call us as soon as possible on our helpline 0800 169 3630 and we’ll work with you to come up with a payment plan.

You can also check out our Code of Practice online at www.anglianwater.co.uk/customerinformation which includes a section dedicated to managing debts.


Advice, Welfare Fund Organisations

East Northants Community Services

Free help with your finances. Take control of your money with the help of East Northants Community Services.

We can show you how to budget, how to make the most of your income and how to plan ahead so that if your circumstances change, you’ll be better prepared.

Ask about our Money Management Courses in conjunction with Christians Against Poverty. (A simple 3 session finance review and help course) from different locations around the district.

We now host alcohol and drug support groups on Wednesdays from 10am at our Rushden site in conjunction with Bridge (Drug and alcohol support agency).

We also offer a "Celebrate Recovery" course for anyone struggling with lifes hurts, habits and hang ups. Course is a 12 step recovery programme, and begins on Friday mornings at 10am.

We run a range of housing and homeless support projects,Including Sanctuary Night Shelter Project and we can confidentially support anyone concerned with fears over homelessness, housing concerns, benefit issues or in need of practical help and support for these and other life challenging issues.

The Rushden Food Supply is a Food Bank run in conjunction with Northamptonshire County Council and part of the Northamptonshire Food Poverty Network. We can provide weekly food parcels for families and people in crisis, or facing benefit challenges.

Call into the drop in to one of our Food Bank Clinics on Tueday or Thurday Mornings from 10am.

At the No.1 Community services in Oundle we offer free money management and debt advice under the umbrella of CAP to all who need it. We have helped people to have a workable budget and to go for Debt Relief Orders. We also help others who have been losing their homes as a result of debt. We have trained money advice counsellors. We are available to see anyone on Wednesday or Thursday mornings.

There’s a choice of ways to get help:

Drop in to our community café based held every Monday & Friday morning from 9.30am – 12.30pm at the Full Gospel Church, 60 High Street South, Rushden.

Tel: 01933 353946 or email rushden.night.sheter@googlemail.com or rushdenfullgospel@tesco.net

For Support in Oundle and the northern part of our district call into the Oundle Baptist Community Support Service at 1 St Osyth’s Lane, Oundle, PE8 4BG.

Tel: 01832 770010 or email office@oundlebaptist.org.uk (general enquiries) or managerno.1@oundlebaptist.org.uk (Mrs Stephanie Bradley)

Anglian Water Assistance Fund

The Anglian Water Assistance Fund (AWAF) has been set up by Anglian Water Services Ltd to support customers in financial hardship.

The fund is administered by Charis Grants Ltd on behalf of Anglian Water. The Objectives of the Assistance Fund are:

  • To administer a programme of assistance aimed at reducing water and sewerage debt for customers experiencing poverty and hardship throughout the region.
  • To help people recover from the burden of debt and become financially more stable.
  • To make a positive long-term difference to an applicant’s financial situation.

How can the Fund help?

To be able to apply to the Fund, you must have your sole or main home within the Anglian Water region and be charged for water and or sewerage by Anglian Water.

How to apply for help

If you would like to apply for help you can download an application form from www.anglianwater.co.uk/awaf. Alternatively you can call us on 01733 421060 to request an application form.

You will also need to send us proof of the amount of income you have and where it comes from e.g. wages, benefits, etc.

Sending in your application

Once you have completed and signed your application, you should send the form and the necessary information about your income, medical condition, etc. to:

Anglian Water Assistance Fund PO Box 42 Peterborough PE3 8XH

Further information on Anglian Water Assistance Fund can be found at www.anglianwater.co.uk

Community Law Service

Community Law Service (formerly Welfare Rights Advice Service) offers free, independent and confidential specialist legal advice, casework and representation to residents in Northamptonshire in the areas of Debt, Housing, Immigration, Welfare Benefits and Employment Law.

Struggling to pay your bills?  We can help! – preparation of a budget, negotiation with lenders and representation in court if needed.

Don’t get evicted, get advice! Advice on mortgage and rent arrears, negotiation with lenders, representation in court, advising on disrepair

Unsure if you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to?

We can help! – benefits, challenges and appeals, help to understand wrong or refused decisions, some assistance to complete complex forms.

Telephone 01933 313020 or drop into The Advice Shop, 32 High Street, Rushden, NN10 0PW.

  • Debt Mon 10am-12 noon;
  • Housing Fri 9.30am-11.30am;
  • Benefits: Tue 12noon until 2pm. Thu 10am - 11am.

We can also help with Immigration / Nationality and Employment Law. Tel: (01604) 621038 for further information.

Appointments are available at The Advice Shop, 32 High Street, Rushden and home visits available where appropriate. On the day representation for housing repossession hearings available at Northampton, Kettering and Wellingborough County Courts.

32 High Street, Rushden, NN10 0PW

Email: enquiries@communitylawservice.org.uk

Visit: www.communitylawservice.org.uk

Call: (01933) 313020

Registered charity 1128718


Does your organisation offer a free service that could help East Northamptonshire residents struggling to pay their bills?

Would you like to advertise your service with us? Please contact Mike Jennings on 01832 742107 or email rv@east-northamptonshire.gov.uk

More information

  1. Council tax - struggling to pay
  2. Where to find help if you're struggling to pay (you are here)