Get free financial advice

Catalyst HG March 27th039Times are tough for a lot of people at the moment. Coupled with the new benefit changes the future could be bleak for some residents.

Catalyst works with many agencies to give you impartial, independent financial advice. We caught up with Pauline Mondesir, who works for Brent Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in our Ealing office, to find out the types of things these agencies can help you with.

CAB can give you advice on debt and how to manage your budget. It can also help with benefit claims including supporting you to make backdated claims and appealing against decisions. Pauline says: ‘By informing people about their rights and legal position we’re empowering them to make the right choice for them.’

One of the most common issues Pauline finds is people not being clear between priority and non-priority debts. If people have many debts they need to pay their priority ones first. These are debts where you could lose your home, face court action or have your utilities (gas or electricity)cut off.

People who don’t know the difference between the two get  very frightened when they’re  bombarded by debt collection agents demanding money. They feel pressured into paying non-priority debts (like short term or Pay Day loans, or credit or store cards) leaving them with no money for essentials like food.

By getting the right advice through organisations like CAB you don’t have to make a choice between buying food or paying your essential bills. CAB can help you negotiate with creditors, prioritise your debts and manage your budget so you make the right choice for you and your family.

If you’re having money problems please contact us straightaway. We can put you in contact with agencies who will give you free independent money advice.These include the Citizens Advice Bureau in Brent, Ealing and Reading, the Agnes Smith Centre in Oxford and Staying First in Kensington.

If you live in London call 0300 456 2099, if you live outside of London call 0300 456 2090.