I need help with my finances

It can be very stressful when you have money problems. You might feel overwhelmed and like you can’t face what’s going on. But it’s really important not to ignore debt as there will be a way to figure out what you can do next.

On this page, you’ll find guidance on what help is available, plus support with everything from how to budget to setting up a bank account when you don’t have an address.  

Skip to the right section

How do I budget?
How do I pay off debt?
How do I deal with bailiffs?
How do I check my consumer rights?
What other financial help is available to me?
How do I set up a bank account without a fixed address?
What financial support might help me if I’m facing homelessness? 
How do I get help with energy bills?
I am in Centrepoint accommodation. Is any other financial support available to me? 

How to budget  

Do you know how much money you have? Or how much you can afford to spend? It’s extremely important to keep on top of your money. And it’s straightforward to learn how to budget.

Work out what money you have coming in and going out 

The first step to making a budget is to work out what money you have coming in (income) and what money you have going out (outgoings) – and when.  

You can use a budget planning tool, like this one from Debt Advice Foundation. This will help you to understand where your money goes and shows what you have each month/week to spend or save.  

If you’re doing a weekly budget, you will need to work out the weekly cost of bills which come in every one or three months. 

Being able to budget helps you to stay in control of your money. If you don’t, it’s easy to get yourself into debt. 

Decide what you need to spend money on 

Look carefully at everything you spend money on and decide which of them are 'needs' and which are 'wants'. 

Start by listing your needs. These are priority bills like your rent. Other household bills, like gas and electricity, are also essential needs. 

Once the basics are taken care of, look at your wants. These might be extras, such as going out and hobbies, or longer-term goals such as paying off your debts. 

This will help you to make sure you are not spending more money than you have.  

Get help 


Contact the Centrepoint Helpline and we can connect you with services local to you that might be able to help with budgeting. 


Find out more about making a budget through the debt advice charity StepChange.
Call: 0800 138 1111
Visit the StepChange website

Paying off debt 

Rent is a priority debt 

The most common forms of debt for young people are unpaid rent, mobile phone bills, and credit and store cards. It's important to know that your rent is a priority debt. Not paying it could mean that you are evicted.  

Use this tool to work out which bills to pay off first

Talk about your debt 

The key to handling debt, no matter what the size, is talking to people. That may be your landlord, a company that you owe money to, or charities and support groups that can offer you help.  

The earlier you talk, the quicker and easier it will be to put a plan in place that may help. It can be tempting to pretend that debt doesn’t exist, but the longer you put off looking for help, the more that debt can grow and the harder it will be to sort things out.   

Plan your way out of debt  

The first step to getting out of debt is to create a budget. This will help you to see if there are things you are paying for that you don’t need, or if there are bills that could be reduced. Some of the organisations listed below can help you to do this.  

Dealing with bailiffs 

A bailiff may visit your home if you don’t pay your debts. They must give you at least seven days’ notice of their first visit. You can stop them coming by paying the debt. 

If they do come to your home, you don’t have to let them in. If you do let them in and don’t pay what you owe, they may take some of your belongings.  

Check your consumer rights 

You may not realise it but when you take out credit, a mobile phone contract or gym membership, you’re entering into a contract. This is a legally binding agreement between two people.  

The law says that you must be at least 18 years old to enter a contract. If you’re not, the contract may not be valid. Sometimes you might be chased to pay for something that you don’t legally need to pay.

You can’t normally leave a valid contract early, like a mobile phone one. But if you’re finding it hard to pay, you may be able to negotiate a payment plan. 

Ofcom offers advice on things like cancelling your mobile phone contract early. Or visit our legal page for more on understanding your consumer rights. 

Get help 


Contact the Centrepoint Helpline and we can connect you with services local to you that might be able to help with debt. 

Citizens Advice 

Visit the Citizens Advice 'Help with Debt' information page, to find out about everything from dealing with rent arrears to managing council tax debt. You can use their template letters to write to the people you owe money to. 

Or contact your local Citizens Advice

Debt Advice Foundation 

You can use this charity’s Personal Debt Analyser tool online to assess your debt.  You can also call them for free debt advice. 

Call: 0800 043 40 50, Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm. 
Visit the Debt Advice Foundation website

Money Helper 

Learn about how to pay back your debts in the right order and the different ways you can do it. 
Visit the Money Helper website

National Debtline 

Use this debt advice tool from the National Debt Helpline. You can also call them. 

Call: 0808 808 4000, Monday to Friday 9am-8pm and on Saturdays 9.30am-1pm. 
Visit the National Debtline website


This charity offers free online debt advice. They also run a helpline. Call 0800 280 2816, Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 3pm.   

Visit the PayPlan website


This charity offers advice on debt when you use their debt advice tool. You can also call the StepChange advice line.

Call: 0800 138 1111
Visit the StepChange website


Use this online comparison and switching service to compare prices on products, like mobile phones, and services, such as electricity bills. 
Visit the Uswitch website

Vulnerability Registration Service  

Sign up to the Vulnerability Registration Service so that you don’t have to keep repeating yourself when you speak to people you owe money to, like utility companies. The register shares information about you with different companies.  

Setting up a bank account when you don’t have a fixed address  

You can still open an account with some banks when you don’t have a fixed address. You will need a bank account so that you can apply for benefits, get your wages paid into it if you get a job and pay rent.  

You will probably get a basic bank account. With this, you get a debit card and can set up direct debits but you can’t apply for an overdraft. 


If you are homeless or facing homelessness, it’s best to make a homeless application with your local council. The council may have an agreement with ProxyAddress which can provide you with an address you can use to get a bank account. Ask your housing officer about this. 

Alternative identification  

A bank might accept other forms of identification instead of proof of a fixed address. This can include: 

  • an occupancy agreement for a hostel room  
  • a letter from a support worker or domestic violence advocate  
  • a friend or family member's address 
  • a letter from a local charity that is supporting you 

HSBC UK no fixed address bank accounts 

If you are receiving support from a charity, they may be able to refer you to the bank HSBC UK to set up one of their no fixed address bank accounts. We have this arrangement with the bank for young people that we support. 

You need a referral to be able to open this bank account. If you’re being supported by a charity, ask them if they are signed up to the scheme. Here’s a list of the bank’s current charity partners. 

Find out more about the HSBC no fixed address bank account

Accounts with Lloyds Banking Group  

Lloyds Banking Group includes Lloyds, Halifax and the Bank of Scotland. They offer bank accounts to people who don’t have proof of an address. 

If you’re being supported by a charity, ask them to refer you to your local Lloyds Banking Group bank. 

Get help 

Read information from Citizens Advice about opening a bank account. You can also contact your local Citizens Advice for support with this. 

Be cautious of easy offers to make money 

Be wary of any offers you get from people to pay money into your bank account and give it back to them at a later date, keeping a bit yourself. You might get approached to do this on social media like Instagram, X/Twitter or WhatsApp. This is called being a ‘money mule’ and you could get a criminal record for it. 

What financial support might help me if I’m facing homelessness? 


Check that you are getting all of the benefits that you are entitled to. You can use a benefits calculator like this and check our web page about benefits for more information. 

Help with energy bills 

If you can’t afford to pay your energy bills (that means gas or electricity), talk to the supplier. Ask if they can delay your bill, remove late payment charges or allow you to pay over a longer period. 

You could also benefit from grants and funding to help pay energy bills, like a warm home discount scheme of cheaper tariffs for people on low incomes. 

Cheaper broadband and phone deals 

If you’re claiming benefits, like Universal Credit, you may be able to get a cheaper deal on your broadband and landline phone. This is called a ‘social tariff’.  

First, check if your broadband provider offers a social tariff, If they don’t, you can switch to one that does. Call your provider and ask to switch. 

Paying less council tax 

If you’re on a low income or benefits, you might be able to pay less council tax. This is because you could be entitled to ‘council tax reduction’. You can also pay less if you live on your own or you or someone you live with is disabled. 

Find out if you could pay less council tax

I am in Centrepoint accommodation. Is any other financial support available to me? 

Yes, there is additional financial support available for young people who live in Centrepoint accommodation. 


Our Moneywise programme is to help you learn to manage your finances.  

Who is Moneywise for? 

You should be able to get help from Moneywise if: 

  • you’re living in Centrepoint accommodation  
  • you left Centrepoint accommodation in the last six months 
  • you’re being supported by a local homeless organisation who partners with Centrepoint and has referred you to the programme 

Ask your key worker to refer you to Moneywise or search for the programme name on our online portal. 

What does Moneywise involve? 

It offers online or face to face one-to-one support, group online workshops and virtual mentoring with financial experts on topics including: 

  • how to manage your money 
  • creating a budget 
  • understanding priority and non-priority bills 
  • saving 
  • opening a bank account 

What are the benefits of Moneywise? 

The aim is to help you manage your finances so that you’re in a good place when you live independently. You can expect to: 

Receive expert advice from financial organisations who support the programme 

Improve your money management skills, including saving money and sticking to a budget.  

“I did a budgeting class where you learn to read meters so you know how much you’re paying for electricity. I did them one to one with me and my partner. They were very accommodating about anxiety, that was really good. I didn’t want to be in a big class so they changed it, so I could do it.” Young person

Bursaries for education or training 

A bursary is a fixed sum of money that covers a specific cost. And you don’t ever have to pay it back. It can help take the pressure off financially, so you can concentrate on your work or studies.

If you’re a Centrepoint resident, our bursaries could fund you while you’re in education or training.  

Find out more on our education and training page and make an application here.

“My key worker Rhys helped to explain which external bursaries I was entitled to, as well as the Centrepoint Bursary.” TJ, who secured a Centrepoint Bursary to do a football scouting qualification.
Read more of TJ’s story to discover how he is now working as a scout for a London football club.  

What other resources are there to help with my finances? 

These websites offer independent comparisons of the best rates for bills, loans, credit cards, insurance and bank accounts: 

A credit rating or score is given to anyone who wants to borrow money, apply for credit cards, loans, rental agreements and contract mobile phones. Your credit rating increases when you can pay these bills over time. It decreases if you miss payments. This can make it harder to get a contract phone, rent a property etc. 

These websites can help you check your credit rating: 

Download this useful list of sources of free, independent financial support and information from The Money Charity