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Home Advice and information Money Video - How to get financial help in an emergency
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How to get financial help in an emergency

Payday loans aren’t the only option if you need money urgently. You might be able to get a budgeting loan, hardship payment, short term benefit advance, or even a grant.

Find out about all these options, plus links to debt advice and money saving tips from Gingerbread members below.

Get help in an emergency

In a crisis it may be tempting to take out a short term loan, but you can end up paying back double what you borrowed. There are other places you can turn for help:

Local welfare assistance scheme  
Short term benefit advance 
Hardship payments (if you have received a sanction) 
Food banks (three days’ emergency food) 

Get help with rent

If you already receive housing benefit but you’re still struggling to pay or facing rent arrears, you can apply for a discretionary housing payment. You will need to contact your local council.

Get help paying utility bills

If you need help paying your utility bills you can contact:

Turn2Us, for help finding a grant  
• The Home Heat Helpline, for help finding a grant and saving energy.

Get help with one-off costs

If you need help to cover longer term costs such as a new fridge, furniture, removal costs or clothing, you may be able to apply for a budgeting loan.
Budgeting loans are interest-free so you only pay back what you borrow. You can apply for a budgeting loan if you’ve been receiving income-related benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support for at least 26 weeks.

You can also contact Turn2Us to see if there are any grants available to help you cover costs.

Debt management, budgeting and money saving tips

If you are struggling with debt, take a look at our factsheets:

Plus, see our members’ top money saving tips

Join Gingerbread

Remember you’re not alone. Join Gingerbread for free and talk to other single parents in our online forum or at your local Gingerbread group.

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