Information on financial support and benefits available for kinship carers to help pay for the cost of caring for a child.
Managing debt as a kinship carer
Information and links to specialist support on how to manage debt and get financial help as a kinship carer.
Worrying about money can be stressful and have a negative impact on all parts of your life as a kinship carer. Thankfully, you can access a wide range of support with financial issues, including if you find yourself struggling to manage debt.
If you do have a debt problem, it’s important not to panic. But you shouldn’t ignore it either, as it won’t go away without action and there is lots of help available. You can start by calling our advice team who will give you confidential support without judgement. We can also help you find specialist debt support if you need it.
It’s important you don’t feel embarrassed about asking for help. That’s what we are here for and there are often lots of things you can do to make the situation better.
Why dealing with debt matters
Looking after children can be expensive and when costs get higher, it’s easy to find yourself in debt. If you are having debt problems, you are not alone. It’s a common topic that kinship carers often contact us for help with.
Dealing with the problem matters because if you don’t act, ‘priority debts’ such as rent, mortgage, utility bills or council tax could have serious consequences. ‘Credit debts’ such as personal bank loans, credit cards and overdrafts often increase if you cannot keep up payments, with interest and charges added to your outstanding balance.
There are different options for improving the situation. The right option for you will depend on your circumstances and what debts you have.
Get specialist support
While our advice team can give you some support and point you in the direction, you may want to get specialist help with debt.
Citizen’s Advice is a great place to start, as it has a wide range of information, including how to deal with debt, what to do if you are made redundant and issues around debt and housing.
You can use the Citizen Advice website or virtual chat service if you are just researching or prefer not to speak to someone yet. If you would like to speak to someone in person, there are local branches where you can make an appointment and get advice.
Debt helpline: 0800 240 4420 (9am–8pm Monday–Friday, Saturday 9.30am–1pm)
National Debtline is a debt advice service run by the Money Advice Trust, a trusted charity that also provides information online.
Phone: 0808 808 4000 (Monday–Friday 9am–8pm, Saturday 9.30am–1pm)
StepChange provides free help and debt advice, including an online Debt Remedy tool that can identify the best debt solution for your situation.
Phone: 0800 138 1111 (Monday–Friday 8am–8pm, Saturday 9am–2pm)
PayPlan offer free debt help and advice, including free Debt Management Plans that can help you improve your situation.
Phone: 0800 280 2816 (Monday to Friday 8am–8pm, Saturday 9am–3pm)