Are you thinking of borrowing money? Borrow responsibly to make sure you don’t get bitten by a loan shark.
A loan shark is an unlicensed lender who will usually charge extortionate interest rates, won’t issue paperwork and will take your valuables (for example credit cards, driving licences) as ‘valuables. They can also be violent and intimidating to make you pay back the money.
The Money Advice Service have lots of information on loan sharks including how to spot a loan shark, why they are bad and alternatives to loan sharks and checking that the lender is legitimate.
There is also a 24hr Loan Shark Reporting Hotline:
0300 123 33 11
Anyone can phone, strict confidence, you don’t have to give your name, safety of victims a priority.
Let’s Talk Money
This week is Financial Capabilities Week, the aim of which is to get us all talking about money!
Times are getting tougher and money is getting tighter – it can feel overwhelming, but there is help and advice out there.
We can help you
Whether it’s budgeting, benefits or bad debt – we can help.
From our RISE project, to our income maximisation officers and supported services team – we can help whatever level of help you need.
Get in touch on 0800 085 7843 and we can find out the best way to help.
Other help and advice
We understand if people don’t want to come to talk to us about money and debt. Here’s a list of some of the organisations in Merthyr town centre that can help.
They offer advice on money, benefits, housing or employment problems – all free of charge.
Where: Post Office Lane (Just off Glebland Street)
T: 01685 382188
They offer convenient, easy, flexible savings and low cost affordable loans. Merthyr Tydfil Credit Union are one of the businesses on our membership benefits package – if you are a member of MVH, show them your membership card when you sign up and you won’t have to pay a joining fee.
Where: 139 High Street
T: 01685 377888
They offer affordable loans and free money advice
Where: Picton House, Swan Street
T: 0345 6431553
Online help and advice
There are lots of websites that provide money advice. Here are some that you might find useful:
This website is full of helpful advice, tools and calculators to help
Free impartial money advice, debt & borrowing, budgets and savings.
This is a debt charity that gives free debt and money advice.
Reducing your utility bills
There are a few different schemes out there to help you with your utility bills over the winter months.
Warm Home Discount
This is a payment of £140 towards electricity bills of households that need it. If you are on a payment meter payment can be credited to your electricity account or £140 on your electricity key.
This one off payment is available from September to March.
There is a criteria for eligibility. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme or contact your provider.
HelpU – Welsh Water
If your household income is less than £15,000 per year, you may be eligible to receive support from Welsh Water’s HelpU tarrif.
There is a criteria for eligibility. Visit Welsh Water website to find out more or to apply.
While you’re on the website have a look at other schemes Welsh Water have:
- Water Sure Wales
- Water Direct Application
- Customer Assistance fund
Don’t forget, you can look at other gas and electricity providers to see if you can reduce your fuel bills.
These are just some of the comparison websites available:
Saving Money or boosting your income
Looking at all the deals and information can be overwhelming. If you need any help come and speak to our Income Maximisation Officers – they can work closely with you to see if and where savings can be made or if you can access extra income.
If you don’t want to speak to one of us, we totally understand. There is a huge amount of help out there – these are just a few websites you can visit for some practical help and guidance.
Have you just moved into your home? Struggling to furnish it? Have you heard of Furniture Revivial?
It’s a furniture and reuse centre in Rhymney – they take second hand furniture and electricals and if needed, clean it up or upcycle it.
They are open 5 days a week but have an online store. Anyone is able to purchase these items but if you are on a low income then there is a discount.
They can deliver items but there is a charge for this.
Find out more on their website and have a look what they’ve got available.