Where to get help with debts

There are lots of ways you can get help if you are worried about debt. It is important to get help as soon as possible and do not bury your head in the sand as it could make things worse.

If you are in debt and/or struggling with rent or mortgage arrears you may eligible for the Breathing Space scheme. This gives you time to get some specialist debt advice without the pressure of formal action being taken against you. To find out more about the scheme and how to apply, click here.

Help from Shelter Cymru

Shelter Cymru’s debt advice service may be able to help you with debt problems, including dealing with:

  • rent arrears
  • mortgage arrears
  • utility bill debts – gas, electricity and water
  • debt collection companies or creditors
  • hire purchase, credit card or loan arrears.

Other debt advice services

Debt advice services are also available from:

  • National Debtline on 0808 808 4000 (Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm and Saturday 9.30am to 1pm)
  • Step Change Debt Charity on 0800 138 1111 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 2pm). They also have an online debt advice session, which is a free, confidential debt counselling service that enables you to deal with debt problems online.
  • Debt Advice Foundation on 0800 043 4050 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm)
  • Civil Legal Advice (if you are eligible for legal aid) on 0345 345 4 345 (Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 12:30pm).

If you are a homeowner with mortgage arrears or facing repossession, get help immediately from Shelter Cymru.

How can an adviser help?

The best option for dealing with your debts will depend on your personal circumstances. A specialist debt adviser may be able to help you to:

  • apply for breathing space
  • manage your income and expenditure and work out your options
  • explain the steps you have to take to keep your debts to a minimum
  • produce a detailed summary of your finances to show that you have very little money available to repay the debt
  • organise and prioritise payments of any other debts you have.

Things to be careful of

Loans advertised on television or on the internet
Some adverts by private companies sound too good to be true… and they usually are! Avoid companies that offer an immediate, easy solution or target customers aggressively. Their loans usually involve very high interest rates.

You could be asked to secure these loans against your home, putting your home at risk if you can’t keep up the payments.

Read more from StepChange about problems with payday loans.

Selling your home and staying on as a renter
Get independent financial advice before arranging a private sale and rent back (where you sell your home and rent it back). These schemes are very risky, and you could end up losing your home.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an adviser
email us

Did you find this helpful?

This page was last updated on: June 19, 2023

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.