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This month’s stories come from Susie and Ian, who share how finding benefits and grants helped them to get control of their debts.

Susie’s Story:

 “My problems started when my marriage broke down and I was left alone to cover the mortgage and bills and look after my children.

I work full-time hours but only during school terms, and my salary wasn’t enough to pay for everything we needed. My bills started bouncing and debts began to mount.

I tried to arrange for my mortgage and bill payments to be lowered, but experienced problems in proving that I was a single parent, as the money was coming from a joint account in my and my ex-husband’s name. I got to a point where my debt escalated in to the thousands, and with bailiffs at my door, I just didn’t know which way to go.

I spoke with another single mum at work who said I should look in to which welfare benefits might be available to me. I never thought I could be eligible as I work full-time for 39 weeks of the year, but decided to search online for advice. On finding Turn2us, I entered my details in to the Benefits Calculator and found that I was entitled to Working Tax Credit and Council Tax Support.

I felt a little bit of guilt and worry about claiming this help, so decided to call the Turn2us helpline for more advice. The adviser was sympathetic, running through everything with me and explaining the process clearly, which took away my initial fears about applying.

I now receive over £200 per week through these benefits which has made an immense different to my income. I am now gradually starting to pay off my debts which has been tremendous, and taken some of the worry away.
The information I received from Turn2us was extremely accurate, and I’m already recommending their services to others. I’m very grateful for the help I received.”

Ian’s Story:

 “I had been working and enjoying my job for a number of years when the recession hit the business, and sales started to plummet. My income was affected dramatically.

Money for rent, credit card bills and keeping my car on the road became impossible to find. Everything got on top of me and I found it hard to sleep.

I managed to take on a second job and started to cut back on food, but debts started to mount. I was at my wit’s end, I couldn’t see any way out.

I decided to get some help from a charity offering debt management advice. They also gave me the number for Turn2us so I gave them a call.

Turn2us took me through the Benefits Calculator and the Grants Search and I was fortunate to get help from both. I managed to apply for Working Tax Credit and successfully applied for a charity grant, receiving a one-off payment of £900 to help me towards my debts.

Money is still fairly tight and I’m taking each day as it comes, but I am much less worried about my finances. I am coping better and feel I am getting things under control.

I never knew I would be able to find support like this. Turn2us pointed me in the right direction and I really appreciate the help.”