Money management, guidance and help with debt

Bolton's money skillsBolton's Money Skills Service helps local people take control of their finances and gain the knowledge and confidence to deal with everyday money matters and to help people deal with the impact of the welfare reforms and benefit changes.

If you are struggling to balance your income and expenditure and you are falling behind with payments, such as: rent, council tax, gas and electricity, store cards and credit cards etc, we can work with you on a one-to-one basis to help you regain control of your finances through understanding how to:

  • Plan and budget
  • Reduce expenditure
  • Work out the best ways to pay bills
  • Access other agencies for more help with maximising income, dealing with debts etc.

We offer free confidential and impartial one-to-one sessions and can also help you to find a better deal for you gas and electric or you can join us in one of our free accredited workshops which are available throughout the Bolton borough.

We also offer in-depth debt advice. For further information please contact the debt team on 01204 33 2916. For all other financial capability training, contact us on 01204 33 1968

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To discuss your situation further, click on the contacts tab at the top of the page or for more information, visit our money skills web site where you will find more useful links such as, 'News and what's on' and our 'Self help area'.

Loan sharks

The England Illegal Money Lending Team, working closely with Bolton Council Trading Standards, is cracking down on unlicensed lenders.

Unlicensed lenders (also known as loan sharks) are not a community service and should never be used under any circumstances. Many loan sharks start out as a friend to their borrower but quickly change.

Typically, loan sharks will

  • Rarely offer paperwork so those who borrow from them are kept in the dark about how much they still owe;
  • Charge extortionate rates of interest - rates of 131,000% APR have been seen;
  • Add additional amounts to the debt so borrowers struggle to repay;
  • Take items as security - these items could even include passports and bank cards;
  • Resort to extreme methods to reclaim their debts - this could mean threats, intimidation, violence or worse.

Anyone who operates a money lending business without a licence from the Office of Fair Trading is acting illegally. If you have borrowed from an unlicensed lender you have not broken the law, they have.

To report a loan shark:

To find out if a lender has a licence, visit www2.crw.gov.uk/pr/

Housing Options Services

One Stop Shop

Town Hall

Bolton

BL1 1RU

Telephone 01204 331968

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