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Where to turn if you need help with energy debt

Plenty of customers have been left in energy debt – but there’s help out there

With rising prices, lots of us have been left in need of help with energy debt.

If this is us, we shouldn’t feel ashamed. Energy debt in the UK is now at a five-year high. 

But the good news is there are some funds out there that might be able to help.

If we’re facing a debt of up to £2,000 and have also sought money guidance or debt advice then we might qualify.

British Gas is currently running the Individuals and Families Fund. It should remain open until the end of March and we don’t have to be a British Gas customer to apply.

It doesn’t matter if we have a prepayment meter or pay by Direct Debit. (But we can’t apply if we’re in Northern Ireland. There’s more information for customers in Northern Ireland here).

How to apply

First of all, British Gas can’t help people if their own supplier already has a debt fund.

Energy firms Eon, Eon Next, EDF, Scottish Power, OVO, Boost and Octopus have their own funds. If we’re with any of these companies we should contact them first.

If we’re with British Gas or another firm, the Individuals and Families Fund could pay off our energy debt (as long as it’s £2,000 or less).

The money will be credited to our account to wipe our debt, if we’re successful. The fund doesn’t pay out money directly.

British Gas also has a separate fund for its customers – the British Gas Energy Support Fund.

Money guidance

Many debt funds might expect us to have taken debt advice or money guidance.

If we’re already in debt, groups like Turn2Us, StepChange and Citizens Advice can help.

Good debt advice should always be free – we should never pay for it.

And Clean Slate Training & Employment, the organisation behind Quids in!, offers free money guidance.

Click here to see if there’s a Quids in! Centre nearby. If not, we could try the Quids in! Future-Proof Finance Quiz, which is a free and simple first step on the path to better money management.

Image: Jack Sparrow / Pexels

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