Money Advice

CCHA offer a free, friendly advice service to help you with any issues regarding money.

Our Money Adviser can give advice over the phone, by email or can arrange to meet you at home or in our Meteor Street office.

Home visits are often most effective as you will have all your information to hand but you can access the service in whichever way suits you best.

We can help with all of the following:

  • Household budgeting
  • Maximising income and benefits
  • Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit
  • Gas and electricity bills
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water rates
  • TV licence costs
  • Credit Union membership
  • Basic bank accounts
  • Affordable loans
  • Debt advice referral
  • Signposting to independent/specialist advice centres
  • Finding affordable furniture and kitchen goods
  • Combating loan sharks
  • Finding products and services online

Contact our Money Advice team on 029 2046 8493 or email money@ccha.org.uk to make an appointment or ask for advice.

A wide range of independent advice and information is also available.

If you don’t have a bank account, there are many reasons why you might want to open one:

  • Most employers now insist on paying wages into a bank account.
  • You can save money by paying your bills automatically through a bank account.
  • Welfare benefit changes will mean Housing Benefit (as part of Universal Credit) will be paid directly to claimants in the near future – and the payments are made more quickly if they go directly into a bank account.

Below is some information about opening a bank account for the first time.

What sort of account should I open?

For managing everyday money, you can open a Current Account or a Basic Bank Account. Basic bank accounts are easier to manage if you’ve never had a bank account before.

What does a Basic bank account offer?

Receiving wages or benefits

You give your account details to your employer, or whoever pays your benefits or tax credits, and they pay the money directly into your account.

  • You can use a cash card to withdraw cash from your account at cash machines or Post Office branches
  • You always need to check that the cash machine you’re using doesn’t charge you a fee for withdrawing money – it will warn you if it does.
  • You can also use a cash card at a cash machine to check how much money you’ve got in your account. (This is called your balance).
  • You can’t use a cash card to pay for goods or services.
A way of paying for things in shops, online, or on the phone. You can also get cash back if you use it to pay for things at most supermarkets . The money may leave your account immediately, but be careful because it may take a couple of days to show up on your balance
A detailed list of all payments in and out of your account, showing your balance.
A way of paying bills like rent, gas electricity and phone. You arrange this with your supplier and give them your account details. But be careful – if there isn’t enough money in your account to meet the payment, most banks will charge you a fee.
A way of making regular payments to someone (for example a landlord or a family member). You arrange this with your bank. Again, be careful – if there isn’t enough money in your account to meet the payment, most banks will charge a fee.
In Cardiff there are several banks offering basic bank accounts which can be opened locally.
You need to decide which of these accounts would be best for you. Some services and features will be more important to you than others, such as having a bank close to where you live if you need to go there and speak to someone.
In these financially challenging times it is not unusual for people to find themselves struggling to manage their personal finances – a situation that often results in people falling into debt.

However, by following sound, simple advice and learning to budget, people can overcome their debt burdens and get their lives back on track. With this in mind, Money Saviour work with CCHA to help people in debt.

Money Saviour are independent advisors and anything shared with them is confidential and CCHA is not allowed to know what is discussed in your private appointment without your consent.

An appointment with Money Saviour offers clear, step-by-step advice on addressing a range of debt issues such as:

  • How to prepare a financial statement
  • How to prioritise your debts
  • How to negotiate with your creditors
  • Where to go for further help

If you feel concerned or trapped by rising debt then an appointment with Money Saviour can help you. Please contact CCHA’s Money Advisor on 029 20468 493 or your Housing Officer to book an appointment.
moneysaviour.org.uk

Shopping around can help you get the best deals on your utility bills including gas, electricity and telephone. You may also qualify for discounts if you are on a low income.

Our Money Advice Team can help you check if there are cheaper options available for you please click here for their contact details.

When choosing gas, electricity, mobile telephone, broadband and insurances services it’s a good idea to shop around to find the cheapest prices available. The following price comparison websites can help you find who is offering the best deal.

www.moneysupermarket.com
www.uswitch.com
www.moneysavingexpert.com

If you are a low-income household and have a large family, or have a family member with a medical condition that requires use of extra water, you may qualify for Welsh Water Assist. Contact Welsh Water’s customer service department on 0800 052 0145 for more information.
CCHA can help our tenants and residents obtain home contents insurance easily and at a price that is affordable.  While many people often hope that nothing will happen to their belongings, sometimes things can go wrong unexpectedly.

With a special scheme called My Home, arranged in conjunction with the National Housing Federation, CCHA tenants can protect their belongings and gain peace of mind knowing if the unexpected happens they have cover. There are a range of payment options including fortnightly, monthly or annual and these can be made via the post office, cheque, debit/credit card or direct debit. The insurance covers your furniture, TV, clothing, carpets, electrical items, general household goods and also covers the replacement of external locks if your keys are lost or stolen. Click here to visit their website.

CCHA do not insure your furniture, belongings or decorations against theft, fire, vandalism, burst pipes and other household risks. Therefore it is a good idea for you to take out some form of home contents insurance to cover you in the event of one of the above situations affecting you.

In Wales, thousands of people borrow money from loan sharks each year. Borrowing even a small amount of money for a fridge or washing machine can mean paying back thousands of pounds in interest.

The Illegal Money Lending Unit was set up by central government at the end of 2007 to search out and prosecute loan sharks throughout Wales, and operates as part of Trading Standards. These illegal lenders operate without a consumer credit licence, and prey on people who are vulnerable – whether because of poverty or debt, or difficulties in their lives such as addiction or health problems.

Loan sharks will rip off borrowers by charging sky-high interest and adding on penalty payments as and when they want. Sharks don’t give you paperwork explaining the terms of the loan and you have to keep paying them back until they decide you can stop. They may appear friendly when they offer the loan, and when you pay – it’s when you can’t pay that you see the other side of them.

It can get worse than just being ripped off. Loan sharks use threats and sometimes violence to make sure their victims keep paying.

If you’ve been a loan shark victim or know a victim, call the 24 hour hotline for help and advice in the strictest confidence – 0300 123 3311. Click here for further details.

CCHA are also very interested to hear about problems tenants might be facing with loan sharks in their areas. A phone call to our Anti-Social Behaviour team can help deal with the problem – 029 2046 8442.

CCHA is working in partnership with Moneyline Cymru to offer you a safer option for borrowing money when you really need it. It can help you to avoid using dangerous loan sharks or expensive doorstep lenders.

Moneyline Cymru is a not-for-profit company that offers affordable loans with fixed repayments that are collected straight from your bank account. They do not provide cash loans, so if you do not have a bank account they can help you to open one.

They offer loans from £50 and set repayment dates that suit you, which can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly. An adviser will work with you to find out the best way that they can help.

Why choose Moneyline Cymru?
• They provide loans, bank accounts, savings and money advice
• They can help tenants of CCHA
• They can help whether you are working or on state benefits
• They offer flexible repayments to suit you

Moneyline Cymru in Cardiff
184 Cowbridge Road East,
Cardiff,
CF11 9NE

Tel: 029 2034 4460
www.elmline.co.uk