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VIVID Plus: Supporting our customers to manage their finances

We’re here to help you with money advice and support and we can provide information on everything from budgeting to managing debt.

We were approached by one of our customers, Sarah*, for help after she’d unfortunately lost her job, just before the pandemic hit. Sarah was also dealing with a relationship breakdown. The combination of these things meant Sarah was struggling to keep up with her monthly payments and high rent arrears were mounting up.

Our Income Recovery Team and Older Persons Support service worked together to support Sarah and establish a plan to help her manage her arrears, improve her living situation and regain some of the confidence she’d lost.

This journey involved supporting Sarah to follow the process to change her joint tenancy to a sole tenancy, so that she could apply for a mutual exchange to a smaller property. We also helped Sarah apply for a Debt Relief Order (DRO) to help manage her high debts and rent arrears.  

The DRO was accepted which meant we were able to help her clear approximately £20,000 of debt and arrears against her name. After the change to her tenancy was approved, Sarah found another social customer to exchange with and competed a mutual exchange into a 1-bedroom flat. Sarah is no longer subject to pay the bedroom tax, so is better off financially. She’s also now closer to family for support and can have a much-needed fresh start.

Alongside this, we’ve helped Sarah with her council tax support application and advised her to apply for the warm home discount. This is a government scheme that offers a one-off payment of £140 (inclusive of VAT) that’s credited to your energy account, prepayment card or key, during the winter – providing you qualify for the payment. Sarah’s also being supported by our Employment and Training team who offer a range of free, 1:1 specialist support, advice and guidance if you’re looking for new job opportunities. 

If you’re worried about paying your rent, are looking for some help or advice, or are concerned about the impact that the festive season may have had on your finances, please visit our web page or get in touch. We can discuss your individual circumstances and how best we can support you.

*Name changed for data protection purposes.

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