Managing your money

Managing your everyday spending successfully can give you real peace of mind. If you are struggling with debt problems or are concerned about getting behind with bills and rent, there are several organisations in the borough that can help.

It is important that you know how much money you have coming in and how much you are spending on priority and non-priority bills.

There are also a number of support organisations in the borough that can offer advice on effective budgeting support, maximising income, offer savings on food and energy costs alongside other services.

  • Welfare Support - 01942 705221
    • Support with food, energy and furniture for residents in crisis and unable to afford basic necessities
  • Welfare Rights - 01942 705221
    • Benefit advice, completing benefit applications, money management and budgeting
  • Unify Credit Union (external link) - 01942 245656
    • Easy saving and affordable loans
  • Citizen Advice Wigan Borough (external link) - 0808 278 7801
    • Provide free, confidential, independent and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities
  • Welcome to Age Uk Wigan Borough - 01942 615880
    • Information and advice for the over 50’s
    • Helping residents to stay warm in their homes, energy efficiency tips and saving money on fuel bills

Check if a lender is registered.


Credit unions are non-profit financial organisations owned and run by members. Membership of a credit union can help you to save and provide access to low-cost loans.

You can contact the following credit union:

Pay day lenders

Pay day lenders are companies that offer small, short term, unsecured loans and typically charge extremely high rates of interest compared to credit unions, for example. 

Wigan Council discourages residents from taking out pay day loans because they can quickly get into a level of debt that is difficult to deal with. If you are considering a pay day loan, be aware of:

  • An extortionate rate of interest – For every £100 you borrow you’re likely to be charged around £25 per month, which is about 1,000% APR
  • Ease of rolling over the loan from one month to the next  – This will massively increase the amount you have to repay
  • The serious affect it can have on your ability to get credit from other lenders in the future.

Loan sharks and doorstep lenders

It is illegal to lend money without a license. Loan sharks are companies or individuals who lend money illegally, often charging very high interest rates. They often use threats, intimidation and even violence to collect their debts, leaving their victims living in fear.

The loan shark is breaking the law - you have done nothing wrong and will not be in trouble with the authorities. Debt to a loan shark cannot be legally enforced, meaning if you report it, you may not have to pay it back.

If you think you may have borrowed money from a loan shark or know about one, you can report them anonymously to the Illegal Money Lending Team.

  • Report a Loan Shark operating in your area
  • Alternatively call 0300 555 2222, available 24 hours, or text LOAN SHARK and the lender’s details to 07860 022116
  • Visit GOV.UK (external link) to find out more


If you find that you are struggling with debt and are unable to manage repayments, it is important to think about which debts you need to deal with first. These are called priority debts.

Paying the mortgage or rent, any fuel bills, your Council Tax bill, court fines, Income Tax or VAT should take priority. There can be serious consequences to not paying these bills.

All other debts such as bank loans, overdrafts and credit cards are non-priority debts. 

Contact people you owe

You must contact the people you owe money to and let them know that you are having problems as soon as possible. If you do not do this, you risk action being taken. You could even have gas or electric cut off or bailiffs can take your belongings.

The Citizens Advice Bureau or National Debtline (external link) can help and advise you confidentially and may even be able to negotiate a repayment plan on your behalf.

© Wigan Council