Our top 5 tips on dealing with rent and mortgage debt:

  1. Ask for help early: If you are struggling to pay your housing costs, talk to an expert adviser as soon as possible who can take you through your options and advise on your next steps. Visit www.shelter.org.uk/advice or call Shelter’s free helpline on 0808 800 4444.
  2. Focus on housing costs first: Make sure paying your mortgage or rent is the priority. The most important thing is to keep your home, even if you are getting demands from credit card and payday loan companies .
  3. Act now on mortgage arrears: Contact your lender as soon as possible if you are behind on the mortgage . They have to try to help you.
  4. Get help with rent arrears: Miss two rent payments and you could be at risk of eviction. See if you can claim housing benefit to help pay the rent.
  5. Respond to letters and phone calls: It’s natural to want to keep your head down and hope it’ll sort itself out but it’s important to read everything your mortgage lender , landlord or letting agent sends to you. Keep records of every letter and phone  call.

118 118 Money is here to help. Read our other blogs full of tips and ideas on how to help manage your living costs, from reducing your bills to smart shopping with coupons and the latest online offers. Remember, you are not alone! What matters to you matters to us.