SMART (Money Advice Project)

Is Debt Driving You Daft?

Do you know the average Briton owes £7,768? Worrying isn’t it? Perhaps more worrying is the apparent reluctance among Scots when it comes to accessing good quality free money advice to help cope with debt. We seem reluctant to approach the free money advice sector – Trading Standards, Citizens Advice and Advice UK agencies. All these agencies offer free impartial and confidential money advice – and have the full backing of the Scottish Government. The danger is that Scots access help from the fee charging companies who we see advertising on television and in the press. In most cases these companies will charge for a service that has no fee when accessed through the free advice sector.

Money Advisers can help you look at your financial situation and also at a number of other issues such as benefit entitlement, options to increase income and help you to budget better. They can also help you negotiate with people you may owe money too and explain which debts require your immediate attention. However it is not the Money Adviser’s job to tell you what to do – the choices and decisions remain yours!

So Where Does Grampian Housing Association come in?

Did you know GHA offers free, independent and confidential advice through the SMART project.  Our Money Advisors offer advice on all areas of debt, money management and budgeting.  SMART Money Advisors work closely with the North-East Scotland Credit Union to promote savings and loans as an alternative to more expensive forms of credit. The service is totally free, and the session would be on a one-to-one basis. Any information would be treated confidentially.

Why not give the Money Advice Team a call on 01224 202934 and see what a difference some quality money advice can make!

Are you receiving all the Benefits you are entitled to?

This service checks that you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to.  It can also advise new tenants on setting up payment arrangements for rent, council tax, fuel costs and a TV licence, helping you to get your tenancy off to the best start possible!

This service is available to all Grampian Houisng Association tenants living in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray.

Call Lorna on 01224 202935 to discuss a free benefits check or for some advice on payment arrangements at the start of a new tenancy.

Money Advice Service

There is useful information on the Money Advice Service website but please remember that SMART is here to help you with the practical elements, for example what to do if you can't get online, how to open a bank account and helping you if you have multiple debt.

Click here to find out about Universal Credit.

Click here to find out about paying your own rent when Universal Credit comes in.