All about the challenges of Midlife Finance

Financial Assistance Through Benefits

The examples in the below article are specific to the UK but the services and assistance programs are similar to those offered in most developed countries.

You’ve budgeted, scrimped, skimped, and saved as much as possible, but you are still having trouble making ends meet. Don’t give up hope just yet, there are many resources out there to help Brits in need and you may be eligible for them. Getting benefits and loans can be difficult when on a low income but there are more options than you think.

Utilities Grants and Funding

Government agencies and energy companies all over the world are doing everything they can to create a greener and more energy efficient community. UK residents may be able to earn grants with utility companies in order to make improvements to their home and ultimately reduce energy or water usage. Grants typically cover the full cost of the improvement so residents are left with nothing but potential monthly savings. Some common projects that earn grants include energy efficient windows, different energy sources, upgraded water heaters, insulation for boilers, etc.

If you were born on or before July 5, 1952, you may also be eligible for a £300 winter fuel fund, the amount of which may depend on your specific circumstances. Low income families, elderly individuals over the age of 75, and those who have an account with a participating energy supplier may also be eligible for the Warm Home Discount.

Emergency Funding

Families in need for food, money, furniture, etc. can check with their local council to see if they are eligible for aid or donations. Individuals may be able to receive used furniture, access to healthy food, and other assistance depending on availability.

You may not be eligible for the above, but perhaps you are in enough need to qualify for interest-free or low-interest personal loans funded by the government. You can borrow up to £800 this way only if you have no other means of support by dipping in to savings or the like.

Bankruptcy

Sometimes individuals bury themselves in a pile of debt that is impossible to climb out from under and there is really only one way out – to declare bankruptcy. Not just anyone can do this, you must have a bankruptcy order against you to declare bankruptcy in the UK. Declaring bankruptcy is a drastic measure and is not to be taken lightly. All of your assets will be used to pay off your debt before forgiving what debt you owe. Most credits will be forgiven, but you will also be placed on the “Individual Insolvency Register” and on bankruptcy restriction. Declaring bankruptcy will likely ruin your credit score and effect your ability to receive loans or even jobs in the future.

The UK government has many opportunities to help Brits in need from the elderly population to families struggling to make ends meet. It is suggested that you create a budget, exhaust all free aid from utility companies and government organizations, and potentially take out low-interest personal loans or another mortgage on your home before resorting to declaring bankruptcy, which can result in the liquidation of all of your assets as well as a negative future impact on your ability to borrow in the future.