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'When your back is against the wall, you want to come out fighting but you don’t know how.'

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

Emily* was struggling with paying off her credit card debts and covering her bills. She came to Money A+E for support. Here is her story.





"I went to Universal Credit because they weren’t paying me properly, and I spoke to a lovely lady at Universal Credit, and she told to go to another place. She gave me a telephone number, which wasn’t operating anymore, and they gave me Money A+E's telephone number.


The Universal Credit messed up on my rent. They weren’t paying me my Carer’s Allowance. I had to keep borrowing money on my credit card, and I was having difficulty paying it back, and Money A+E just sorted it all out. It was brilliant.


I was feeling anxious and depressed. It was just getting worse. I filled up my mind with worry because I was not getting money. I was doing the job, a carer’s job, and they weren't paying me. It’s just hard to cope with that every day. They tell you ‘You have to go to work’, and then they’re not paying you. I just cried over every single little thing. It’s not nice having to go through not having money.


Paul [Money Coach] spoke to me and he told me every single thing that I had to do. He emailed it to me. One by one I crossed it off the list.


I’ve got arthritis as well, and Paul told me to apply for Personal Independence Payment, so I’ve done that. Every single thing that Paul is telling me I’m ticking off. I’ve now been paid my Carer's Allowance; all my payments are being sorted out.


The Money Coaches did help me out such a lot.


I used my credit cards to pay a few household bills, Thomas [Money Coach] told me that I could get in touch with the bank and ask if they could just freeze the interest for a while to help me catch up with my payments, but the bank didn’t do it. It was worth asking though. I got the payments down a little bit.


Thomas has done these accounts for me – the incomings and outgoings to hand it out to the bank. It opens your eyes on where your money actually goes. When Thomas emailed it to me, I could see where my money is going. I still look at it. I can’t tell you how much he was available to me.


It was brilliant.



You keep in touch. You don’t just help me on that particular day. There were follow ups, there were phone calls ‘How are you getting on?’, ‘Do you need anything else?’, ‘Would you like me to write to the bank?’. It wasn’t just ‘Okay, there you go, goodbye'. It was full-on. I liked the aftercare.




I’m coping now. I’m getting at least an extra £140 every month. It’s lovely. I’ll be retiring soon, and I’m taking it easy."

*Name has been changed.


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Service funded by the British Gas Energy Trust






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Name: Emily*

Age: 62

Location: Newham, London

Lives with: Alone

Occupation: Carer



Advice included support with:

Claim as unfit for work via Universal Credit.

Claim for Universal Credit.

Claim for Personal Independence Payment.

Claim for Carer's Allowance.

Debt management.

Energy advice on how to reduce energy bills.



Figures are correct at time of writing and may be approximate.

All images used are stock photos.



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