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Support for people with low incomes

A household is in persistent low income if it has less than 60% of the UK’s average income for 3 out of 4 years – this was £28,000 for a couple with no children in 2016-2017.  This article aims to bring together all the services that are available in Newcastle to help you manage your money and avoid debt.  You can also struggle if you have unexpected costs, such as, your boiler breaking down, car repairs, zero hours work, you lose your job.  It is useful to have a savings account for unexpected costs and we cover some options in this article.


If your credit rating is low or your don’t have a credit history you will struggle to access bank accounts. Here’s a list of high street bank accounts that may be easier for you to use.


Welfare benefits You may be eligible for some benefits and our article takes you through what is available and who can give you support to access them.

Crisis or emergency support

if you can’t afford to buy food, heat your home, pay your mortgage or rent, the following are available to support you:

Housing costs

You may need help with housing costs.  There are a number of routes to support:

When you need to purchase a new item or white goods there are some cheaper ways to make these purchases:

Living costs

Looking for work

You may want to change jobs or you may have been made redundant or become unemployed, There are several services that can support you and details are in our Looking for Work information. In particular, you may find the following helpful:

Newcastle Futures runs four programmes that help people to build their confidence and find work..  They work with partners such as Leonard Cheshire and JET which supports people from BAME communities and asylum seekers.

  • Wise Steps supports people on low income or with a disability or who may be in crisis, including those who are homeless or in debt.
  • Generation NE supports people from 18 to 29 years to write a job application, update their skills and develop interview technique.
  • North of Tyne Working homes supports YHN tenants who want to join the job market. Contact Newcastle Futures.
  • Tyne Online helps you find a job and think about your next career move

Other support available:

  • Crisis helps homeless job seekers
  • Workers Educational Association offers a range of courses including job seeking modules
  • Redundancy support is available from a union  such as Unison or USDAWS or through the ACAS service
  • The Wise Group aims to lift people out of poverty through mentoring support, employment, skills, and energy advice.


There are a number of small pots of funding to help with travel to interviews from those listed above.

Managing debt

Managing Debt can be a problem at any time or age. There are many factors that can lead to debt problems, including retirement, illness, disability, divorce, bereavement and poverty. Pay priority debts and get support.  The following are priority debts and should be dealt with immediately:

Other support available

  • Welfare Rights team  offer targeted support and a wide range advice from critical illness to benefits. They have a helpful booklet on where to find help in Newcastle
  • Stop loan sharks offers you the chance to report illegal money lending confidentially
  • North East Law Centre support people on low incomes from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances.
  • CityLife line offers support if you are unwell or self-isolating during the pandemic

Last updated: December 4, 2020