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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 to 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.

Bank accounts

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.


You may be eligible for some benefits and our Welfare benefits article takes you through what is available and who can give you support to access them. You can get Welfare benefits advice from a local independent service. They can help guide you through the application process and explain how some benefits may impact upon another:

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:

Food banks and free meals

Housing costs

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

Affordable household items and credit

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

Living costs


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 article.

Local employment support available

Newcastle Futures 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.
  • The Wise Group runs Wise Steps which supports people on low income or with a disability or who may be in crisis, including those who are homeless or in debt.
  • Newcastle Futures  supports YHN tenants who want to join the job market. through North of Tyne Working homes initiative
  • Tyne Online helps you find a job and think about your next career move
  • 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 offers mentoring support, employment, skills, and energy advice.

Travel support for unemployed people

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:

Loan Sharks

  • Stop Loan Sharks offers you the chance to report illegal money lending confidentially

NHS low income scheme

The NHS Business Services Authority support people on a low income with prescriptions, dental charges, sight tests and glasses and other healthcare expenses. Follow the links to apply on their website.

Make sure you’re claiming any benefits you’re entitled to

If you’re entitled to welfare benefits make sure that you’re claiming the full amount that you’re entitled to. A local independent advice service can help guide you through the process such as:

There are more benefit advice services in Newcastle. Read the ‘Where to get benefit advice booklet.

Short breaks and holidays

Tourism for All UK support people with a disability and older people to find sources of finance towards the cost of a holiday for people on low income

Other support available

  • 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: August 11, 2022

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