Get support with the rising cost of living

25 August 2022

7 min read

The cost of living is on the rise, which means households are having to pay higher prices for things like energy bills, fuel, food, and other everyday items.

This increase might already be impacting your finances, or leave you feeling worried about how it’ll affect you in the future.

To support you during this time, we’ve put together some guidance and useful resources that might help.

What support is available?

Top tips to help you stay on top of your finances

Managing your debt and repayments

Other independent organisations

What support is available?

Government schemes to help with the cost of living

Cost of Living Payments

If you’re entitled to certain benefits or tax credits, you may be able to get a payment to help with the rising cost of living.

If you’re eligible, you’ll be paid automatically in the same way you usually get your benefit or tax credits. There are three types of payments, including:

  • A Cost of Living Payment
  • A Disability Cost of Living Payment
  • Pensioner Cost of Living Payment.

Which type you get depends on your individual circumstances. The maximum payment is £650.

Learn more about the different Cost of Living Payments

Household Support Funds

You can contact your local authority to see if you’re eligible for help from a Household Support Fund scheme. You don’t necessarily have to receive benefits to be eligible, and your local authority might help you pay for things like:

  • Energy and water bills
  • Essential items like food and clothing
  • Transport costs

Each local authority runs their own scheme, so the help they offer and who they’re able to support can vary.

Find out how to contact your local authority or council on GOV.UK

Energy bills support

We’ve put together a handy guide so you can see what support may be available to you if you’re struggling with rising energy costs.

In it, you’ll find information about:

  • Our EST Home Improvement Tool that can help you create a personalised Energy Saving Improvement Plan
  • The Government’s Energy Bills Support scheme
  • Income and age-dependent schemes
  • Independent services
  • Other useful resources and advice.

Check out our energy bills support guide

Support with money worries from Citizens Advice

We’ve partnered with Citizens Advice to make sure our customers can get support when they need it most.

Through our partnership, Citizens Advice can help you if you’re experiencing financial and debt-related problems, by offering free, fast, and confidential advice.

Find out how you can get direct help from Citizens Advice

Help and advice from The Co-operative Bank’s support team

Our customers are at the heart of everything we do; that’s why we’re always here to listen and support you, no matter what money worries you may have.

If you call us, we can help you work out a budget, and offer support based on your individual circumstances. Before you call us, you’ll need:

  • Details of your monthly income, like a payslip
  • Details of your monthly outgoings, including all bills and expenses.

Call us on 03457 212 212. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Call charges.

Find out what to expect when you call our support team

Food banks

If you can’t afford the food you need, food banks are community organisations that can help.

Usually, you’ll need to get a referral to a food bank before you can use one — a good place to ask for a referral is your nearest Citizens Advice.

Learn more about getting a food bank referral

Top tips to help you stay on top of your finances

Create a budget that works for you

We’ve put together some simple tips on how to budget, including zero-based budgeting which can help you track your outgoings.

Check out our budgeting guide

How to manage your money and save

In this guide, we offer advice on managing your money day to day, and how to save effectively.

Check out our money management guide

Watch out for scams and fraud

As the cost of living continues to increase, fraudsters are using cost-of-living scam tactics to defraud people out of money and personal information.

Find out about the latest scams and how to stay vigilant

Managing your debt and repayments

Debt support and top tips

If you’re currently experiencing debt and are feeling overwhelmed, our debt management guide provides advice on how to get things back under control, and information about debt management plans.

If you’re an existing customer and have taken out a loan or credit card with us, we also have specific advice if:

We’ve also got a guide on getting your finances back on track when you find yourself in financial difficulty that you weren’t expecting.

Mortgage support

If you’re struggling to keep up with your mortgage repayments

If you’re concerned about paying for your mortgage, we’re here to support you and will always treat you fairly.

Just talking to us won’t cause anything to show up on your credit file.

If we agree together to make any changes to your payments or other arrangements, then we’ll:

  • Talk you through these changes
  • Help you to understand their impact
  • Give you some time to decide whether to move forward with them.

Learn more about mortgage payment support we offer

If you’re worried about an increase in your mortgage interest rate

Our qualified mortgage advisers are always here to help. If this is something you’re worried about, you can arrange a mortgage review with one of our advisers which could identify other options that might meet your needs and circumstances.

Find out how to get in touch with an adviser

Government debt respite scheme

Breathing Space — officially known as the Debt Respite Scheme — is a government scheme which could help relieve some of the pressure and stress caused by being in debt. It’s currently available in England and Wales.

If you pass the eligibility checks, you could get up to 60 days' respite from interest, fees, and court action to reduce stress and give you time to deal with your debts.

Learn more about the Breathing Space scheme on StepChange’s website

Borrowing advice

If you’re thinking about borrowing money, you need to consider how you’re going to pay it back, as well as the costs involved.

To help you understand a bit more about different borrowing options, you can check out our guide on how credit cards work, and our comparison of credit cards and personal loans.

Other independent organisations

There are also a number of other organisations you can contact that provide free, confidential, and impartial advice if you have any money worries:

MoneyHelper: For free, easy-to-use money tools, information, and advice, you can visit You can also phone 0800 138 7777 to speak to a money expert, use Typetalk at 18001 0800 915 4622, or add +44 7701 342744 to your Whatsapp and send them a message.

Money Advice Scotland: If you live in Scotland and want help if you have money worries, you can visit and use their chat service to speak to an adviser, or email them at

Citizens Advice: If you live in England and are looking for advice and information on debt and other topics, you can visit or contact your local Citizens Advice.

You can also get direct support through our partnership with Citizens Advice. Please note, this service is available to all of our customers throughout the UK.

Citizens Advice Scotland: If you live in Scotland and are looking for advice and information on debt and other topics, you can go to, call the helpline on 0800 028 1456, or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Citizens Advice Wales: If you live in Wales and are looking for advice and information on debt and other topics, you can visit, or call Advicelink on 03444 77 20 20. Call charges may apply.

Advice NI: If you live in Northern Ireland and need advice about debt, benefits, housing, and other topics you can visit, phone 0800 915 4604, or email

Turn2us: Turn2us provides information and support about welfare benefits and charitable grants. You can visit them at

National Debtline: If you live in England, Wales, or Scotland and would like free debt advice, you can visit or phone 0808 808 4000.

StepChange Debt Charity: StepChange are a leading debt charity. Supporting those in financial difficulty, they offer free confidential and expert debt advice. To get in touch, visit or phone 0800 138 1111.

Business Debtline: If you are self-employed or a small business owner, you can visit or phone 0800 197 6026 for debt advice and information.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP): This Christian charity offers free debt advice. You can check if your postcode is covered at, and if so, you can call them on 0800 328 0006.

Gamcare: Gamcare can help if you have a problem with gambling and addiction, and provide free information, advice, and support. Visit where you can take their free, anonymous self assessment.

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