Reviewed By Elkie Ritchie - Communications Manager, Advice NI
Spotlight: Advice NI
07 November 2023
The cost of living has affected us all, irrespective of income or circumstances, from businesses to individuals. Find out how Advice NI can help.
The current cost of living crisis has touched all of us, and it's important to recognize that there is valuable, compassionate, and free financial advice and support available, regardless of your income or circumstances.
In Northern Ireland, there are organisations ready to offer non-judgmental, professional support with your money & debt issues. Advice NI is one such organisation dedicated to helping you.
We met with Advice NI to discuss how they can help you.
Firstly, Who is Advice NI?
Advice NI is a registered charity founded in 1995. Our vision is to empower a society of confident, informed, and active citizens who can access their rights and entitlements.
We deliver a range of advice services to the public including support with; Benefit checks, Debt and Money Advice, Personal and Business Debt advice, EU Settlement Scheme, Tax Credits and other HMRC services.
How Can Advice NI help me?
If you have fallen behind with your bills or are overwhelmed by debt, their expert advisors can speak to your creditors and find a solution to your situation, no matter how big or small your debt is. They can provide you with one-to-one advice on many money & debt related issues including the following:
Benefits Advice including:
extra financial support
historical institutional abuse
out of work benefits
Cost of Living Support Advice including:
Cost of Living Payments
Energy Bills Support
Universal Credit Support including
Move to Universal Credit
Making a claim for Universal Credit
Maintaining a Universal Credit claim
European Settlement Scheme
Links and Resources
Electronic Travel Authorisation
Sure Start Maternity Grant
Tax Free Childcare
Two Child Limit
Business Debt Advice
Free, independent and impartial business debt advice.
What if I find it difficult asking for help about money issues?
We understand that for many people it can be really difficult to ask for help or talk about their financial situation. Our experienced Advice NI advisors are not only empathetic but highly trained and they get that financial concerns can create anxiety, maybe even fear or shame. Which is why our advisors main aim is to provide you with high quality, helpful advice and support so that you can begin to take control of your finances, ensure you're receiving the benefits you're entitled to and feel more confident taking on the future.
Here are some recent testimonials that might help ease your concerns about reaching out for help or discussing your financial situation.
“I have been suffering depression & major anxiety, worrying about my personal financial position. I called the Advice NI helpline & I was so very lucky to receive the help of an adviser who steered me in the direction of universal credit. I was petrified of that after all the disastrous stories I had heard in the media. The adviser provided great advice with a caring manner and thankfully I am on the right path to dealing with my finances. I really appreciate their knowledge and most of all their comfortable way of dealing with people in this unenviable position.”
Advice NI Client
“As a single parent I’ve always felt I had something to prove. That I could do it all on my own. As the cost of living kept rising I just couldn’t make ends meet, or keep up with bills which resulted in lots of anxiety. I struggled for ages before I convinced myself to call Advice NI. I did feel awkward at first, but the advisor that helped me was so lovely, and I really felt like she was on my side, and I felt so much less alone. She was also really patient with me, and followed my lead. She really simplified the process for me. In the end, I was so glad I called. It turned out I was totally unaware of some of the benefits that were available to me and she helped me come up with a simple plan to pay off some bills I’d let build up. I wish I'd reached out sooner as the relief I felt was immense, I felt that I had control again and my anxiety reduced massively.”
Find Help NI Staff Member
If you’re feeling hesitant about reaching out to us directly please do check out our website. It’s full of information, resources, tools and links that will help you understand and take control of your finances yourself, but if you need a little more help please do reach out to us.
Is there any criteria I have to meet to avail of the service?
Yes, you must be over 18 years of age to receive money & debt advice.
Is Advice NI independent?
Yes, Advice NI is an independent charity. Our advice is free, confidential & impartial.
If I want advice, do I have to pay for it?
No, all advice is free!
What’s the best way to start getting help from Advice NI?
Please know that you don’t have to know where to start, or sort this all out in one go, our expert advisors will support you through the whole process, one step at a time.
All you have to do to get started is contact Advice NI and say, “Can you help me”.
- You can Freephone our advice helpline on 0800 915 4604
- You can email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or you can use our online contact form
Emails or messages via our online contact form will be forwarded to the relevant Advice NI team and someone will respond to you within 3 working days.
Can I speak to an advisor face to face?
Yes, you can speak to an advisor face to face by arranging an appointment with your local office.
What are the opening hours?
The opening hours are 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday for the main office in Belfast.
There are different opening hours for our Local offices, use our handy map to find your nearest Local Advice NI office and their direct contact details.
Advice NI delivers a range of advice services to the public including Benefits, Personal and Business Debt, EU Settlement Scheme, Tax Credits and other HMRC services. We have a long history working to promote digital inclusion and helping people access the internet safely and with confidence.