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Financial capability

Financial capability is being able to make informed decisions about the best way of managing your money.

What is financial exclusion?

Financial exclusion is where you are put at a disadvantage compared to the rest of society by negative financial constraints such as:

  •  lack of access to a bank account
  •  not receiving full entitlement to benefits
  •  reliance on expensive sources of credit 
  •  a lack of money management skills – also known as financial capability 

Excluded individuals pay more for basic necessities, interest and charges on money transactions. Financial exclusion impacts on low income groups, especially those with problems such as addiction, homelessness, mental health issues and family breakdown. 

Many people find it difficult to provide the necessary forms of identification to open a bank account. This makes it more difficult to access affordable credit. We offer help with providing forms of identification and getting a suitable account opened.  

How can I improve my financial capability?

We can help you to manage your money more effectively, we call this financial capability. We can put you in touch with affordable sources of loans and maximise your income by ensuring that you are in receipt of all the benefits you are entitled to.

We can help with:

  • one-to-one support
  • group based financial literacy sessions for community organisations
  • budgeting skills training
  • assistance with small debts
  • accessing alternative sources of credit 
  • making applications to the Scottish Welfare Fund and charitable/benevolent trusts

We also target community groups and services operating in deprived areas and act as a point of entry for other financial inclusion services. If you think that your community group would benefit from some money advice group work, please contact us.

Avoid expensive forms of credit

There is no upper cap on the interest rate of loans in the United Kingdom. This could mean that a small loan could grow in a short period of time. We can help you find more affordable forms of credit.

Find cheaper ways to make large purchases

People on low incomes and/or benefits may be tempted by opting to pay weekly for large purchases. However, what seems to be reasonable when viewed weekly can be expensive over the lifetime of the purchase or loan.

You could be charged considerable rates of interest and may be required to take out accident cover if you don't have home contents insurance. Purchasing outright, with a loan from a credit union, could be cheaper. 

Further information

We encourage you to take the money advice health check. This is a free service provided by the Money Advice Service.

Accessing our services

To access our Financial Capability service please contact us.  

Contact Money Matters

Email

moneymatters@north-ayrshire.gcsx.gov.uk

Telephone

01294 310456

Address

Money Matters, Social Services, North Ayrshire Council, Bridgegate House, Irvine, KA12 8BD