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Citizens Advice Scotland

Citizens advice bureaux are independent, local charities that are members of Citizens Advice Scotland. One of the aims of The Scottish CAB service is to ensure that individuals do not suffer through lack of knowledge of their rights and responsibilities, or of the services available to them, or through an inability to express their need effectively.

Citizens advice bureaux give free, confidential, impartial and independent advice on a wide range of subjects, including:

  • Debt and money advice
  • Benefits - working out entitlements and sorting out problems
  • Consumer issues, such as consumer debt and faulty goods
  • Housing, including homelessness and mortgage arrears
  • Legal matters, including evictions, small claims and actions to recover debt
  • Employment issues like the national minimum wage or unfair dismissal from work
  • Immigration and seeking asylum

Credit Unions

Credit Unions are financial co-operatives owned and controlled by their members. They offer savings and great value loans plus they are local and ethical. The members of a credit union pool their savings together; these savings then provide a pool of funds from which loans can be made.

Each credit union has a ‘common bond’ which determines who can join. The common bond may be people living or working in the same area, people who belong to the same employer or people who belong to the same association, such as a church or trade union. This will produce a form of ‘customer loyalty’.

What is good about a credit union?

  • Credit unions have lower operating costs and overheads
  • They enjoy various subsidies and tax exemptions
  • Profits are returned directly to the members and not third party shareholders
  • Credit unions loan delinquencies are lower than banks (therefore enjoying a further cost of saving in the cost of doing business)

Learn Direct Scotland (0800 100 9000)

Learn Direct can help you choose from thousands of courses throughout Scotland - at learning centres, colleges, universities and training companies. Whatever you want to learn - from computing to carework - they can help you find the right course that fits around you and your life.

They can also help you find ways of paying for your learning - particularly if they are unemployed or on a low income. This includes helping you find out about fee waivers, grants, bursaries and student loans or even discounted of free learning.

You should call 0800 100 9000 to speak to an advisor or to find their nearest learndirect scotland learning centre.

Jobcentre Plus

The Jobcentre Plus network is made up of Jobcentre Plus offices, Jobcentres and social security offices. They can help you find paid work or provide help and support if you cannot work.

Useful telephone numbers:

New Deal Helpline: 0845 606 2626 (Textphone 0845 606 0680)
New Deal for Disabled People: 0845 137 177 (Textphone 0845 435 550)
Tax Credit Helpline: 0345 300 3900 (textphone 0345 300 3909)
LearnDirect: 0800 100 900
Careers Scotland: 0845 8 502 502
Career Development Loans: 0800 585 505
Modern Apprenticeships: 0845 607 8787
Benefit Enquiry Line: 0800 88 22 00 (Textphone 0800 24 33 55)
National Minimum Wage: 0300 123 1100
Child Support Agency: 0800 0835 130
Pension Credit Application Line: 0800 99 12 34 (Textphone 0800 169 0133)

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