AS the cost of living crisis hits households, it's important to know about schemes

If you're in financial distress and worried about paying your bills then you can ask your creditor for "breathing space"

It means you can apply for the two-month "buffer" that is designed to give people time to get long-term help

It covers a wide range of debts including your council tax arrears, personal tax debts, benefit overpayments, credit cards and loans

If you get approved for the scheme, you must work with a professional advisor to help you get back on track

You cannot apply for the scheme if you have a debt relief order, individual voluntary arrangement or you’ve filed for bankruptcy

If you’re unsure where to start then speak to an organisation such as StepChange or the National Debtline

The breathing space will last 60 days. During this time none of your debts will earn interest and no fees will be added