Housing Associations – support for tenants in financial difficulty

At PayPlan, our specialist teams work with Housing Associations across the UK to allow tenants who may be in financial difficulties to access independent debt advice.

This bespoke service for Housing Associations has been developed in partnership with Orbit as part of their Better Days community investment programme and sees PayPlan advisers support tenants with financial concerns to get them back on track with their finances.

PayPlan’s service to Housing Associations

As each Housing Association is truly unique in its offering, we work closely with organisations to design a service that complements their own processes, offering a range of channels to allow tenants to be referred or to self-refer.

We offer crisis debt advice to thousands of clients every single year. 86% of people referred by Orbit tell us that they are pleased they were referred to PayPlan because it helped them feel more in control of their money. We pride ourselves in being able to evidence long-term change in behaviour by monitoring how many people continue with their debt plan and go on to become debt free.

Currently, we have a 78% engagement for people who have been referred by Orbit and a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of +79.

“Our popular Better Days programme supports customers way beyond their residential needs. The range of support available helps thousands of people every year to find employment, improve their digital and money management skills, and their overall wellbeing.”

“At Orbit, we really value our partnership with PayPlan. The high engagement rates, improvement in customers’ relationship with money and their positive feedback all show just how valuable this service is to everyone who accesses PayPlan’s support.”

“On an organisational level, PayPlan are so responsive to new ideas and ways of working. Their monthly reporting allows us as to demonstrate value for money, while also pinpointing common trends in our customers’ behaviour to be able to offer new and ongoing support and services that they will truly benefit from.”

Naomi Williams – Contract and Performance Consultant – Community Investment – Orbit

Examples of partner referral options include:

  • Secure referral form – this is a trackable webform bespoke to each organisation, which allows the Housing Association colleagues to complete the client’s name, contact information, preferred contact method, date and time and agent details. Once completed, we will contact the person as per the instructions
  • Hotkey – a bespoke hotkey number which allows Housing Association colleagues to ‘warm transfer’ tenants over to PayPlan
  • Bespoke landing page – a unique link that tracks each individual organisation’s traffic and completed contact forms
  • Trackable signposting – this is a bespoke number that organisations can provide to tenants who don’t want a direct referral which will allow them to ‘self-refer’

Our partners have access to:

  • Weekly referral progress reports – rolling weekly reports that include their tenant’s referral date, referral method, referring agent, whether contact has been established and the assessment outcome, where the individual’s permission has been gained
  • Monthly referral demographic pack – monthly packs with anonymised data such as referral volumes, outcomes, age and generational data, household data and financial data, as well as Net Promoter Score information and client case studies

Training on offer for colleagues in Housing Associations:

For our new partners, we offer a day’s on-site training where we cover:

  • Who PayPlan are and how we support clients
  • How to look out for the early signs of problem debt
  • How to refer to PayPlan
  • How to explain next steps to the client

Why work with PayPlan?

We have been offering free and confidential advice since 1992. Our specialist advisers help over 100,000 people ever year with confidential advice and personalised debt solutions. Our commissioned Housing Association service supports tenants to become financially capable and feel more confident around managing their money.

We are proud of the support that we can offer to tenants. By working in partnership with Orbit, we know that:

  • 85% of people take our recommendation and go on to make their first payment
  • Our arrangement kept rates are over 90%, showing that that the arrangements we set are sustainable

After receiving PayPlan’s advice, Orbit tenants tell us:

  • 93% felt more reassured and calmer about their debts
  • 86% felt more determined to resolve their debt problems
  • 79% felt more confident about managing their money

PayPlan’s service to Housing Association tenants

Once someone has been referred to PayPlan, they will have access to a bespoke team of debt experts who are on hand to discuss income maximisation; eviction advice; priority debt advice; unsecured debt advice and prioritisation of debts.

We advise on all debt solutions within the UK and administer the following in-house; Debt Relief Orders, Debt Management Plans, Individual Voluntary Arrangements and Self-Employed Individual Voluntary Arrangements.

Our team works with tenants to complete an accurate income and expenditure, underpinned by CRA data and SFS guidelines, and deliver FCA regulated debt advice. The individual will then receive a written advice document, a copy of their budget which we advise them to share with you and confirmation of next steps.

Understanding priority debts – The ‘most important’ bills that we need to pay are called priority debts. We will work with tenants to work out which of their bills are priority debts and which are classed as non-priority debts, which do still matter, but the result of not paying them is not so serious.

Breathing space from creditor contact – We understand that being in debt can be worrying and stressful, but one quick, confidential call to our team will instantly put your tenant’s mind at ease. If creditors know that they are working with PayPlan, they could qualify for 30 days ‘breathing space’ from debt collection activity, to allow the time to find the right debt solution.

Choice of communication method – Individuals can choose to communicate with PayPlan in the way that’s right for them, whether that be over the phone or via one of our popular digital options.

A plan that works – When the unexpected happens, managing personal and household finances can become more challenging. Once we have taken details of incomings, outgoings and debt level, we will have a good understanding of the disposable income to pay towards debts. If suitable for their circumstances, one of our personalised, affordable debt solutions will help the tenant get back in control of their finances.

Case study –Orbit customer

Meet Keith, he was referred to PayPlan in 2018 and will be debt free in 2021

Keith aged 50 from East Sussex was referred to PayPlan in October last year after falling into rent arrears. His fluctuating income had meant that he wasn’t able to stick to a budget from month to month. 

After being referred for free debt advice, PayPlan and Keith organised a telephone assessment, as he prefers going through details over the phone rather than email – although both options are available, depending on individual choice.

The advice process:

Initially, Keith had over £6,000 worth of unsecured debt, owing money to eight creditors. This was in addition to his priority debt of £600 of rent arrears.

During the assessment, PayPlan’s adviser, Rebecca, went through details of everything Keith needed to pay for and of all the money he had coming in. This allowed Rebecca to understand his current financial picture and to build a realistic and affordable budget. This showed that after paying everything that he needed to pay for, considered as his ‘priority payments’, there would be £150 left over to pay towards the unsecured debts.

PayPlan was able to prioritise the rent arrears in Keith’s budget, suggesting a payment of £75 a month which would clear them within eight months.

The plan:

Rebecca recommended a Debt Management Plan as Keith’s best solution. His surplus of £150 was not enough money to meet current contractual payments to his creditors, so the DMP enabled Keith to pay what he could afford. 

As Keith’s income was paid weekly, Rebecca was able to look for a plan that allowed him to make weekly payments to the creditors, instead of monthly. This was a real benefit to Keith as he didn’t need to worry about putting money aside each week for one larger payment, which can often scupper the best of budgeting plans.

When will Keith be debt free?

Keith made his first payment in December 2018. His rent arrears have now been cleared and he will be completely debt free in 2021.

If you’re a Housing Association and would like to work with PayPlan or the Orbit Better Days programme, get in touch

If you’re looking to provide independent debt advice for your tenants, then get in touch with a member of our Partnership Team. Our partnerships are flexible to suit your organisation’s needs.

Alternatively, you can contact Orbit directly if you would like to find out how your Housing Association can benefit from its own Better Days branded programme, benefitting from five years of behavioural insight and market research and dedicated back office support.

Call: 01476 518 178

Email: PartnershipSupport@PayPlan.com

Follow: @PayPlan