Curo customer and full-time mum of two young children, Louise*, has lived in Curo house in Bath for eight years. Louise was struggling with money and bills when she contacted Curo’s Passport to Housing service. Louise describes what turned out to be a transformational experience which has put her back in control of her finances and feeling empowered.
"My Housing Options Enabler, James, put me in touch with Passport to Housing. I thought my finances were under control but they weren’t. At first I was nervous about the process and thought it might be an invasion of privacy. I thought I’d be asked what I’d spent my money on and why, and that I’d feel rubbish. I was worried I’d be judged. But actually, it’s been really beneficial. I can save money.
"Before, I felt I had no choice… I was living from bill to bill. I was burying my head in the sand. Now I don’t have to worry about money or using my overdraft.
"Ali at Curo pointed out that I could get extra money. I hadn’t applied for Child Benefit or included my daughter on my Universal Credit application. We looked into my budget and that made me think about how I spent my money.
"Once a week I check my budget and I’m improving my credit score. I feel a lot more in control with money. I know when I can treat the kids and when I can’t.
"My confidence grew through the process. I wouldn’t open my mail, but I open it now as I know my finances and I’m keeping on top of things. I’ve changed my providers to save money. I feel I don’t need to worry minute-to-minute about bills.
"My partner became interested in Passport to Housing too and he’s started to look at his finances to see how to save money.
"If anyone else is thinking of Passport to Housing, I’d say just do it. Embrace the service. Ali’s been brilliant. I was so nervous and Ali put me at my ease."
Passport to Housing is a free and confidential service offered by Curo to help people bidding for homes through Bath & North East Somerset's Homesearch scheme to prepare for a successful Curo tenancy and plan for the expense of moving home.
*Not her real name.