Covering your costs

If you are struggling to cover essential costs such as food, travel and heating, you may be eligible for some financial help. This could be from either charities or the government. Call us on 0808 808 00 00 to speak to a financial specialist about this.

Here are some things you could try if you are struggling with your money:

  • Contact your mortgage lender or landlord if you aren’t able to pay your mortgage or rent payments.
  • If you have debts, it’s important to get them under control. Speak to any lenders as soon as possible to try to find a solution. Contact StepChange Debt Charity for free advice.
  • Think about how your family or financial dependents would cope if your illness got worse. You may have life insurance through your employer or pension scheme that could help with this.

You can call our financial guides for guidance about your individual situation.

Covering essential everyday expenses

If you are struggling to cover essential expenses like food, travel and heating, call us on 0808 808 00 00 as soon as possible. Anyone in this situation should be eligible for some form of financial help, either from charities or the government.


Paying your mortgage, rent or other housing costs

If you’re finding it difficult to pay your mortgage or rent, or if you think you might struggle with future payments, it’s important to contact your mortgage lender or landlord as soon as possible. If you get in touch with them early and explain your situation, it’s more likely that you’ll be able to reach a solution together.

Our section on housing costs has more information. You can also call our financial guides on 0808 808 00 00 for guidance about your individual situation.

A photograph of Kris, who was diagnosed with liver cancer and then non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He's standing by the road talking. Kris on money worries

'Having an adviser took away some of the stress and worry so that I could focus on recovery.'


Making debt repayments

If you have debts, getting them under control should be a priority. Try to keep up with repayments as much as possible. If this becomes difficult because your income drops or you have extra expenses, talk to your lenders as soon as you can.

When dealing with debts, it’s important to take the following steps:

  • Contact lenders early to discuss a solution, and be honest with them. They may be willing to negotiate easier payments if you explain your situation.
  • Avoid taking on more debt.
  • Pay back the most urgent debts first. Urgent debts include mortgage or rent payments, council tax and utility bills.
  • If you’ve bought anything on hire purchase (a contract where you pay back the money over time) and you’re thinking of returning it, check the terms and conditions carefully. You may have to pay extra charges. There are different types of credit agreement which give you different rights if you wish to return the item.
  • Be careful about switching to a cheaper loan that’s secured against your home. You could lose your home if you don’t keep up the new repayments.

Our section on managing your debt discusses how to get debt under control. You can also contact StepChange Debt Charity or Citizen’s Advice Bureau for free debt advice.


Ensuring your family would cope if your illness got worse

You may need to think about how your family, or anyone who depends on you financially, would cope if your illness becomes worse or if you die.

If this happens, your family may be able to get government benefits and financial support from your employer, if you have one.

Life insurance

If you have life insurance, your family could also receive a payout from that. But it may be difficult for you to buy life insurance if you have, or have had, cancer. So if you already have a policy, it’s important to keep this cover. Many people now automatically have a pension through their workplace. If you do, it might include some life cover. If life insurance isn’t an option, consider building up extra savings and investments instead.

Our financial guides can talk to you about things you can do to ensure your family would cope if your illness gets worse. Call them on 0808 808 00 00. We also have a section on insurance that might be helpful for you.


Next steps

  • Call Macmillan on 0808 808 00 00 if you are struggling to cover essential expenses like food, travel and heating.
  • Contact your mortgage lender or landlord if you are struggling to meet payments.
  • Contact StepChange Debt Charity for free advice on getting your debts under control.
  • Think about how your family would cope if your illness got worse – check if you have life insurance through your employer or pension scheme.

Back to Planning your finances

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Inheritance tax

Inheritance tax is paid if your estate is worth more than £325,000 after your death. This includes property, money and possessions.