The BIP, or Budget Information Point, is a part of the municipality where residents can go for information, advice and assistance with regard to debt situations. The BIP consists of expert people who have specialized in the field of finance. This not only concerns fixed costs, but also a wide variety of other debt situations.
When can you go to the BIP?
The municipality’s BIP is available to every resident of the municipality. However, there is an exception. Self-employed entrepreneurs are not eligible to receive help and advice from the BIP. There is another department for this. Many people believe that it is necessary to be deeply in debt before they can register with the BIP. Nothing is less true. The BIP would rather see people register when debts threaten to arise, but have not yet arisen. Looking for a solution in time to prevent the problem is always better than looking for solutions to the problems that have arisen, also according to the BIP. You can request a registration interview with the BIP in the following situations:
You can no longer pay the fixed costs
It may be that you have always just managed to make ends meet, but have now reached a point where you have to postpone the payments of your fixed costs further and further because you do not have the money. Are you no longer able to pay fixed costs such as gas, electricity, water and rent? Then you can register with the BIP.
The month is too long
More and more people are facing this problem. The fixed costs have been paid, but there is nothing left to do the shopping for the last two weeks. And now? For many people, the month lasts longer than the wallet is sufficiently filled. You can also contact the BIP.
You can no longer choose
For many, it is quite a puzzle when the salary or benefits arrive. Suppose you receive 1,200 euros net and there are 1,700 euros in invoices, both fixed costs and one-off bills. Then you have to choose. Which bills are you going to pay, which ones can you perhaps leave for another month, or which ones will you have to leave behind? Anyway; you cannot pay around 500 euros in invoices and there is a good chance that a collection with additional costs will follow on the invoices that remain unpaid. You can register with the BIP to solve this problem.
The creditors come from all sides
Finally, have you already built up so many debts that the collection letters continue to flow in every day and creditors and bailiffs are constantly at your door? Then it is definitely time to register with the BIP. No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to figure this out on your own. The BIP can help you.
Arrange everything yourself, with the right support
Sometimes financial problems arise because you simply don’t know what’s coming in and what’s going out. The BIP can give you more clarity about how you can better manage your available budget to prevent money problems. We will work with you to determine whether you are still entitled to allowances from the tax authorities that you have not (yet) applied for, such as healthcare allowance and housing allowance. You can look at how you can generate more money outside of your salary. For example, do you have children over the age of 18 living at home? Then you can possibly ask for board money or a contribution for groceries. In addition, all invoices are put together and we will discuss with you how the budget can best be divided, how you can pay all invoices and how you will have enough money left over to do your shopping. Finally, we can look at things on which you can save money. Consider, for example, quitting smoking or shopping at a different supermarket. The BIP can provide you with sample letters to institutions where you have outstanding accounts.
Follow a course
The BIP also offers a course for anyone who wants to learn how to manage the available budget better. This budget course is primarily recommended for people who are in debt and are working to resolve these debts. While solving the debts, you can immediately learn how to handle the money better. In addition, the course is also good for people who are already out of debt and want to stay out of debt, and for people who have not been in debt before, but who also want to effectively prevent this.
Handing over the tasks
Can you no longer cope with the financial problems, even with the support of the BIP? Then you still have the option to outsource the tasks via the BIP. This is called budget management. You temporarily leave the management of income and expenditure to Budget Management via the BIP. This way you prevent debts from increasing due to collections and payment arrears from increasing. You will regain control over your income and expenses when the debts have been resolved and you know how to manage the budget properly to prevent yourself from getting into trouble again. The BIP determines whether you are eligible for Budget Management.
The BIP, Budget Information Point, is an initiative of the municipality of Katwijk, South Holland. However, almost every municipality in the Netherlands and Belgium has this form of help, advice and support in the financial field for the residents of the municipality in question. This department has different names within the various municipalities, such as Budget Assistance, Financial Information and Advice Point and Municipal Debt Assistance.