STRUGGLING Brits on Universal Credit can get a loan to cover unexpected costs in the new year.Claimants can apply for the money worth up to £812 – but will have to plan for paying it back over the coming months.
1Cash after Christmas can be tight but there’s help you can getCredit: Getty
The Budgeting Advance is designed to help cover emergencies and other costs that come out the blue when on Universal Credit.
What is a Budgeting Advance?
You can borrow from as little as £100 and up to £812 if you’re a household with kids, but you should only apply to borrow what you need.
The cash could help you cover a one-off cost, like replacing a broken fridge or cover the cost of moving house or a rent deposit.
While this can help you cover larger costs in the short term if you don’t have savings to fall back on, you will still be expected to pay the money back in the long term.
The amount you borrow will be repaid over 12 months usually, so the amount of benefit payments you get over the following months will be less.
If you stop getting Universal Credit, you’ll have to agree another way to repay the loan.
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You’ll only repay the amount you borrow though, as the loan is interest-free.
You can apply for a budgeting advance to cover things like:
A one-off item – for example, replacing a broken fridge
Work-related expenses – for example, buying uniform or tools
Repairs to your home
Moving costs or rent deposit
Essential items, like clothes
It’s worth checking first if there’s other help you can get that you don’t have to repay.
For instance you could be eligible for vouchers, grants or cash through your local council’s Household Support Fund.
What are my other options for emergency cash?
If you’re struggling and need cash to cover a on-off costs, or for everyday living costs then make sure you check these options before applying for an advance.
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