Budgeting Advances: Are You Eligible to Receive One?
Anyone who is receiving Universal Credit might be eligible to get a budget advance to cover some of the unexpected expenses that often come up in life. They are a great alternative for those who need a bridging loan between benefit payments or paychecks.
In addition, as they are an advance, they don’t carry the high costs of borrowing from a small loan lender.
Typical items that you can use the loan for are as follows:
- A one-off item, such as having to purchase a new piece of furniture or replacing a fridge or stove that went out on you
- An unexpected expense, such as a bill that ended up being higher than what you thought it would be
- An expense relating to starting a new job, such as tools, a work uniform and so on
- Repairs that need to be done to your home to keep it safe and functioning properly
- Travel expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Maternity expenses
- Moving costs or a deposit on a new place to live
These loans are referred to as budget advances. Your Universal Credit payments will be lowered while you repay your loan, so that is something you need to keep in mind when getting one of these loans. You will be notified how much your benefit payments are going to be reduced before you ever take out the loan. This allows you to make an informed decision about whether it is going to work for you or not.
If you have already applied for Universal Credit but you are still waiting on your payments to start, you might be eligible for an advance payment instead of having to get the budgeting advance.
Who is eligible for the loan?
To be eligible for one of these advances, you have to meet all of the following criteria:
- You have to have at least six months of benefits from Universal Credit already under your belt. The only exception is if you are applying for money to help you keep your current job or you need help with expenses to start a new job.
- You cannot have earned more than £2,600 for a single person and £3,600 for couples over the last six months prior to the time you filed your application.
- You and your significant other cannot be currently repaying a budgeting advance.
How much money can you get?
Different situations call for different loan amounts. Here is a general guideline to give you an idea of what you might be eligible to receive.
- Single individuals with no children can receive £100 up to £348.
- Couples with no children can receive £100 up to £464.
- Someone who is responsible for children can receive £100 up to £812.
If you currently have more than £1,000 in savings, the amount you receive is going to be less.
The best way to get a budgeting advance is to contact the closest Job centre near you to apply. They can typically get you an answer within a few working days.
If you are stuck dealing with a bunch of debt and need help being able to live a debt-free life, you might want to talk with one of the leading professionals in your area today.