Budgeting Loan

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If you're on a low income and need help with certain important costs, you may be able to get an interest-free Budgeting Loan from the Social Fund.  Budgeting Loans are repayable and do not affect other benefits.
Eligibility
You may be able to get a Budgeting Loan if you or your partner have been claiming or getting payment for one of the following benefits for at least 26 weeks:
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance/ Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • State Pension Credit
  • You also must need help to pay for any of the following:
  • Furniture or household equipment
  • Clothing or footwear
  • Advance rent or removal expenses for a new home
  • Travelling expenses within the UK
  • Things to help you look for or start work
  • Improving, maintaining or securing your home
  • Maternity or funeral expenses 
  • Repaying hire purchase or other debts you took out to pay for any of the above

How much do you get?

You can apply to borrow between £100 and £1,500. The final amount of Budgeting Loan you get will depend on:

  • The number of people in your household
  • Any existing money you owe to the Social Fund
  • Your ability to repay the loan(Usually repayable within 104 weeks)
  • Your savings - your award will usually be reduced by the amount of any savings you or your partner or civil partner have above £1,000 (or £2,000 if one or both of you is 63 or over)
  • How it's paid
  • The loan is paid into a bank, building society or other account provider's account.

How do you repay it? 

Your repayments, which are worked out at the time your loan is agreed, are usually automatically taken out of your benefit. If you cease your claim to benefits before you have repaid your loan a repayment plan must be put in place.

How to apply

You can make a claim by printing out a claim form and filling it in or asking for a hard copy from your local Jobs and Benefits Office. When you have filled in the form you can either:

  • Post it to the office whose details are shown on the form, or
  • Hand it in at your nearest Social Security/Jobs & Benefits office

For more information on Budgeting Loans visit NI Direct.