Budgeting loans can help with essential lump sum expenses which are difficult to budget for when you are living on means-tested benefits. Budgeting loans have to be paid back to the social fund, but they are interest-free. This means you only have to pay back the amount you are awarded. You won’t get a budgeting loan just because you are eligible to apply. The decision will be made following a review of your circumstances.
What are Budgeting Loans?
A BL is a one off award designed to help people or families to spread the cost of expensive items over time to make them more affordable
Who Can apply for a BL?
To receive a Budgeting Loan you must be in receipt of an income based benefits and that award must span at least 26 weeks without a break.
▪ You can apply if you are the partner of someone who has been in receipt of a qualifying benefit for 26 weeks.
▪ If your benefit had been stopped for a period of less than 28 days then you are still eligible for a BL
What can I use a BL for?
Budgeting Loans are intended to be used for:
▪ Household essentials or furniture.
▪ new shoes or clothes.
▪ removal costs of your first months rent.
▪ increased home security or improvements.
▪ expenses associated with travel.
▪ Help with job seeking or the start of a new job
▪ Settling any HP agreements that you have taken out to pay for any of the above.
How much can I borrow?
This will depend on:
▪ If you are single;
▪ a member of a couple; or
▪ if you have one or more children.
The award made will rest on:
▪ any outstanding social fund dept.
▪ any money that you have at your disposal
You must apply for a minimum amount of at least £100
Repaying a Budgeting loan
Repayments can either be:
▪ Deducted automatically from benefit in payment; or
Paid directly by the customer at an agreed amount (depending on applicant s income and expenditure).
How to apply
▪ BL applications can be made by completing an Application Form and posting it to a local Jobcentre Plus office.
When completed the form can be posted to your local Jobcentre Plus.
Dissatisfied with BL decision?
If the customer is dissatisfied with their BL decision: A review request should be made in writing within 28 days of the date of the decision stating the reasons why the applicant is dissatisfied with the decision. Customers can apply to the IRS