You may be aware that Budgeting Loans are today’s equivalent of the old Crisis Loan. In much the same way as the Crisis Loan, Budgeting Loans come under the Social Find umbrella and are designed to provide financial support for vulnerable people in monetary emergencies.
Applying for and eligibility for a Budgeting Loan depends on specific criteria. For ease of understanding we have outlined the easiest way to apply for a Budgeting Loan and the qualification required to aid a successful application.
So, what are Budgeting Loans used for?
Budgeting Loans are designed to assist in times of financial crisis and commonly contribute towards funding essential items such as:
- Travel expenses
- Employment/Interview expenses
- Maternity costs
- Funeral costs
- Home improvements e.g. security
The minimum amount typically applied for is £100 and each loan is agreed on an ‘interest-free’ basis. That means you only repay the amount originally borrowed. Repayment periods currently stand at 104 weeks.
Budgeting Loans – Eligibility
Budgeting Loan eligibility depends upon specific criteria stating that applicants must have been in receipt of one of the following income-related benefits for a minimum of 26 weeks. It must be remembered that Jobcentre Plus staff will also take individual circumstances into consideration.
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Please note that any existing benefits are not usually effected by a Budgeting Loan application.
Budgeting Loans – how to claim
Budgeting Loans can be claimed either via your local Jobcentre Plus or by downloading and returning an SF500 application form at www.gov.uk/government/publications/budgeting-loan-claim-form. Claims can also be made through the Budgeting Loan number – which will connect to your local Jobcentre Plus. Should you wish to contact your local Jobcentre Plus, helplines are available from 8am until 6pm on a Monday to Friday.
Appealing against a Budgeting Loan decision
Not every Budgeting Loan application is successful and this can be due to a number of reasons. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your Budget Loan application or have a Budgeting Loan complaint to make the Jobcentre Plus is the place to go.
Please note that any issues must be put into writing within 28-days of the decision. It is imperative you give as much information as possible about what you think is wrong with the decision or why you wish to complain.
If this process proves unsuccessful you may like to consider a further review via an Independent Case Examiner – details of which can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/budgeting-loans-how-to-ask-for-a-further-independent-review.