The term ‘Budgeting Advance’ refers to a loan that is interest-free by nature and helpful for people to claim universal credit at the time of any emergency requirement of money. Budgeting Advance is an extra portion of the universal credit and can be available on the top of other benefits to pay certain expenses. It can help you buy household items like a fridge, air conditioner, television, pay advance rent or removal costs at the time of room shifting, or bear the expenses for security improvement or repairs for the home. If you have already applied for the universal credit payment for the first time and not received the money yet, and struggling to pay your bills, you can apply for a universal credit advance as well. The Department of Work and Pensions operates the whole process of budgeting advance and there are certain payments such as funeral expenses, welfare assistance, maternity grants, for which you do not have to pay back the money as well. At the time of a maternity grant, you can avail of a £500 SureStart maternity grant without any promise of paying back.
Who is eligible for Budgeting Advance
There are certain conditions mentioned below that you need to fulfill at the time of applying for a budgeting advance.
- You have to get universal credit for a minimum of six months. Or else your requirement for the money needs to help you to get a job or to keep your current job.
- If your earning amount is below £2600 as a single or below £3600 as a couple for the last six months, you can apply for a budgeting advance.
- If you are paying money for any other budgeting advance, you cannot apply for a fresh one. You have to pay the remaining amount in full in order to get a new one.
- Apart from universal credit, if you have claimed for jobseeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance, income support or pension credit within the last six months, you can still apply for a budgeting advance.
- At the time of applying for universal credit, you should also apply for budgeting advance rather than applying for a budgeting loan. Budgeting advance is similar to budgeting loan for the people claiming for universal credit.
- There is no specific age bar in order to be eligible for the application and the money you get through it is not taxable.
The maximum and minimum amount a person can borrow
Budgeting advance comes with certain limitations in borrowing money. If you are single without any dependent children, you can avail a maximum amount of £348 and as a couple without any dependent children, you can receive a maximum of £464. Whether you are single or couple, if you have a dependent child, you can avail a maximum of £812. The minimum amount for budgeting advance is £100. If your savings account contains more than £1000, you will not get the maximum amount.
Things you can pay through budgeting advance:
Budgeting advance can help you pay for several things mentioned below:
- You can pay for footwear, clothing, household or furniture items.
- Expenses at the time of funeral or maternity.
- Expenses for travelling.
- At the initial stage of getting a new job.
- Security improvement or maintenance cost for your home.
Repayment for budgeting advance
You can pay back the amount you borrowed through budgeting advance on a monthly basis at the time of the repayment of universal credit. The general time limit within which you need to pay back the amount is 12 months. In case of any exceptional or emergency circumstance, you can pay back the amount under an 18 month time period. From Jobcentre Plus portal on GOV.UK, you can apply for budgeting advance and the same portal will authorize your deduction amount in writing at the time of repayment.
Other types of financial help
If you have already availed universal credit and have a requirement for further help with some extra cash, you can also ask for a discretionary housing payment apart from budgeting advance. Moreover, there are also some other types of benefits at the time of any emergency which you can avail of, but that depends on your place of residence.