Help with debt

Borrowing money and credit

Sometimes we all need some extra help to get by or to pay for things that we cannot afford out of our regular income. There are certain types of credit or loans that we should all avoid because very high interest rates mean paying back many more times what you have borrowed.

Budgeting Loans

Loans designed to help people pay for certain expenses which can include furniture and household equipment.  A person can only get a Budgeting Loan if they are claiming either Income Support; Income-related Employment and Support Allowance; Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Pension Credit. 

Budgeting Advance

A Budgeting Advance is for those claiming Universal Credit.  There are certain rules that apply in respect of these loans e.g. you’ll need to have claimed one of these benefits for 6 months or more and the amount loaned is limited.  Full details of eligibility can be found on the gov.uk website.

What you could get for a Budgeting loan or advance

The lowest amount you can borrow is £100. You could get up to:

  • £348 if you're single without children
  • £464 if you're in a couple without children
  • £812 if you have children & dependant on whether a previous loan has already been awarded.

Loan sharks

Loan sharks are illegal money lenders who often target low income and desperate families. Money Helper has useful information and advice if you have borrowed money from a loan shark.

If you need to borrow money to pay off debt, or for special reasons like travelling abroad to see family there are a number of responsible organisations who will make sure you can repay the loan and where interest rates are much more affordable. 

Credit unions

Berkshire Credit Union is a local, community based organisation that is a great alternative to banks, building societies, credit cards and high street or doorstep lenders. It provides loans at very low interest rates. Credit is affordable allowing someone to borrow without taking on unmanageable debt, or payday high interest loans.

Anyone who lives in Slough can join, it doesn't matter how old you are, whether or not you are working or claiming benefits. All you need is some proof of your ID and your address.