Thousands of other hard-core Brits could get interest-free loans of up to £2,000 – are you eligible?
THOUSANDS of more financially vulnerable people should have access to interest-free loans.
The government is expanding its interest-free loan scheme (NILS) to provide assistance to 20,000 people across the country.
NILS offers credit of up to £2,000 to those who cannot afford the interest rates attached to other forms of standard loans.
In 2021, the government has pledged £3.8m to the scheme to help vulnerable people and prevent them from falling deeper into debt.
Under the program, you only repay what you borrow – unlike other loans where interest charges mean you repay more than you borrow.
The program was initially piloted in Manchester and other areas, and will now be rolled out across the country due to its success.
NILS allows customers to take out a loan for between six and 18 months – the average loan period in the trial was 12 months.
And more people could benefit from the scheme, as the government will decide in two years whether to expand it further.
You can apply for the scheme online.
To do this, you will need a copy of a recent bank statement in your name, dated within three months.
This can be a photo of a hard copy or a digital statement if you can download one from your online banking application in PDF format.
You will also be asked to provide proof of benefits in the application – this must be a statement of benefits dated within the last three months.
You will also need a statement of reference from a social worker, housing officer, local food bank or NHS worker.
To be eligible for the plan, you must be:
- Over 18
- Live locally for at least three months
- You must be able to repay the loan or qualify for a grant
- You must be on a benefit scheme or receiving local income
NILS can help you with the cost of essential household items, including washing machines and fridges.
Loans can also help you access education or employment, as you can use the money to cover transport costs, uniforms and equipment.
It does not provide you with assistance for the purchase of cell phones, televisions, carpets or any type of gift.
Wales is also running a similar scheme for those who have fallen behind on their rent due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fair4All Finance is the organization that partly manages NILS.
It was founded three years ago by the Treasury and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, with the aim of financially supporting people in vulnerable situations.
What other help can I get?
If you are not eligible for NILS, you can get other help.
The government has announced a set of measures to help households through the cost of living crisis.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced earlier this year that Britons would get up to £400 off their energy bills as part of a £21billion cost of living bailout.
Additional payments will be made to the most vulnerable, retired or disabled. These payments are grants, not loans, and therefore do not need to be repaid.
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