Have you heard of Help to Save?

11th December 2023

At this time of year people are probably spending money rather than saving, but we have to let you know about a way you can save money if you receive Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit.

Read on to find out more…

What is Help to Save?

Help to Save is a type of savings account. It gives low-income earners claiming Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit a savings boost. It pays a 50% bonus on the amount saved, up to a maximum of £1,200 over four years.

How do the payments work?

You can save up to £50 each calendar month. You do not have to pay money in every month.

You can pay money into your Help to Save account by debit card, standing order or bank transfer.

You can pay in as many times as you like, but the most you can pay in each calendar month is £50. For example, if you have saved £50 by 8 October, you will not be able to pay in again until 1 November.

You can withdraw money from your Help to Save account to your bank account.

How do the bonuses work?

You get bonuses at the end of the second and fourth years. They’re based on how much you’ve saved. The first 50% bonus is based on the highest balance during the first two years. The second 50% bonus is based on the difference between the highest balance in years three and four and the highest balance during the first two years.

How do I qualify for Help to Save?

 You need to be a UK resident (or posted overseas as a crown servant or with the armed forces) and either:

  • Receive Universal Credit and had a take-home pay of £722.45 or more in your last monthly assessment period; or
  • Be entitled to Working Tax Credit and receive Working or Child Tax Credit.

How do I apply?

You can apply online on the GOV.UK website. You’ll be required to sign-in to your Government Gateway account or you can call HMRC on 0300 322 7093. You can open an account until April 2025. Once it’s opened, you can keep it for up to four years.

Does Help to Save affect my benefits?

No, if these are the only savings you have.

If you have other savings, then saving here could have an effect if it puts you over the Universal Credit or Council Tax Reduction savings threshold of £6,000. Above this, you lose £4.35 per month of Universal Credit or £1 of Council Tax Reduction for every £250 you’ve saved over £6,000 (savings of more than £16,000 disqualify you from receiving Universal Credit or Council Tax Reduction).

If you want to read more about the Help to Save account, you can visit the Money Saving Expert’s website.

For more ways of saving, you can visit our Credit Union page here.

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