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The first step to better financial decisions is to learn more about your money!

Meet our AI Financial Assistant: Your Personal Finance Guide!

Let us introduce you to the groundbreaking AI Financial Assistant! This innovative addition to Hastee’s suite of services is set to revolutionise the way you manage your personal finances.   What is the AI Financial Assistant?  The AI Financial Assistant is a free and confidential AI-powered chatbot designed to answer all your personal finance questions. […]

Unlocking the Power of Corporate Benefits with Hastee

 As the corporate landscape evolves, more companies are aiming to enhance the number and variety of benefits they offer to their employees. Traditional social benefits such as health insurance, meal vouchers, and transportation vouchers are becoming standard. But the benefits that are truly setting companies apart today go beyond these basics. In the modern workplace, […]

Welfare benefits in the workplace

Author: Manu Peleteiro, CEO at Inbest.ai   There are over 8mn vulnerable households not claiming benefits because they wrongly assume that they are not eligible or think that the application is too complicated. The most common reasons people assume they are not eligible is because they believe that their income is too high, or they wrongly […]

Off-site 2023

Celebrating the Unbeatable Hastee Team Spirit! Have you ever witnessed a team that radiates enthusiasm, creativity, and unwavering unity? Well, you’re about to as we take you through our recent Castelldefels off-site extravaganza with the absolutely fantastic Hastee team! 🌞🌴 A Team Like No Other What makes a team truly amazing? It’s not just about […]

Hastee co-founds world’s first EWA Code of Practice

Hastee joins forces with the UK Money & Pensions Service, the CIPP, and 6 other EWA providers to launch the world’s first ‘EWA Code of Practice’ Earned Wage Access (EWA) is growing rapidly all around the world: giving employees access to their earned pay has now become a legal requirement in counties such as Spain, […]

Our latest feature: the Benefits Calculator

Many people wrongly assume that they are not eligible for benefits or think that the application is too complicated. In reality, this is not the case; 8 million households are just a few taps away from claiming £19 billion in benefits. In fact, if you’re earning less than £60,000, you could well be eligible. To […]

Our first online-only Black Friday  

We are all guilty of getting sucked into a sale or purchasing something we probably could’ve gone without. But in that moment of time we know it is wrong, but that rose quartz drink bottle to positively charge your water, just felt so right. At a time when many retailers are aiming to boost online […]

Foosball tables. Beer on tap. Free kombucha. Earnings on Demand (EOD)

Well if Earned Wage Access, isn’t a benefit then what is it? It’s the future. In its simplest form, most people are paid fortnightly or monthly (mostly the latter here in the UK) and we are removing this barrier, allowing workers to access a portion of their earned wage, when they need it. Earned Wage […]

The Journey to Becoming a Destination Employer

The term ‘destination employer’ is a badge of honour for any business, but one does not simply become a destination employer overnight. Whether a business qualifies as one depends on how jobseekers and your existing staff perceive the business. If you’re seen as a company that is well known and respected in your industry and […]

The financial impact of Christmas well in to the new year

The impact of Christmas spending isn’t just felt in December or January, it can go right through the year. 25% of people surveyed said that the impact of Christmas is felt 3 months after Christmas and frighteningly some people are still feeling the impact of the previous Christmas when it comes round to the following […]

Tax relief and your workplace pension scheme

There are two ways you can receive tax relief on your pension contributions if you’re in a workplace pension scheme. Your employer chooses which method to use and must apply this to all staff. Here’s how tax relief works. What is tax relief? When you pay into your pension, some of the money that would […]

Case study: Securitas Direct

“Switching to Hastee has given us unparalleled peace of mind and happier employees” – Beatriz Andueza Rodriguez, Head of Personnel at Securitas Direct Securitas Direct, a leading security company in Spain and Portugal with over 10,000 employees, recognised the need for more immediate financial support options for their staff, so they turned to Hastee. Over […]

Meet Ian, one of Hastee’s users

Who do you work for? I work for GMS Security as Business Protection for Jaguar and Land Rover. I have been working with GMS now for 5 months and I really enjoy working with the team here, as every day is different.   What do you like about being able to get paid weekly? Without […]

Meet Juanjo Domínguez, our Global Sales Director

How do you prefer to start your day?    I love to start it by going to my favourite coffee shop next to my house, there’s nothing I like more than reading the newspaper while enjoying the best coffee in Barcelona!    What was your first job?   It was while I was in high school with 17 […]

Off-site 2023

Celebrating the Unbeatable Hastee Team Spirit! Have you ever witnessed a team that radiates enthusiasm, creativity, and unwavering unity? Well, you’re about to as we take you through our recent Castelldefels off-site extravaganza with the absolutely fantastic Hastee team! 🌞🌴 A Team Like No Other What makes a team truly amazing? It’s not just about […]

Hastee co-founds world’s first EWA Code of Practice

Hastee joins forces with the UK Money & Pensions Service, the CIPP, and 6 other EWA providers to launch the world’s first ‘EWA Code of Practice’ Earned Wage Access (EWA) is growing rapidly all around the world: giving employees access to their earned pay has now become a legal requirement in counties such as Spain, […]

Our latest feature: the Benefits Calculator

Many people wrongly assume that they are not eligible for benefits or think that the application is too complicated. In reality, this is not the case; 8 million households are just a few taps away from claiming £19 billion in benefits. In fact, if you’re earning less than £60,000, you could well be eligible. To […]

Hastee wins Personal Finance Tech of the year 2021!

With an amazing shortlist of the UK’s best fintech co’s such as Chip, LOQBOX, Plum, Snoop, and Tickr, Hastee came out victorious. A massive team effort and we are hugely proud of each and everyone of the team to put Earned Wage Access at the forefront of the UK Fintech scene.   The Judges said: […]

Hastee acquires Typs

Acquisition consolidates leading ‘flexible pay’ provider to benefit all sizes of customer and accelerate the modernisation of pay   LONDON, UK, 12th November, 2020: Hastee, the leading earnings on demand company, has agreed to acquire Typs, their Spanish counterpart, to accelerate growth across Southern Europe and beyond.   The deal combines two leading Earnings on […]

Our new CEO

We’d love to introduce you to our brand spanking new CEO, Jaime Jimenez. This week we sat down with him to ask the hardest of the hard hitting questions. You’re welcome! ✨Slack or Emails? Emails… does that mean I am old school? ✨Circles or squares? Squares ✨Be chased by 10,000 scorpions or 10 lions? 10 […]

Hastee Wins Challenge Grant

Hastee was founded for a purpose: to improve the financial health and productivity of workers. Our solution allows employees to withdraw a portion of their pay as soon as they have earned it, breaking the outdated monthly pay-cycle that forces many into debt and financial stress.   Today we’re excited to announce we are one of the 14 […]

Hastee partners with Vivup

We are excited to announce an exclusive partnership with leading health and wellbeing benefits provider Vivup. Hastee, who enable employees to access a portion of their earned pay when they need it, are already established within healthcare, working with NHS Trusts including South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, leading Care Home provider Bluebird Care and […]

Hastee signs exclusive partnership with nudge

LONDON, UK., 27th April 2021: Hastee, the award-winning, financial health platform, has today announced an exclusive new partnership within the Earned Wage Access space , with global financial wellbeing platform nudge, which will allow Hastee users access to its financial education and money management tools within the Hastee app.   Hastee nurtures employee financial health […]

Disruptor of the year?

We are thrilled to be nominated for Disruptor of the Year at the London Business Awards 2020! It has been one hell of a 12 months here at Hastee. We have got some amazing new clients in the form of All Bar One, London City Airport, Brewhouse and Kitchen, IRIS Software, Moy Park, The Vurger […]

Unlocking the Power of Corporate Benefits with Hastee

 As the corporate landscape evolves, more companies are aiming to enhance the number and variety of benefits they offer to their employees. Traditional social benefits such as health insurance, meal vouchers, and transportation vouchers are becoming standard. But the benefits that are truly setting companies apart today go beyond these basics. In the modern workplace, […]

Welfare benefits in the workplace

Author: Manu Peleteiro, CEO at Inbest.ai   There are over 8mn vulnerable households not claiming benefits because they wrongly assume that they are not eligible or think that the application is too complicated. The most common reasons people assume they are not eligible is because they believe that their income is too high, or they wrongly […]

Disability benefits and entitlements for children

If your child has a disability or long-term health condition, you might be entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for them as well as other financial support. This page explains more about the disability benefits and entitlements your child might qualify for and how to claim them. Disability Living Allowance Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Help […]

Budgeting Loans and Budgeting Advances

If you’re already getting certain benefits and need a loan, see if you can apply for an interest-free Budgeting Loan from the Social Fund. This can be much cheaper than paying high interest charges for borrowing from payday or doorstep lenders. This page tells you how Budgeting Loans work and how to apply for them, […]

Credit, debit and other cards

When it comes to spending, borrowing and avoiding charges, each type of payment card has different pros and cons. This guide tells you more about the main options. Cards for borrowing, cards for spending Credit cards Debit cards Store cards Prepaid cards Charge cards Credit builder cards Cards for borrowing, cards for spending There are […]

Compensation if your bank or building society goes bust

If your bank, building society or credit union went bust you would be entitled to compensation through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme for a maximum of £85,000. Find out what happens for joint accounts and if you have money with two banks in the same banking group. What is the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)? […]

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 As the corporate landscape evolves, more companies are aiming to enhance the number and variety of benefits they offer to their employees. Traditional social benefits such as health insurance, meal vouchers, and transportation vouchers are becoming standard. But the benefits that are truly setting companies apart today go beyond these basics.

In the modern workplace, employees value flexibility and financial well-being just as much as health and social perks. Benefits such as remote work options, flexible hours, bonuses, discounts, and financial education are rapidly gaining importance. These benefits not only enhance the overall well-being of employees but also significantly boost their performance and satisfaction at work.

One of the most impactful benefits that forward-thinking companies are starting to offer is financial flexibility. Financial stress is a significant concern for many employees, affecting their productivity and mental health. At Hastee, we recognise the importance of financial stability and flexibility for a happy and efficient workforce. That’s why we provide employees with instant and on-demand access to payroll advances, allowing them to access their earned wages whenever they need them.

Hastee’s financial flexibility solutions empower employees by giving them control over their finances, reducing the stress associated with unexpected expenses, and improving their overall quality of life. This innovative approach to employee benefits not only enhances individual well-being but also contributes to a more motivated and engaged workforce.

By offering financial education and flexibility, companies can show their commitment to their employees’ financial health and stability. It’s a win-win situation: employees gain peace of mind and financial security, and employers benefit from a more focused and productive team.

Author: Manu Peleteiro, CEO at Inbest.ai

 

There are over 8mn vulnerable households not claiming benefits because they wrongly assume that they are not eligible or think that the application is too complicated. The most common reasons people assume they are not eligible is because they believe that their income is too high, or they wrongly assume that they are not entitled to benefits because they are in employment.

Financial wellbeing in the workplace

Employers of all sizes recognise the benefits of improving the financial wellbeing of staff. Employees with better financial wellbeing have lower financial stress and anxiety and are therefore more effective and productive. This is particularly important for vulnerable employees who need benefits but are failing to access them. These employees are left with risky strategies to ‘get by’ including living from savings, borrowing from banks and deferring their mortgage, rent and credit card payments.

Welfare benefits in the workplace

We believe that the workplace is an excellent environment to increase the awareness of the benefits that low and variable income employees are entitled. HR managers can correct misperceptions about how the benefits system works and encourage employees to check their benefits entitlements as soon as they might be eligible. By having a proactive approach, HR managers can also reduce the stigma around benefits, increase the transparency on the application process, and make sure that employees review their benefits when there is a change in their circumstances or financial situation. Finally, HR managers can direct employees to organisations that offer free and impartial money advice and can answer their benefits questions and make sure that their benefits’ applications are correct.

Money Advice Service

If your child has a disability or long-term health condition, you might be entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for them as well as other financial support. This page explains more about the disability benefits and entitlements your child might qualify for and how to claim them.

Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance is a regular payment to help with the extra costs of daily living or mobility because your child has a long-term health condition or disability. It isn’t means-tested.

This means you might able to claim the benefit for your child regardless of your income or how much you have in savings.

Who is it for?

  • Children aged from three months to 16 who need extra help with daily living tasks, or
  • Children aged from three years to 16 who need help with mobility (getting about).

How much is it?

You could get between £23.20 and £148.85 a week, depending on the needs of your child.

How to claim?

Claim online on the GOV.UK website

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

What is PIP?

Personal Independence Payment has replaced DLA for people aged 16 to 64.

It is a payment that helps with the extra costs of being disabled or having a long-term health condition.

It isn’t means-tested.

This means you might be able to claim the benefit for your child when they turn 16, regardless of your income or how much you have in savings.

Who is it for?

People aged 16 to 64 who need help with daily living tasks or mobility (getting around).

If your child is aged 16 or over and you’re making a new claim for help with the extra costs of disability, you’ll need to claim PIP.

If your child is already getting DLA, you will be invited to make a new claim for PIP when they reach age16.

How much is it?

You could get between £23.20 and £148.85 a week, depending on the needs of your child.

How to claim?

Call the PIP claim line on 0800 917 2222 or Textphone on 0800 917 7777.

More information about PIP in Northern Ireland: nidirect website.

Help with housing costs if your child has a disability

Housing Benefit

Who is it for?

A household paying rent. More of your rent might be covered if a child in your household has a disability or long-term health condition.

Housing Benefit will be gradually replaced with Universal Credit.

How to claim?

Contact your local Jobcentre Plus/Jobs and Benefits Office or local council office.

Find out more at GOV.UK – Housing Benefit.

Help with Council Tax

Who is it for?

The person responsible for paying Council Tax. More of your bill might be covered if a child in your household has a disability or long-term health condition.

Council Tax Benefit has now been replaced by Council Tax Reduction schemes run by local councils in England, Wales and Scotland.

You can find out more on your local council website.

How to claim?

In England contact your local council to apply for their Council Tax Reduction scheme.

In Scotland contact your local authority to find out about their Council Tax Reduction scheme.

In Wales contact your local authority to find out about their Council Tax Reduction scheme.

Cold Weather Payment

Who is it for?

You might be able to get a Cold Weather payment to help with home heating costs if your child has a long-term health condition or disability and you’re getting one of these benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

How to claim?

You don’t need to apply. If you’re eligible to get a Cold Weather Payment, you’ll be paid it automatically after the temperature in your area has dropped below 0°C for seven consecutive days or more.

You can find out more at GOV.UK – Cold Weather Payment.

Child Tax Credit if your child has a disability

Who is it for?

Anyone with responsibility for a child who normally lives with them. How much you get will depend on your household income.

If your child has a disability or long-term health condition, you might able to claim an additional disabled premium for them.

Child Tax Credit will be gradually replaced with Universal Credit.

Changes to Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit

From April 2017, there are changes to who can get Child Tax Credits and Universal Credit, limiting support to the first two children.

However, all disabled children are protected.

So if you make a new claim after this date, you’ll still be able to get the disabled premium for any of your children who are disabled.

If you already have more than two children and are getting Child Tax Credits or Universal Credit, you won’t be affected by the changes.

For more information, use the tax credits calculator on the HM Revenue & Customs website to find out if you qualify and get a rough idea of how much you could be entitled to.

How to claim?

Call the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900.

Help with getting about – Motability and Blue Badge Schemes

Motability Scheme

Who is it for?

People getting the higher rate mobility element of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment – the scheme can provide a car, motorised wheelchair or scooter.

How to claim?

Call Motability on 0300 456 4566.

Find out more on the Motability website.

Blue Badge Scheme

Who is it for?

The Blue Badge scheme helps those with severe mobility problems who have difficulty using public transport to park close to where they need to go. Charges and entitlement rules for the Blue Badge scheme vary across the UK.

How to claim?

Apply online on the GOV.UK website or contact your local council.

For more information visit GOV.UK – Blue Badge Scheme.

Benefits if you’re a carer

Income Support

Who is it for? Parents who can’t work because they are caring for a disabled child.

Income Support will be gradually replaced by Universal Credit.

How to claim?

Contact your local Jobcentre Plus or Jobs and Benefits Office.

For more information visit GOV.UK – Income Support.

Carer’s Allowance

Who is it for? If you’re spending at least 35 hours a week caring for a child who gets the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance.

More information: GOV.UK – Carer’s Allowance

If you live in Scotland, carers will also get a supplementary payment of £221 a year. This will be made in two payments.

For more information please visit the Scottish Government website.

How to claim?

Contact your local Jobcentre Plus or Jobs and Benefits Office.

Help with claiming disability benefits for your child

Top tip

More than £16 billion in means-tested benefits and tax credits currently goes unclaimed every year. Even if you’re not sure, make a claim – you might be surprised what you could get.

Source: Citizens Advice

Disability benefits are there to help you.

However, working out if your child is eligible and filling in the forms can be really complicated.

If you’re claiming DLA or PIP for your child, they’ll usually need to be medically assessed as part of the claim process.

To get free expert help and advice, call these helplines to speak to an adviser.

While the disability benefit system is being reformed, it is particularly important to know where to get specialist help if you need it.

  • Disability Benefits Helpline: 03457 123 456
  • Contact a Family Helpline: 0808 808 3555
  • Enter your postcode on the Citizens Advice website to find your local bureau.

Read our guide Make sure you’re getting the right entitlements

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

If you’re already getting certain benefits and need a loan, see if you can apply for an interest-free Budgeting Loan from the Social Fund. This can be much cheaper than paying high interest charges for borrowing from payday or doorstep lenders. This page tells you how Budgeting Loans work and how to apply for them, including information about Budgeting Advances if you’re on Universal Credit.

Need someone to talk to about your finances?

If you’re struggling with money, you can talk to someone today, online, by phone or face to face. We have specially trained advisers who can help you start sorting out your financial problems.

Find free, confidential advice now using our free debt advice locator tool.

What is a Budgeting Loan?

A Budgeting Loan helps you pay for an essential or unexpected expense if you’re on a low income. It can be used for a wide range of things, including:

  • furniture or household equipment
  • clothing or footwear
  • advance rent or removal expenses for a new home
  • travelling expenses
  • things to help you look for or start work
  • improving, maintaining or securing your home
  • maternity or funeral expenses.

Other help with maternity expenses

If you’re expecting your first child or you’re expecting more than one baby and already have children, you might be able to claim a £500 SureStart maternity grant instead. You don’t have to pay this back.

Find out more about SureStart maternity grants in our guide Benefits and entitlements to claim when you’re having a baby.

Other help with funeral expenses

If you are getting certain benefits and have to pay the funeral expenses of a relative or close friend, you might be able to apply for a Funeral Payment.

Can I get a Budgeting Loan?

You can apply for a Budgeting Loan if you’re getting one of these benefits:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

You must have been claiming for at least 26 weeks, either consecutively or with a break of no more than 28 days.

The minimum amount you can ask for is £100, but there are maximums based on your household circumstances:

  • £384 if you’re single
  • £464 if you’re part of a couple
  • £812 if you have children.

Some things affect the amount of loan you can ask for, like:

  • existing Social Fund loans
  • savings over £1,000 (or £2,000 if you’re 63 or over).

How to apply for a Budgeting Loan

You can apply online on the GOV.UK website. This option isn’t available in Northern Ireland.

You can also download, print and fill in Form SF500 from the GOV.UK website.

Or ask for the form at your local Jobcentre Plus (or Jobs and Benefits Office in Northern Ireland).

Paying back a Budgeting Loan

Loan repayments are interest-free and worked out at the time your loan is agreed.

Depending on the amount you borrow, you normally have to pay it back within two years.

Repayments are usually automatically taken out of your benefits.

If you stop getting benefits while you’re paying back the loan, you’ll need to agree another way to pay the money back.

If you have a loan but can no longer afford the agreed repayments, ask the office that paid you to work out another repayment plan. It’s important you don’t get into debt trying to pay off the loan.

What is a Budgeting Advance?

If you’re claiming Universal Credit you should claim a Budgeting Advance instead of a Budgeting Loan. This is the equivalent of a Budgeting Loan for people who are claiming Universal Credit.

To get a Budgeting Advance you must:

  • have been getting Universal Credit for at least six months – unless you need the money to help you get a job or keep an existing job
  • have earned less than £2,600 if you’re single (£3,600 if you’re in a couple) in the past six months
  • not be paying off another Budgeting Advance.

You will usually have to start paying back your Budgeting Advance out of your next Universal Credit payment and pay it back within 12 months.

Ask your work coach at your local Jobcentre Plus about how to claim a Budgeting Advance.

The minimum amount you can ask for is £100, but there are maximums based on your household circumstances:

  • £384 if you’re single
  • £464 if you’re part of a couple
  • £812 if you have children

Other help you can get

Local authorities in England and the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can provide help and support in an emergency.

Help if you’re waiting for your first benefit payment

If you need money while you’re waiting for your first benefit payment or because you have had a significant change of circumstances, ask your Jobcentre Plus (Jobs and Benefits Offices in Northern Ireland) about a short-term benefit advance.

If you’re waiting for your first Universal Credit payment, you can ask for a Universal Credit Advance instead.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

When it comes to spending, borrowing and avoiding charges, each type of payment card has different pros and cons. This guide tells you more about the main options.

Cards for borrowing, cards for spending

There are two main types of card:

  • cards that let you borrow money and pay it back later (credit cards, store cards and charge cards)
  • cards that only let you spend money you already have or within an agreed overdraft facility (debit cards and prepaid cards).

Which one suits you best will depend on your finances, and your personality too.

This could depend on whether you’re confident about paying off your card bills and disciplined enough to do so, or whether you feel more comfortable not getting into debt.

Credit cards

A credit card is a way to buy things now and pay later.

You can run up a bill up to an agreed limit and either pay it off in full at the next monthly statement, or repay over time as long as you make at least the minimum payment each month.

Who are they for? Usually only for people with organised finances – otherwise there is a real risk of spiralling into debt. Even if you set up a Direct Debit to pay the full amount monthly, if you are not on top of your bank balance you could go overdrawn when the payment comes out. They’re available to over-18s only.

  • Credit cards give good protection against fraud.
  • Credit cards provide extra protection if you have problems with the goods or services you have bought that cost between £100 and £30,000.
  • Credit cards provide an easy way to pay for the unexpected.
  • If you don’t pay back the full amount there’s usually hefty interest on the money you’ve borrowed – unless you can get a card with a 0% introductory offer and make sure you repay in full before the introductory period ends.
Find out more in our guide to Credit cards

Debit cards

A debit card is like a direct link to your bank account – when you shop or buy services the money is taken out of your account right away.

Who are they for? – almost anyone with a standard UK current account, though if you plan to use it overseas you should check the charges first.

  • There’s no borrowing involved, except if you go into (or over) your overdraft.
  • Debit cards have some fraud protection against unauthorised transactions, but not as much as credit cards.

They don’t have the same legal protection, but you might be able to claim under ‘chargeback’ (part of the card scheme rules) if you have problems with purchases.

Debit cards might be worth using if you are buying something that costs less than £100, as credit cards don’t protect you for purchases you make under this amount.

For more information, read our guide on Debit cards

Store cards

Store cards are a type of credit card you can only use in one chain of shops.

Who are they for? Only a good idea for people who often spend a lot in a particular store, and are absolutely sure they’ll pay off the bill every month.

    • They come with deals and discounts in-store.
    • The interest rate is usually much higher than a credit card, so it will cost you more if you don’t repay in full each month.

Unlike store-branded credit cards, you can only use them in that store.

Read our guide on Store cards

Prepaid cards

A prepaid card works a bit like a gift card – you top it up with money, and you can only spend up to that amount.

Who are they for? – often used by travellers to carry holiday money, and by anyone without a normal bank account – generally, teens and people with poor credit ratings.

  • Safer than cash, since you can cancel the card if it gets lost or stolen.
  • They’re not accepted everywhere, and you might pay fees for using them or for topping them up.
Read our guide on Prepaid cards

Charge cards

Charge cards work a lot like credit cards – you buy now and pay the money back on your monthly repayment date.

However, with a charge card, you must pay off the balance every month. You can’t run up a bill and pay it back later.

Who are they for? – generally only for people on high incomes, who can afford to repay in full each month, or for business use.

There are also a few basic charge cards, but they don’t have much advantage over credit cards.

  • They often come with extra perks such as travel insurance or rewards, but usually at the price of a high annual or monthly fee.
  • If you don’t pay your bill the charges can be much higher than credit card interest – and your card might be cancelled.
Read our guide on Charge cards

Credit builder cards

If you’ve been turned down for a credit card because you’ve got a poor credit rating, one way of rebuilding your credit history is to use a credit builder card.

But the interest rates are usually much higher, and if you miss payments or only pay the minimum each month, it could end up making your credit rating worse.

See recommendations for the best cards to rebuild your credit score on the Money Saving Expert website

There are more things you can do to improve your credit rating.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

If your bank, building society or credit union went bust you would be entitled to compensation through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme for a maximum of £85,000. Find out what happens for joint accounts and if you have money with two banks in the same banking group.

What is the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) can pay out compensation to people who end up out of pocket because a bank or other financial services provider goes bust.

It also helps people who lose money because of poor advice from a financial adviser who has since gone out of business.

What the Financial Services Compensation Scheme covers

The scheme covers several different kinds of financial services.

You could get compensation if:

  • You lost money in deposit accounts with a bank, building society or credit union if the firm fails. As long as you didn’t have more than £85,000 with a single institution. Use Which?’s tool to find out which banks are part of the same group.
  • Your insurance company goes bust. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme can pay protected claims and try to arrange for, or help with, the transfer of the insurance business to another company if this is cost effective and practical.
  • Your pension provider goes bust. The scheme only covers pensions regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority – you can see an overview of which schemes are and aren’t covered on The Pensions Advisory Service website.
  • You lost money because you got poor financial advice, or your financial services provider committed fraud. In this case, the scheme might cover you if the financial services provider is unable, or likely to be unable, to pay claims against it.

Protection of temporarily high balances

It’s worth noting that depositors with temporary high balances might have protection under the FSCS for up to £1m, for up to six months from the date the account was first credited.

Cover for temporary high balances is only available to individuals and not to companies.

If, for example, you sell your home and as a result have an unusually high balance in your account, your balance might be temporarily protected if your bank goes bust, even if it is higher than the £85,000 limit.

What the Scheme doesn’t cover

You are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if:

  • The company is still in business. You must complain to them first, and then take your case to the Financial Ombudsman, if you are not satisfied. The scheme does cover future claims against firms still in business.
  • The firm wasn’t responsible for your loss. For example, if your loss was caused by an underlying investment going bust.
  • The company was not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the Prudential Regulation Authority. You can find out if yours is covered using the Financial Services Register.
  • The company was based in the European Economic Area (EEA). All deposit-takers with headquarters in the EEA must sign up to their home country’s deposit compensation scheme. All European countries are required to have a compensation limit equivalent to €100,000.
  • Your claim relates to business that took place before a certain date. This date varies depending on the type of claim – you can check key dates on the Scheme’s website.

If you think you’ve been sold a product that wasn’t suitable for you and the firm has gone bust – mis-selling – you might be able to claim compensation.

How to make a claim

When a bank or building society goes out of business the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, will automatically pay out depositors with eligible deposits up to £85,000.

Customers of other types of financial services may have to contact the FSCS directly.

How much compensation will you get?

There are limits on what the scheme will pay out.

You need to be particularly careful how much money you keep with each:

  • Bank,
  • Credit union, or
  • Building society

If you have savings above the compensation threshold, how you spread your money between different banking groups.

If you have only one account

Cash you put into UK banks or building societies (that are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority) is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

The FSCS deposit protection limit is £85,000 per authorised firm.

If you have more than one account with the same bank or building society

The maximum you would get is still £85,000, even if the total of all your different accounts with the same bank added up to more than this.

If you have more than one account, but with different banks and building societies

The level of protection you have will depend on which banks and building societies your accounts are with.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme will only pay out its maximum of £85,000 per person, for each ‘authorised institution’ or banking group.

Some bank brands are actually owned by a larger bank company. For example, First Direct is owned by HSBC. So, if you had £80,000 with First Direct and £10,000 with HSBC, you would have a total of £90,000 with HSBC Bank Plc. That means £5,000 would not be covered by the FSCS.

If you have a joint account

If you have a joint account, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme deposit protection limit is £170,000.

Beware of firms offering claims management services

It is completely free to make a claim with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

But, some companies will offer to help you make a claim and charge you a fee.

This can be as much as a quarter of your compensation plus VAT – so if you got £2,000 back you could end up paying the company as much as £600.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

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