Martin Lewis reveals how millions are missing out on free £1,000 cash | The Sun

MARTIN Lewis has revealed that millions of people on low incomes could be missing out on free cash worth over £1,000.

The consumer champion shared the advice the latest episode of his ITV Money Show.

He said The Help to Save scheme is specifically designed for those on low incomes and Universal Credit.

You can also benefit from the scheme if you receive Working Tax Credits.

It could help households get their finances in order as the cost of living continues to soar.

Under the scheme, the government gives you a 50p bonus for each £1 you save for up to four years.


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You can save a maximum of £50 per calendar month.

So if you put the maximum £50 in each month for four years, you would get a £1,200 bonus from the government.

If you are on Universal Credit, your take-home pay needs to be £658.64 or more in the last monthly assessment period to be eligible.

Mr Lewis explained: "It's really worth accessing.

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"It is for people who are on Universal Credit or have low incomes.

"Not everyone will qualify, but it is worth checking."

Mr Lewis added you will get the 50% bonus on the highest amount you had in your account at one time.

So if you had £600 in there at one time, but had to use it all to repair a broken window and didn't add more money in, you would still get a £300 bonus from the government.

Help to Save is useful for people who can afford to put some money away each month or week, so the scheme isn’t for everyone.

But you can still open one and save as little as a pound here and there to get started.

You don't have to pay in every month and there's no set amount.

Having some cash put away if you're able to means you'll have something to fall back on in an emergency, for instance a washing machine or car breakdown.

It means you could avoid having to borrow the cash, which would cost you more if you have to pay interest.

Meanwhile the bonus on offer is far better than the interest you'll earn on savings you'll get from a bank right now.

Am I eligible for Help to Save?

Help to Save accounts are available to people who:

  • Receive Working Tax Credit
  • Are entitled to Working Tax Credit and receive Child Tax Credit
  • Claim Universal Credit and you (with your partner if it’s a joint claim) earned £604.56 or more from paid work in your last monthly assessment period

You and your partner can apply for separate Help to Save accounts, but you'll both need to apply individually. 

Savers also need to be living in the UK to be eligible for the scheme.

If you stop claiming benefits you can carry on using your Help to Save account.

How much can I save with Help to Save?

You can save between £1 and £50 every calendar month and accounts last for four years from the date opened.

After two years, savers get a 50% tax-free bonus on the highest balance they’ve achieved.

If you continue saving, you get another 50% tax-free bonus after a further two years – so the fourth year after opening the account.

The most you can earn from your savings in four years is £1,200 in bonus money.

As Help to Save is an easy-access account, you can make withdrawals – but doing this may affect your bonus.

You should also note that if your Help to Save cash pushes you over £6,000 in personal savings, it could affect your eligibility for some benefits.

How do I open a Help to Save account?

You can apply for an account via but you need a government gateway user ID and password.

If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you apply.

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For those who don’t have access to the internet, you can still get an account – just call 0300 322 7093.

Be aware that you’ll be asked to provide your bank details when you apply as the bonus is paid into your bank account rather than into the savings account.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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