Martin Lewis provides advice on help to save accounts
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A MoneySavingExpert reader shared how she was able to save £575 by using the “unbeatable” savings account that Mr Lewis had recommended previously. As the cost of living crisis continues, any extra cash saved could be vital for families feeling the squeeze.
Help to Save is a savings account where savers get a 50 percent bonus added to the amount that they deposit.
The scheme is open to people on Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit, but millions of Britons are missing out on the opportunity.
Savers can deposit up to £50 a month, with a potential bonus of £1,200 over the four years.
MoneySavingExpert reader Charlotte said she saved up an extra £575 through Help to Save.
Writing in to MSE, she said: “I saw one of your shows a while back where you told us about the Government’s Help to Save scheme.
“I set it up and have been paying in the max £50/month and have just received my £575 bonus. Thanks.”
In a tweet published in June, Martin said: “Are you, or someone you know on Universal Credits or other benefits? Do look at Help To Save.
“You can put up to £50/mth in, then after 2yrs get a 50 percent bonus on the most you had in there (even if you’ve taken it all out).
People can save between £1 and £50 each month.
For example, if someone has saved £50 by May 21, they will not be able to pay into their account again until June 1.
To receive the maximum £1,200 bonus, someone would need to put away £50 a month for four years.
At the end of year two and year four, people are paid a 50 percent bonus.
It’s deposited into an easy access account, so savers can make withdrawals if they need to.
However Britons should be aware that this could impact the overall bonus that’s available.
Laura Suter, head of personal finance at AJ Bell, said: “The reality is that the scheme has been poorly advertised, so lots of people aren’t aware of the perks on offer if they were able to put a bit away each month.
“This is coupled with the fact that lots of people on benefits just don’t have spare money to put away each month, even if they wanted to.
“These figures also pre-date the current cost of living crisis, and it’s inevitable that the number of people saving the maximum £50 a month will slump this year, as will the number of people using the scheme at all.”
People can apply for a Help to Save account through the Gov.uk website.
For those who don’t have access to the internet, they can still get an account by calling 0300 322 7093.
Martin Lewis is the Founder and Chair of MoneySavingExpert.com. To join the 13 million people who get his free Money Tips weekly email, go to www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip.
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