Martin Lewis urges low income & Universal Credit claimants to look into up to £1,200 boost

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This week has seen a number of cuts to interest rates being offered come into force, including on various NS&I products. It’s something which Martin Lewis addressed during his live show on Thursday evening.

Speaking during the news-you-can-use segment of the money programme, the financial journalist and campaigner commented on the reductions.

“On Tuesday, NS&I slashed its rates. Many of them were best-buys beforehand. They’re gone, and just look how low they are,” he said.

“From 0.01 percent to 0.15 percent – in other words, diddlysquat,” Martin added, addressing the cuts to the products titled Income Bonds, Direct ISA, Guaranteed Growth Bonds, and Direct Saver. “Just absolutely nothing.”

The financial journalist and campaigner went on to list a number of market-leading variable and fixed rate deals out there at the moment.

He also suggested other ways in which some people may be able to boost the interest they get on their savings.

However, it’s worth noting that not all of the options will be open or suitable to everyone.

“If you are saving, there are some other ways to boost interest,” he began.

“If you’re on a low income or perhaps on some elements of Universal Credit, the Help to Save scheme can give you a 50 percent boost on your savings.

“First-time buyers aged between 18 and 40 can get a Lifetime ISA. It gives you a 25 percent boost on your savings.

He added: “Or, pay off your expensive debts in many cases.”

What is the Help to Save scheme?

Help to Save is a government-backed savings account which offers a 50 pence boost for every £1 saved in the account over the course of four years.

Those eligible can save between £1 and £50 per calendar month into the account, although they don’t need to pay in money every month.

Bonuses are paid at the end of the second and fourth years, with the amount being based on how much has been saved in the account.

With the maximum contribution each month being £50, £2,400 can be saved over four years.

As such, the most that can be earned from the savings in the four year period is £1,200 in tax-free bonus money.

Rather than being paid into the Help to Save account, it’s paid into the person’s bank account.

It is important to be aware though that saving money via this account could affect eligibility for certain benefits.

It can also impact how much a person gets in benefits, and the full details of this can be found on the government website.

The Martin Lewis Money Show continues on Thursday at 8.30pm on ITV.

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