Deposit assistance is available to the over 70,000 employees of the The Co-operative Group. The company provides its staff a number of benefits, one of which is an interest free loan that can be used to pay some of the damage deposit on private rented housing.
The scheme is available to all of the employees, no matter which of the almost 4,0000 retail outlets they work at. With the cost of housing continuing to accelerate in many cities across the UK, the loans can be used for either paying the deposit on a property where the family lives or they can also use the funds for moving to another city. The key criteria being that the home is privately rented.
Background on The Co-operative loan scheme
The company has thousands of employees, many of whom live in a privately rented home as they do not qualify for social housing. When there comes a time for the person to move (maybe into a bigger flat or resettle for work) the interest free loans can help pay the deposit on the new home. Or some employees may be young adults living with parents. Maybe they need financial help to pay the rent deposit on a property to call their own.
The idea for the programme, which operates in the same way as the season ticket loan scheme, came from the charity Shelter, which aims to help the low income and homeless with housing needs. The employee will be given a loan from The Co-operative Group if they are eligible. They will not have to pay any interest on it, but the borrower will need to agree to a repayment plan.
All of the cash issued will only be for deposit costs. Many landlords are now charging between 4 to 8 weeks worth of monthly rent costs for the deposit. The average amount due across the country is over £1,200 for just the deposit. There may also be fees for a letting agent. That is a large amount of cash for a Co-operative Group employee to come up with, so this scheme will help.
There are repayments required by the borrower. The process is normally automatic in that the money will be deducted from their monthly salary. The length of time to repay the loan will vary based on the tenure of the employee, their income, how much they borrowed and other factors. Some employees will be given multiple months to pay off the loan.
The company does have a formal application process in place. This will require the person to have a job for a defined period of time with the Co-operative Group. They can’t just start working there and then hope to receive this interest free loans. Also, the company will also arrange for the individual to attend budgeting workshops as one of their benefits, and this will help them plan their monthly income and bills in a better fashion.
With too many families in the UK not making a livable wage, the scheme will help ensure that at least they can afford some of their housing costs. Also, the fact that the money is being repaid should help limit financial hardships that are faced by employees. The Co-operative Group deposit scheme will go a long way towards assisting employees of the company with securing accommodations. Talk to the company or employees can also contact Shelter to apply.