Supermarket chain Iceland is offering cheap loans to help people with the cost of their weekly shopping.
It’s offering the loan to spend in-store to stop shoppers turning to high-interest lenders or illegal loan sharks.
The loans are for £25-£75 and we repay them in weekly £10 amounts with an interest rate of 45 per cent.
That means we’d pay back 40p interest on a loan of £25 and £2.89 if we borrowed £75, Iceland said. We wouldn’t be allowed to owe more than £100 at any one time.
Loan, not a grant
To get the shopping loan, we have to join Iceland Food Club. They transfer the loan to a card that we can use to pay for shopping online or in-store at Iceland or The Food Warehouse.
They’ll email us back (usually within an hour) if we’re approved. We’ll then receive our card preloaded with the agreed amount within five to seven working days.
When repaying the shopping loan, the £10 a week is fixed and can’t be changed. But we can choose which day of the week the repayments come out on.
We’ll obviously still end up paying a bit more than if we were able to pay for our shopping from our own cash. But when things are tight and we think we’ll have more money in the coming weeks, it could be a good solution.
Shopping on a budget
Iceland said pilot schemes had shown clear benefits. It said 83 per cent of people involved no longer needed to use foodbanks and 80 per cent said it had boosted their mental health.
Three quarters said they felt they could feed their children healthier meals.
For healthy cooking on a budget, check out the Quids in! Food Guide and read our new interview with super cook Lorna Cooper.