650 households to receive a hardship grant

March 24th 2023

The Five Lamps Organisation is delighted to have been chosen, along with five other CDFI’s to distribute hardship grants as part of an innovative partnership between Responsible Finance and Nat West. Please click here for more information.

In 2022, we disbursed almost 6,000 affordable loans ranging from £200 to £1500 to households unable to access main stream credit who needed a loan to help with unexpected bills or financial pressures. Of the 20,000 applications we declined, 3,000 were because the applicant would not be able to afford the loan repayments, having on average, less than £110 each month to live on after repayments. Almost one in five households were needing a loan of only £200 to help them manage an immediate financial pressure.

Over the next 3 months, using the Nat West Hardship fund, we will be awarding grants of between £50 to £100 to people who are declined for a loan because they cant afford the repayments and /or where a cash grant will make a big difference to that customer who is experiencing hardship.

Lisa Pickard, Group Chief Executive said, As a responsible lender we are concerned about the households we cannot lend to as more are becoming financially marginalised and resorting to high cost credit, illegal money lenders or loan sharks when they are faced with unexpected expense or bills. We currently provide a range of signposting and support to help declined customers improve their financial health whether it is through a free benefits check, support with income and expenditure or debt management advice. But we cannot give them what they really need and that is cash. Being able to give out a £100 cash grant will make a massive difference and hopefully prevent people resorting to high cost or illegal lenders. As well as responding to financial hardship, we hope these grants will make a difference to people’s health and wellbeing by reducing the stress and anxiety they experience when they face hardship. Through Conduit Loans we aim to Lend Fairly, ‘Change Lives & ‘Make People Matter’. Thanks to Responsible Finance and Nat West we will be able to do both for more than 650 households over the next few months.’

Grants will be awarded on a discretionary basis where a customer has applied for and been declined for a loan, or is an existing customers experiencing unexpected financial hardship. Applications cannot be made for the grant.