Reader Question: Are my debts taken into account when I apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance?

1 min Read Published: 28 Jun 2012

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Reader Question:

Can you offset debts (eg student loan) against savings for purpose of entitlement to income job seekers allowance?

My response:

Eligibility for you apply for Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance depends on your personal circumstances. In particular if you have savings over £16,000, you can’t usually get incomebased Jobseeker’s Allowance. Below this limit, for each £250 of your savings over £6,000, your benefit is reduced by £1 a week.

However, there is no explicit offset made for debts as part of the means test. In theory you could use savings to clear your debts but you could fall foul of the deprivation of assets rules.

As an aside most full-time students at college or university aren't eligible for get Jobseeker’s Allowance.

However, you can use the official online Benefits Adviser tool to determine what/if you are entitled to any benefits.

I hope that helps


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  1. Post graduation, with no job, all the advice is NOT to pay off student loans. But if you can’t get income based JSA with savings over 16k, might be wise to use all but 6k to reduce student loans? Surely debts should always be part of means testing?

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