Iceland introduces interest-free loan: here’s who’s eligible for new Food Club card and how to apply

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The scheme is designed to help combat the Cost of Living crisis

Supermarket giant Iceland has introduced an interest-free loan scheme, helping shoppers a little more as millions are left financially strained due to the cost of living crisis.

The supermarket, which has built up a reputation for selling mostly frozen budget items, allows customers to take out interest free ‘micro-loans’ on a pre-loaded card of up to £100 for their shopping.

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AFP via Getty Images

Those who are on benefits can apply, provided you can prove you have a stable, regular income and a bank account from which you can make repayments.

Amid the widely publicised petrol and energy price hikes, grocery bills have also skyrocketed, and the annual price in the average household for grocery bills per annum has risen around £533, with items such as butter, milk and some meats leading the price hikes.

The surge in grocery bills is at its highest since 2008, as grocery price inflation recently rose by 11.6 percent between July and August, just under two percent from the previous month.

Managing director of Iceland, Richard Walker took to twitter to say: “Today (16 August) Iceland plays its part in easing the Cost of Living crisis through launching the Iceland Food Club with Fair for You.

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“This is about giving people a choice, and helping families avoid going hungry - compassionately and respectfully.”

What is the new scheme?

The new scheme, in partnership with Fair for You, a non-profit organisation, allows shoppers to first apply for a pre-loaded Food Club card that ranges from £25 to £75.

Further credit can be taken out, totalling to up to £100 at any one time.

Customers can only take out one loan at time, at six different periods throughout the year that coincide with school holidays.

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The purpose of this scheme is to allow people to avoid food poverty at a time when costs are so high, and comes at a crucial time as expenses rise during the summer holidays.

How has the scheme been received?

A regional trial held regarding what people thought of the scheme found that 95 percent of participants said the scheme was helpful, with 71 percent saying they’re now less likely to fall behind on rent and other bills.

The trial also revealed that 92 percent of participants said access to the new scheme launched by Iceland stopped or reduced their use of food banks.

It also found the trial even increased health benefits, with 65 percent declaring their diet had improved.

To apply for the scheme, visit the Fair for You website.

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