Stoozing whilst on benefits?

I know this might get me a lot of hate but recently I had to sign onto ESA (Northern Ireland) before I became unwell I'd built up a strong credit score and have been stoozing about £10000. £3000 from a Stander graduate overdraft, £1500 from a fee-free Nationwide overdraft and £5,500 in purchase free credit cards. Most of this is saved in 5% interest accounts.

However my worry is that this will count as capital to the benefits people but on the other hand it's a great extra bit of money that I desperately need. £40 is nothing to sniff at when you're struggling.

The threshold for savings is £6000 and at first glance it's going to look like I've far more than that. Should I stop stoozing? Could I get in trouble? Or can I prove to them that I am stoozing and that I shouldn't be fined? Any help would be great!

Replies

  • edited 21 August 2016 at 8:40PM
    mrs_Tmrs_T Forumite
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    edited 21 August 2016 at 8:40PM
    I was in your situation last year and cleared most of my stoozing cards and haven't really got back into stoozing because the job I started in Feb is only a 1year contract. I just didn't feel comfortable with "debt" when I didn't have income, I didn't want to be paying minimum repayments from the little I had coming in. Nothing to do with claiming benefits because as you say stoozed money is not your money.
  • mrs_T wrote: »
    I was in your situation last year and cleared most of my stoozing cards and haven't really got back into stoozing because the job I started in Feb is only a 1year contract. I just didn't feel comfortable with "debt" when I didn't have income, I didn't want to be paying minimum repayments from the little I had coming in. Nothing to do with claiming benefits because as you say stoozed money is not your money.


    Thank you for your reply :)
  • YorkshireBoyYorkshireBoy Forumite
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    mrs_T wrote: »
    Nothing to do with claiming benefits because as you say stoozed money is not your money.
    I'm not sure that's correct. If I have an offset mortgage of £30K, which is fully offset with £30K of savings, then, irrespective of whether I have a mortgage or not, I have £30K of savings don't I? The 'benefits' office certainly thought so a few years ago when I had cause to ask them.

    They even told me paying off my mortgage with the £30K would be classed as deprivation of assets/capital.

    In the OP's shoes I'd have paid off at least £4K of the stoozing debt the moment I'd got wind of upcoming troubles!
  • BogalotBogalot Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    mrs_T wrote: »
    I was in your situation last year and cleared most of my stoozing cards and haven't really got back into stoozing because the job I started in Feb is only a 1year contract. I just didn't feel comfortable with "debt" when I didn't have income, I didn't want to be paying minimum repayments from the little I had coming in. Nothing to do with claiming benefits because as you say stoozed money is not your money.

    You're wrong, and your advice is dangerous.

    Debts do not form part of a benefit calculation, the OP will be counted as having capital of £10,000. Failure to declare this would amount to a fraudulent claim and be investigated as such. Keep in mind that the DWP do data matching exercises, so these accounts will come to light even if OP does not declare them.
  • I'm not sure that's correct. If I have an offset mortgage of £30K, which is fully offset with £30K of savings, then, irrespective of whether I have a mortgage or not, I have £30K of savings don't I? The 'benefits' office certainly thought so a few years ago when I had cause to ask them.

    They even told me paying off my mortgage with the £30K would be classed as deprivation of assets/capital.

    In the OP's shoes I'd have paid off at least £4K of the stoozing debt the moment I'd got wind of upcoming troubles!

    Thank you. I'll call them tomorrow to explain.
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