UNIVERSAL Credit claimants and others on low incomes can get cheap broadband with a new deal from BT.
More than four million people will be able to get online and make calls for just £15 per month.
The deal offers broadband and phone calls for half the price compared to BT’s usual tariffs.
Home Essentials can save customers who are on Universal Credit and other benefits £240 per year on their bills, the telecoms firm says.
That includes those who get the guarantee credit element of Pension Credit, a benefit for pensioners that can unlock other perks like a free TV licence.
Anyone claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, and Employment and Support Allowance is also eligible.
How to save on broadband and TV bills
HERE’S how to save money on your broadband and TV bills:
Audit your subscriptions
If you’ve got multiple subscriptions to various on-demand services, such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Sky consider whether you need them all.
Could you even just get by with Freeview, which couldn’t cost you anything extra each month for TV.
Also make sure you’re not paying for Netflix twice via Sky and directly.
Haggle for a discount
If you want to stay with your provider, check prices elsewhere to set a benchmark and then call its customer services and threaten to leave unless it price matches or lowers your bill.
Switch and save
If you don’t want to stay with your current provider check if you can cancel your contract penalty free and switch to a cheaper provider.
The new tariff offers users internet download speeds of 36 megabytes per second (mbps), on average and 700 minutes of calls each month.
There is also an option for speedier connections of 67 mbps and unlimited calls for slightly more at £20 per month.
The exact speed you get can vary depending on where you live however, so it’s worth checking first so you don’t pay for a speed you can’t get.
Most firms usually have a postcode checker to see before you sign up.
You can also opt for a call-only tariff which costs £10 per month.
BTs equivalent tariff for those who don’t claim benefits for the new Home Essentials deal costs £27.99 for the internet connections and £7 for calls.
Marc Allera, the boss of BT’s consumer business, said: “BT Home Essentials will be available at half the price of our standard fibre package because fast, reliable connectivity to access vital online services – and keep in touch with loved ones – is more important than ever.
If you sign up to Home Essentials, you’ll have a 12 month contract but there are no fees for leaving the deal early.
That means you can switch if a better deal comes along and it always pays to keep an eye out as new deals often become available regularly.
You’ll also still get the deal if you no longer get the benefits which made you eligible until the end of the 12 months.
You won’t be able to get it after the year’s up, but if your circumstances haven’t changed you can continue getting it.
Again, you’ll want to check there’s not a better deal for you first.
When signing up you’ll need your National Insurance number and there’s a credit check too, unless you’re already with BT.
How does BT’s new deal compare?
If you have a low credit score you may have to pay a security deposit.
BT is bringing to an end an existing £10 tariff called BT Basics for those on Universal Credit.
That offered unlimited broadband of 10mps and free weekend calls, with some limits.
Anyone already on it already can continue but it won’t be available for new customers.
The new deal is more expensive, but does offer better internet speeds and fewer call limits.
How to save on your mobile phone bill
NOT happy with your current mobile phone deal?
If you’re outside the minimum term of your contract then you won’t need to pay a cancellation fee – and you might be able to find a cheaper deal elsewhere.
But don’t just switch contracts because the price is cheaper than what you’re currently paying.
Take a look at how many minutes and texts, as well as how much data you’re using, to find out which deal is best for you.
For example, if you’re a heavy internet user it’s worth finding a deal that accomodates this so you don’t end up spending extra on bundles or add-ons each month.
Also note that if you’re still in your contract period, you might be charged an exit fee.
Ready to look elsewhere? Pay-as-you-go deals are better for people who don’t regularly use their phone, while monthly contracts usually work out cheaper for those who do.
Billmonitor also matches buyers to the best pay-monthly deal based on their previous three months of bills.
It only works if you’re a customer of EE, O2, Three, Vodafone or Tesco Mobile and you’ll need to log in with your online account details.
There’s also MobilePhoneChecker,which has a bill monitoring feature that recommends a tariff based on your monthly usage.
If you’re happy with your provider then it might be worth using your research to haggle a better deal.
When it comes to other providers, Virgin Media also offers a deal for those on Universal Credit called Essential.
It’s priced at £15 per month and offers 15mbps, but does not come with calls and is for existing Virgin customers only.
Other options out there right now are similarly priced, but are not as widely available.
Prices of Hyperoptic’s Fair Fibre start from £8 a month but it’s only available to a small proportion of homes.
KCOM’s Flex tarriff for those on certain benefits starts from £9 per month for ADSL (this uses copper wires and not fibre cables) or £20 per month for fibre, but this is only in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
You can also get the more widely available Shell Energy Fast Broadband for £16.99 per month and offers speeds of 11 mbps.
This is available to anyone, not just those on Universal Credit.
Millions of Brits are struggling to pay their broadband bills and those on Universal Credit are most likely to fall behind.
Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert has explained how almost EVERYONE can get faster internet without paying more – here’s how.