It’s no secret that the high cost of living is making it increasingly difficult for people to pay the deposit needed to rent a house or flat.

So an interest-free loan from your employer could be just the thing to help you sort out somewhere to live.

That’s the thinking behind Starbucks’ Home Sweet Loan initiative, which offers loans of up to a month’s wages that can be repaid over the course of a year.

The scheme, developed by housing charity Shelter as the Tenancy Deposit Loan Scheme, was launched in September 2015 and is now paying out to its first successful applicants.

They include Marta Swiac, a shift supervisor at a Starbucks store in London’s Covent Garden district.

As housing costs keep rising, more and more people are struggling to scrape together the deposit needed to rent a home

Campbell Robb, chief executive, Shelter
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“I was contemplating leaving London and moving to a different part of the country where the pressure of living wasn’t so high,” she said.

“Then my store manager told me about the company's new programme to help pay my deposit for a flat.

Marta Swiac was thinking about leaving London before she heard about Starbucks' Home Sweet Loan initiative

“I really appreciate the financial security Home Sweet Loan has given me.”

Starbucks says it is the first private company in the UK to offer the scheme, which is available to workers in company-owned Starbucks who have been with the business for at least a year.

Lisa Robbins, the company's director for partner resources, said: “Since launching the Home Sweet Loan rental deposit scheme to our partners, we’ve seen a very positive response.

“Designed to ease the process of moving into a new home, a time when we know finances are stretched, we’re really pleased to have seen our first applicants have been able to benefit from the loan.”

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, added: “As housing costs keep rising, more and more people are struggling to scrape together the deposit needed to rent a home.

“We hope to see other UK employers follow Starbucks’ example and give renters the helping hand they need.”

Research by the Money Advice Service recently found that renters were twice as likely to have money worries than people who buy their own home

The survey also found that single parents, big families and young adults were the groups most likely to struggle with debt problems.