If you’re claiming universal credit, you may be able to get a budgeting advance to help with unexpected costs or one-off expenses.
A budgeting advance is a loan of up to £348 (if you’re single) or £464 (if you’re part of a couple). You’ll have to repay the loan within two years, You won’t be able to get another loan until you have paid back the full amount of any previous budgeting advance.
You can borrow up to £812 if you have children or other dependents.
To be eligible for a budgeting advance, you’ll need to have been claiming universal credit for at least six months. You’ll also need to have:
– A good reason for wanting the loan, such as an unexpected bill or cost
– A realistic plan for repaying the loan
To apply for a budgeting advance, log in to your universal credit account and select the journal tab. Add a journal entry by clicking the green button, and selecting the option “A message for my work coach”.
You will need to make a journal entry explaining that you would like to apply for a budgeting loan/advance. Your work coach will either arrange an appointment at your local job center or complete the application on your behalf.
Repaying a Budgeting Loan/Advance
You’ll make fixed monthly repayments, which will be deducted from your universal credit payments.
If you’re still getting universal credit when the budgeting advance is due to be repaid, the amount you owe will be deducted from your universal credit payments until it’s paid off.
If you stop claiming universal credit, you’ll need to repay the budgeting advance in full or arrange installments. You can set up a direct debit or make regular payments until the debt is cleared.
If you’re struggling to repay your budgeting advance, you should contact your Jobcentre Plus office as soon as possible, or contact the Debt Management Service on 0800 916 0647
How will I be paid a Budgeting/Loan Advance?
If your budgeting advance is approved, the money will be paid into your bank account within three working days. If you don’t have a bank account you will be able to get your payment through the https://www.gov.uk/payment-exception-service
You’ll then have to repay the loan, plus interest, over a period of 12 to 104 weeks. The amount you pay back each week will depend on how much you earn.
Can I get a budgeting loan?
If you have an active claim for universal credit you cannot apply for a budgeting loan, you will also be excluded if:
- You get Jobseekers Allowance or employment support allowance
- You owe more than £1500 for crisis or budgeting loans
- You are involved in industrial action (strike, walkout)
You may be able to apply if you are on the old-style legacy benefits and have not yet moved over to universal credit.
Universal Credit advance payment
If you’re waiting for your first universal credit payment, You may be able to apply for an advance on your first payment. This is not a loan and does not need to be repaid, but will be deducted from future universal credit payments.
You can apply for an advance by logging in to your universal credit account. Your work coach will either arrange an appointment at your local jobcentre or complete the application on your behalf.
If you’re already getting universal credit, you won’t be able to apply for an advance payment. Instead, you can ask for a budgeting advance (see above).