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Budgeting advances - get a loan if you’re on Universal Credit

This advice applies to England

If you're getting Universal Credit, you might be able to get a loan to cover an expense that comes up, such as:

  • a one-off item, eg replacing a broken fridge or getting a piece of furniture
  • unexpected expenses, eg a bill that’s higher than usual
  • expenses for starting a new job or keeping a job, eg uniforms, tools, etc
  • repairs to your home, maintenance or security
  • travelling expenses
  • maternity expenses
  • funeral expenses
  • moving costs or rent deposit
  • clothes

The loan is called a 'budgeting advance' - you'll have to pay it back by getting lower Universal Credit payments until it’s paid off. You’ll be told how much your payments will be reduced by.

If you've applied for Universal Credit but haven't had a payment yet, you might be able to get an advance payment instead of a budgeting advance.


All of the following must apply:

  • you must have been getting Universal Credit for 6 months or more, unless you need the money to help you start a new job or keep an existing job
  • you must have earned less than £2,600 (£3,600 together for couples) in the 6 months before your application
  • you or your partner must not be paying off a previous ‘budgeting advance’

How much you can get

Your circumstances Amount
Single with no responsibility for children £100 to £348
In a couple with no responsibility for children £100 to £464
You're responsible for children £100 to £812

You’ll get less if you have over £1000 in savings or investments.

How to get a budgeting advance

Contact your Jobcentre to apply.

Help with debt

If you find yourself getting into debt you can read our advice on dealing with debt or talk to an adviser at your nearest Citizens Advice

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