If you need help to get by while wait for your Universal Credit first payment you can ask for a Universal Credit loan. If you don’t get a Universal Credit loan, you will have to wait at least 5 or 6 weeks after you apply for Universal Credit to get any money.

If you don’t think you’ll have enough money live on while you wait for 5 to 6 weeks, ask for a Universal Credit advance payment. The advance payment isn’t an emergency loan or crisis loan. It’s an advance payment to help you get by until you start to receive Universal credit payments.

Is the Universal Credit Advance Payment a loan?

Yes, the Universal Credit advance payment is a loan and you’ll have to pay it back. But it’s an interest free loan so you won’t have to pay interest. Repayments for your Universal Credit loan are automatically deducted from your Universal Credit payments until it’s paid back. While you’re paying off your loan you’ll receive less money.

How can I apply for a Universal Credit loan?

During you Universal Credit interview at the Jobcentre you should be asked if you need an advance payment. If you need to arrange a Universal Credit interview, you’ll need to call your Jobcentre. If you don’t call the Jobcentre within 7 days, the DWP will cancel your claim.

Your Universal Credit loan could be up to 100% of your monthly entitlement. During the interview, you’ll need to say how much money you’ll need until you get your Universal Credit payment. And explain what you need it for. For example, a breakdown of money you need to pay rent, bills and for food.

When the DWP have agreed to give you a Universal Credit loan it should take 3 working days for you to receive the money. If your circumstances mean that you need the money sooner, tell the DWP why and they can make the payment the same day if you urgently require it.

Your Universal Credit loan will be paid by the DWP into the same bank account that you’re using to claim Universal Credit.

How can I apply for a Universal Credit loan if I’ve already had my Universal Credit interview?

If you’ve already had your Universal Credit interview, phone up the Universal Credit helpline to ask for an advance payment. You have up to 1 month and 1 week after your application for Universal Credit.

If you think you might not be able to manage on the money you have until your due your Universal Credit first payment. It’s better to ask about a loan as soon as possible.

Universal Credit Helpline

Universal Credit AppointmentsPhone Numbers
Telephone0800 328 9344
Textphone0800 328 1344
Welsh language0800 012 1888

The Universal Credit helpline is Open Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Calls to these Universal Credit phone numbers are free.

How will I repay my Universal Credit loan / advance payment?

Repayments for your Universal Credit loan will be taken directly out of your Universal Credit monthly payments. It should take up to 12 months to fully repay the loan.

The DWP will hell you how much the monthly repayments will be and how long it will take for you to repay your loan. If you’re asked to pay back your Universal Credit loan quicker than you can afford, seek advice.