Already claimed

5. Help with emergency costs

Budgeting Advances

You can get what is known as a Budgeting Advance to help pay for emergency household costs such as buying a new cooker or for help getting a job or staying in work. A Budgeting Advance is a loan, and you’ll need to repay it through your regular Universal Credit payments – your payments will be lower until you pay it back. You’ll be told how much your payments will be reduced by.

You’ll have to agree another way to repay your Budgeting Advance if you stop getting Universal Credit.

What you’ll get

The smallest amount you can borrow is £100. The most you can get is:

  • £348 if you’re single
  • £464 if you’re part of a couple
  • £812 if you have children

How much you can get depends on whether you:

  • can pay the loan back
  • have any savings over £1,000. Your first £1,000 of savings will be ignored, but the loan amount you are offered will be reduced by £1 for every £1 you have over that first £1,000.

How the Budgeting Advance is repaid

Deductions are made from your single monthly Universal Credit payment. The first deduction is made on the day you get your first payment.

You will have to repay the advance within 12 months.


To get a Budgeting Advance, you must have:

  • been getting Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance or State Pension Credit for 6 months or more, unless you need the money to help you start a new job or keep an existing job
  • earned less than £2,600 (£3,600 jointly for couples) in the past 6 months, and
  • paid off any previous Budgeting Advances