How to apply for a budgeting loan

A budgeting loan could help with extra costs if you claim certain benefits.

What you can claim for

You can get a budgeting loan to help pay for:

  • furniture or household items such as washing machines
  • clothes
  • rent in advance
  • moving home
  • maintenance, improvements or security for your home
  • maternity costs
  • funeral costs
  • repaying loans you already owe for items that you could get a budgeting loan for

You don't pay interest on budgeting loans.

Who can apply

You or your partner must have been claiming any of these benefits for at least 26 weeks:

  • income support
  • income based jobseeker's allowance
  • income related employment and support allowance
  • pension credit

If you claim universal credit

You can't apply for a budgeting loan if you claim universal credit.

You can ask for a budgeting advance instead.

How much you could get

The minimum loan you can apply for is £100.

You can be loaned up to:

  • £348 if you’re single
  • £464 if you have a partner 
  • £812 if you or your partner claim child benefit

How to apply

Apply on GOV.UK.

You can also apply using form SF500.

How you pay back the loan

Repayments are deducted from your benefit payments.  

Check how much is likely be deducted on GOV.UK

Ask for repayments be spread over a longer period if repayments cause you hardship. 

The loan must be fully repaid within 2 years.

You must pay back what you owe if you stop getting benefits. Ask to pay in instalments if you can’t afford a lump sum. 

What to do if you are turned down

Ask for a review if your loan application is turned down or you get less than you need.

Write to your Jobcentre within 28 days of the date on the decision letter. Explain why you think the decision was wrong.    

If you need more help

Find out more about other sources of cash in a crisis and help with debts.

A benefits adviser may be able to:

  • explain the forms and help you work out how much to ask for
  • suggest other sources of funding
  • help you ask for a review of a decision you don't agree with

Contact Citizens Advice for benefits help and information.

Last updated 08 November 2018 | © Shelter

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help

Get help

Get the government to build more social housing

You have the power to make sure they provide affordable housing for all those who need it

Sign the petition Sign the petition

Email a link to this article

Thank you - your message has been sent.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.

Was this advice helpful?

Thank you - your feedback has been submitted to the team.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.