How to apply for a budgeting loan
A budgeting loan is an interest free loan from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to help with extra costs.
You or your partner must have claimed any of these benefits for at least 6 months:
income based jobseeker's allowance
income related employment and support allowance
If you claim universal credit
You cannot apply for a budgeting loan if you claim universal credit.
You can ask for a budgeting advance instead.
What you can claim for
You can get a budgeting loan to help pay for:
rent in advance
maintenance, improvements or security for your home
furniture or household items such as washing machines
costs linked to getting a new job
repaying loans you already owe for items that you could get a budgeting loan for
You do not pay interest on budgeting loans.
How much you could get
The minimum loan you can apply for is £100.
You can borrow 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
You can also apply using form SF500.
How you pay back the loan
Repayments are deducted from your benefit payments.
The payments should be based on what you can afford. You can ask for repayments be spread over a longer period if they cause you hardship.
The loan usually has to be paid back within 2 years.
You must pay back what you owe if you stop getting benefits. Ask to pay in instalments if you cannot afford a lump sum.
If your loan application is turned down
You can ask for a review if your loan application is turned down or you get less than you need. You need to do this in writing.
Explain why you think the decision is wrong.
You must do this within 4 weeks of getting the decision letter.
Call the DWP Social Fund Enquiry Line on 0800 169 0140 if you're not sure where to send your review request.
Need more help?
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 do not agree with
Last updated: 14 July 2022