How to apply for a budgeting loan

A budgeting loan is an interest free loan from the Department for 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 support

  • income based jobseeker's allowance

  • income related employment and support allowance

  • pension credit

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.

DWP loans must be paid back.

This means you will have less money each month until the loan or advance is repaid.

Check if you can get an emergency grant or money help before asking for a DWP loan.

What you can claim for

You can get a budgeting loan to help pay for:

  • rent in advance

  • moving home

  • maintenance, improvements or security for your home

  • furniture or household items such as washing machines

  • clothes

  • costs linked to getting a new job

  • maternity costs

  • funeral costs

  • 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

Apply on GOV.UK.

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

Contact Citizens Advice for benefits help and information.

Last updated: 14 July 2022

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