How to apply for a budgeting loan

A budgeting loan is an interest free loan from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

It could help with extra costs if you or your partner must have been claiming any of these benefits for at 6 months:

  • 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.

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:

  • 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.

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.  

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

You can make a written request for a review if your application is turned down or you get less than you need.

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 on 0800 169 0140 if you're not sure where to send your review request.    

If you 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 don't agree with

Contact Citizens Advice for benefits help and information.

Last updated: 8 November 2018

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

Get help