With Universal Credit (UC) you might find that you have to wait at least five weeks until you get your first payment.

If you don’t have enough money to last until you get paid there’s no need to worry because you can apply for an advance payment.

Advance payments are small loans to help keep you afloat until you get your first Universal Credit payment. They’re interest free so you only need to pay back what you borrowed.

You don’t have to give the money back straight away, you can pay the advance payment back over a period of 12 months and it’s easy to do. It’s automatically paid back through your Universal Credit payments each month so you don’t need to worry about sorting it out yourself. All you need to be aware of is it’ll take a little bit of money away from your Universal Credit payment each month until the full amount is paid. With that in mind, it’s really important you only borrow what money you need to help cover your household bills and living costs. This will reduce the amount you have to pay back each month.

You can ask for the advance either when you are waiting for your first payment, when you make your Universal Credit claim, or if you have reported a change in your circumstances such as finding yourself out of work.

How to apply for an Advance Payment…

You can apply by either ringing the free helpline for Universal Credit or you can talk to your work coach at the Job Centre. The adviser will talk with you and your partner if you’re making a joint claim.

There are also some simple things you will need to do, which include:

  • Giving an explanation of why an advance is needed
  • Have your identity checked
  • Provide the Universal Credit helpline adviser with your bank details (if the advance is agreed), so you can arrange and receive the payments

Live service contact numbers:

Full service contact numbers:

If you chose to speak to your work coach about an advance, you can do so when you have your interview for Universal Credit at the Job Centre. To arrange an interview you will need to ring your local job centre. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will withdraw your claim if you don’t call within 7 days.

You will usually find out if you’re able to get an advance payment on the same day.

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Please remember that not everyone is able to get an advance payment. You may be refused an advance if…

  • You live with parents,relatives or friends
  • You have savings you can use
  • You have enough money to live on whilst you wait for your first Universal Credit payment
  • You have any redundancy payments or final earnings you can use