Get an advance on your first payment

If you need help to pay your bills or cover other costs while you wait for your first Universal Credit payment, you can apply to get an advance.

The most you can get as an advance is the amount of your first estimated payment.

How to apply

You can apply for an advance payment in your online account or through your Jobcentre Plus work coach.

You’ll need to:

  • explain why you need an advance
  • verify your identity (you’ll do this when you apply online or on the phone with a work coach)
  • provide bank account details for the advance (talk to your work coach if you cannot open an account)

You’ll usually find out the same day if you can get an advance.

If you need help

Call the Universal Credit helpline if you need help applying for an advance payment.

How you pay back your advance

You start paying it back out of your first payment.

You can choose how many months you pay the advance back over, within the time limit. You must usually pay back the advance within:

  • 24 months if you apply on or after 12 April 2021
  • 12 months if you applied before 12 April 2021

You do not pay interest on it - the total amount you pay back is the same.


Your first estimated payment is £344 and you get £344 as an advance.

You choose to pay back your advance over 24 months, which is £14.33 per month. You’ll get £329.67 on your first payment date - this is your first payment minus the bit you’re repaying (£344 minus £14.33).

Read more about getting a Universal Credit advance.