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 do this at your first Jobcentre Plus interview)
  • 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.

Universal Credit helpline
Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744
NGT text relay – if you cannot hear or speak on the phone: 18001 then 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

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. You must pay it back within 12 months. You do not pay interest on it - the total amount you pay back is the same.

Example

Your first estimated payment is £251.77 and you get £251.77 as an advance.

You choose to pay back your advance over 12 months, which is £20.98 per month. You’ll get £230.79 on your first payment date - this is your first payment minus the bit you’re repaying (£251.77 minus £20.98).

Read more about getting a Universal Credit advance.

  1. Step 1 Check if you're eligible

  2. Step 2 Create an account and make a claim

    You need an online account to claim Universal Credit.

    1. Set up an account and make a claim

    You must submit your claim within 28 days of creating your account.

    If you live with your partner, they will also need to set up an account. You'll be given a code to link the accounts together.

  3. and Find out how your claim is assessed

    You'll need to have an interview with Jobcentre Plus. You'll be told how to arrange this after you submit your claim. It will be within 10 working days.

    If you have a disability or health condition you may need a work capability assessment. You'll be told if you need one after you claim.

    1. What to do if you have a health condition or disability
  4. Step 3 Attend your interview

  5. Step 4 Apply for an advance on your first payment

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

    1. You are currently viewing: Get an advance on your first Universal Credit payment
    2. Check if you can get any other financial support
  6. Step 5 Get your first payment

    You’ll get your first payment 5 weeks after you claim. Your account will be updated to tell you how much it will be.

    1. What to do if you disagree with the decision
  7. Step 6 Follow your agreement and report any change of circumstances

    You must keep to the Claimant Commitment you agreed at your interview. If you do not, your payments could stop.

    You must also update your account if your circumstances change to get the right payment.

    1. How to report a change in circumstances
    2. What to do if your payments are stopped