Financial Help for Universal Credit Claimants

Those claiming Universal Credit for the first time will have to wait for six weeks or more for their
first payment because UC is paid monthly in arrears. This means you could be left to manage in the
meantime on little or no money. You may be able to tide yourself over with an advanced payment.

You can ask your work coach or call the Universal Credit helpline for a Universal Credit Advance
payment. This is usually calculated as half of your normal entitlement and you will have to pay it
back out of your UC payments over a six month period. This can mean having to live for quite a
few weeks on reduced payments as you pay it back.

If you have been claiming UC for six months or more, you may be able to claim a Budgeting
Advance should you need help covering essential expenses such as a boiler breakdown or if you
need to replace a broken cooker or fridge freezer etc. You have to pay this back from your future
UC payments. You cannot claim a Budgeting Advance if you are still waiting for your first UC
payment. You can ask your work coach about how to apply.

In both of these situations a UC claimant can be left severely short of funds for very many weeks if
not months. It is under these circumstances that most people will turn to a short-term loan to help
them manage their finances until they are back on their feet, but may well fall prey to expensive
payday lenders for loans with hefty interest rates. This is where the Stroud Valley Credit Union can

SVCU specialise in offering loans at very low rates to help members of the Stroud community who
need financial help. We have different loans available for Credit Union members and non-members,
and you will find our interest rates are very much lower than other sources of high-cost credit, such
as payday loans or doorstep lenders.
We will want to be sure you can comfortably afford to pay the loan back but we will work with you
to make your repayments manageable. Find out more about our loans here.