Budgeting Loans explained

Updated on 15 July 2014

If you receive benefits and you need to borrow some money to pay for everyday things, you could be eligible for a Budgeting Loan.

Who is eligible for a Budgeting Loan?

You can apply for a Budgeting Loan if you have been receiving one of these benefits for at least 26 weeks:

  • income Support;
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance;
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance'
  • Pension Credit.

What can I borrow it for?

You can use a Budgeting Loan to pay for:

  • rent;
  • clothing or footwear;
  • furniture or other household equipment;
  • things to help you look for or start work;
  • improving, maintaining or securing your home;
  • travelling expenses;
  • removal expenses if you’re moving home;
  • maternity or funeral costs;
  • repaying debts (such as hire purchase agreements) you used to pay for any of the above.

How much can I borrow?

You can borrow between £100 and £1,500, depending on whether you have children, are living on your own, have any savings or if you already owe money to the Social Fund (for example if you’ve already had a Crisis Loan).

When does it need to be repaid?

Budgeting Loans need to be repaid within two years.

How can I apply?

If you live in England, Wales or Scotland, you need to fill out form SF500 (which you can download here) and send it to your local Jobcentre Plus.

If you live in Northern Ireland, you need to download a different form SF500 (which you can download here) and send it to your local Jobcentre Plus.

What if my application is rejected?

If you think your application for a Budgeting Loan has been unfairly rejected you can ask for a review. To do this, you need to write to your local Jobcentre Plus within 28 days explaining why you think the decision is wrong.

If the review agrees with the original decision you can ask for another review by a Social Fund Inspector. This should take no longer than 12 days.

You can download a leaflet from the GOV.UK website to find out more about this second review.

More on what to do if you're in debt

Where to get free debt advice

Borrowing money from family and friends: how to do it right

The best alternatives to payday loans


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