Money in an emergency

Date last updated: 22 June 2021

Money in an emergency

Payday loans aren’t the only option if you need money urgently. You might be able to get a budgeting loan, hardship payment, short term benefit advance or even a grant.

Find out about all these options, plus links to debt advice and money-saving tips from Gingerbread members below.

Gingerbread's Advice Service Manager, Anna, talks about how to get urgent financial help.

Get help in an emergency

In a crisis it may be tempting to take out a short term loan, but you can end up paying back double what you borrowed. There are other places you can turn for help:

• Short term benefit advance
• Hardship payments (if you have received a sanction)
• Food banks (three days’ emergency food)

Get help with rent and bills

If you already receive housing benefit but you’re still struggling to pay or facing rent arrears, you can apply for a discretionary housing payment. You will need to contact your local council.

If you need help paying your utility bills you can contact Turn2Us, for help finding a grant.

Get help with one-off costs

If you need help to cover longer term costs such as a new fridge, furniture, removal costs or clothing, you may be able to apply for a budgeting loan.

Budgeting loans are interest-free so you only pay back what you borrow. You can apply for a budgeting loan if you’ve been receiving income-related benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support for at least 26 weeks.

You can also contact Turn2Us to see if there are any grants available to help you cover costs.

Debt management, budgeting and money saving tips

If you are struggling with debt, take a look at our factsheets:

Help paying rent

If you are already receiving housing benefits, but you’re still struggling to pay or facing rent arrears, you can apply for a discretionary housing payment.

Find out more about DHP

Managing debt

If you are struggling with debt, there is help available. Find out how to deal with existing debt, and how to manage money to make it last, using our factsheets below.

Dealing with debt Making ends meet

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