What to do if you’re struggling to repay your debt

If you’re struggling, you can ask for a financial hardship decision to reduce the amount of benefit debt you pay.

You may be considered for this if you have money taken from your Universal Credit for:

benefit debt

Budgeting Loan and Crisis Loan repayment


rent arrears (if they’re taken at a rate greater than 10% of the standard allowance)
If a decision is made to reduce the amount you pay, it will be applied automatically to your next Universal Credit assessment period.

Advance payment – I want to defer repayments

If you’re struggling to repay your advance, you may be able to defer your repayment for up to 6 months. This is only available in exceptional circumstances.

You will need to contact to Universal Credit. The way to do this is either sign into your online Universal Credit account and write a message in your journal, or call them 

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

 If you do defer your advance repayments then make sure to also call DWP Debt Management  on 0800 916 0647 as repayments for other debts may increase.

If you have any other debts or overpayments being deducted from your Universal Credit and you are struggling then you can call DWP Debt Management and ask for repayments to be reduced to a lower repayment figure. You may be asked to explain your priority debts and how your budgeting and why you need these repayments to be reduced.