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To see alternatives to a payday loan, select why you need the money:

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If you’re behind with gas, electric or other utility bills, don’t take out a payday loan

Here’s what to do instead:

Contact the energy supplier and explain that you’re struggling to pay them. If you are behind with your payments, your supplier should treat you fairly and allow you to repay at a rate you can afford. If you’d like someone to do this on your behalf or need advice find a free debt adviser now

Many suppliers offer extra help to customers who can’t pay their bills. It’s very unlikely that you’ll be disconnected if you’re behind with your payments (as long as you don’t ignore your bill). But you MUST talk to your supplier, so phone them straight away if you haven’t done so.

What people tell us about using payday loans for everyday essentials

“I did have it in mind that I would definitely be able to pay it back, but you know, I just wasn’t realistic because there is always some kind of emergency somewhere…”

Try not to use a payday loan to pay for everyday essentials when money is tight.

Here’s what to do instead:

Talk to everyone you owe money to and see if they will agree to you paying smaller amounts over a longer period. This will help free up cash to pay for essentials.

See if your employer can give you an advance on your pay. If you’re claiming benefits and waiting for your first payment, or if your money is late, you can ask Jobcentre Plus for a short-term advance.


family or friends if they can help you. Make sure you draw up an agreement and pay the money back on time. Read our guide: Should you borrow from family and friends?

Don’t assume you can’t borrow elsewhere. Even if you’ve got a poor credit rating, there are alternatives to payday loans. And consider using a credit card or authorised overdraft – but only if you’re sure you’ll be able to repay at the end of the month and won’t go over your credit limit. To find out more, read our guide: Alternatives to payday loans

If you take out a payday loan always make sure you know the facts first. Read our guides Payday loans and Payday loan problems

What people tell us about how free debt advice helped them deal with creditors

“I was frightened to speak to my creditors. There are people who do it for you, like StepChange and Citizens Advice and it takes the stress off you…”

Don’t use a payday loan to pay off other borrowing like credit cards or loans

Here’s what to do instead:

Speak to the people you owe money to as soon as possible. They may agree to you making smaller repayments until your financial position improves.

Make sure you know your rights. If you’re struggling to pay back a loan or credit card, your lender has to treat you fairly and with consideration. In particular, they should also allow you reasonable time to repay the debt. This may include freezing their interest and charges or agreeing a repayment plan with you.

Category: Payday loans

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