About Smart-Pig student loans

Smart-Pig lets you borrow up to £350 until your next student loan, quickly and easily. Our loans are designed just for students and have 10-day grace period, interest cap, and no late payment fees.  This make us an alternative option to payday loans for students who need a short-term loan in an emergency.

Smart-Pig was created in 2012 by students at the University of Warwick and the University of Hertfordshire who realised that lots of students used short term loans, after they ran into trouble with a short-term loan themselves. They realised other short-term loans weren’t right for students, so they created Smart-Pig. Read Our Story to learn more.

7 reasons to choose a Smart-Pig student loan

  • The only short-term loan created just for students. Our loans for students are different to payday loans because we are the only company that takes your student loan into account when making a decision, we let you pay back when you receive your student loan and we don't sell your details.
  • No late payment fees or hidden costs
  • A 10-day grace period in case your student finance is delayed, meaning you won’t pay any interest for the 10 days after your loan is due.
  • A 50% interest cap to make sure that the costs of your loan always stays in control, even if repaying doesn’t go to plan. Our cap is half of the 100% maximum cap that most lenders charge.
  • Cash paid instantly once your loan is approved, with your loan sent to your bank account the same day.
  • Top up, Extend and Pay Early through the My Account. To learn more about this see How it Works.
  • Created by students at Hertfordshire and Warwick after we saw students being treated unfairly by payday loan companies. If we think a loan won't help your situation, we won't approve it.

Why short-term loans for students?

Students need short term loans just as much as everyone else. However, students have plenty of special circumstances that mean a specialist offering loans for students, created by students, will be more empathetic and may be aware of your individual needs.

  • Our loans are designed for students, so the fact you don’t own a home or have a full-time job won’t impact your application
  • We lend small amounts compared to other short-term loan companies because as a student you may have a low income, and we want you to be able to safely afford to repay.
  • The amount you can borrow is linked to how much you’re are getting for your student loan and how much you typically spend, to make sure the loan is affordable for you and that you still have plenty of money for the next term.
  • Your credit file is unique – that’s why we don’t just rely on a computer to decide your fate. We have a real team looking at your individual circumstances. We’ll try our best to say yes, even if you’ve had defaults, missed payments or bad credit.

What are Smart-Pig loans for?

Our loans are to help with short term student money problems and emergencies and are not a long-term finance solution. You might need a short-term student loan if:

  • You’ve had a sudden cost that you didn’t plan for;
  • You didn’t stick to your budget and ran out of money before your next student loan;
  • You can’t make your budget work this term due to a big annual cost such as a rent deposit or travel pass, but you know you’ll have surplus money soon when your student loan arrives.

Short term loans for students are not suitable for people with high levels of personal debt or people in severe financial difficulty. In this case, having another loan to repay will probably make things worse. If you’re experiencing some financial trouble, take a look at our Student Money Advice or go to the Money Advice Service. Your university may also be able to help.

If you’ve had bad credit in the past, but aren’t in severe financial distress right now, then we could help with our Bad Credit Student Loans.

How does Smart-Pig lend money responsibly?

Smart-Pig is committed to responsible lending, which is why we do our best to offer responsible rates and terms. We take proof of income and make checks on your expenditure, such as living costs and other credit obligations to make sure every loan is affordable. If you’re interested, you can read more about Responsible lending or the Good Practice Customer Charter put in place by the CCTA.

We pledge to always keep you up to date on your loan, always be open and honest, and see things from your side. Ultimately Smart-Pig is here to make student's lives easier when you are faced with unexpected costs or bills.

How much do Smart-Pig loans cost?

Our loans for students cost 0.8% per day, or 80p per day per £100 borrowed. Interest is applied each day until it’s capped at 50% per loan. For example, if you borrow £100, then most you can ever owe is £150. Our Loan Calculator can help you work out how much your Smart-Pig student loan will cost. There are no late payment fees or hidden charges.

The annual interest rate is 292% but the Representative APR we advertise has to be much higher. For more information see APR Explained.

Another way of looking at is our loans for students cost from £2.00 to £5.60 per week per £100 borrowed. To borrow £100:

  • A one-week loan costs £5.60 per week meaning you repay £105.60 in total
  • A 25-week loan repaying £150 in total costs £2.00 per week. The average cost per week is lower due to our interest cap.

Representative Example: £200 loan for 30 days. Interest 292% p.a. fixed. Total to repay £248.00. Representative 1270% APR

How is Smart-Pig regulated?

Smart-Pig is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under firm registration number 671696 and are a member of the Consumer Finance Association (CFA). We also registered with the ICO under registration number Z3048876 and operate comply with requirements under other regulatory bodies such as ASA, CMA and OFCOM.

Smart-Pig is a trading name of FCL Consumer Finance Ltd. The Smart-Pig team have gone on to start other consumer credit businesses, like buffa, and all these companies are all part of SBTP Group.

Smart-Pig was the first short term lender to be authorised by the FCA in August 2015.

Where is Smart-Pig based?

Smart-Pig is based in Leamington Spa in the Midlands, between Birmingham and London. This is because one of our founders went to the University of Warwick, so we’ve stayed in the area. We also have a management office in London. To reach us at our offices, Contact Us.


Need help? Speak to our team

Our customer services team at our UK call centre are on hand to deal with any queries you may have. You can also access your account online 24-hours a day via desktop, mobile or your tablet device.

Visit our Contact Page for more information.

0203 5071 930

[email protected]

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