How are Smart-Pig loans different?

Smart-Pig is the only short-term loan created just for students, with your student finance income in mind. We know that student finance doesn’t give you a lot of income, and that you have to budget across a term instead of month. We created our loans after we had first-hand experience of how borrowing as a student can go wrong. We realised that we needed a specialist short-term loan for students designed just for us.

Smart-Pig loans for students are different because:

  • The only short-term loans company for students online in the UK
  • Money paid instantly once your loan is approved
  • 50% interest cap, which is half the amount most other short-term lenders charge.
  • 10-day grace period, in case your student finance is late. You won’t pay any interest for the 10 days after your loan is due.
  • Top up your loan at any time in My Account if the amount you borrow is less than the affordable limit set for you when you apply
  • Extend your loan up to twice in My Account if the due date you originally had is earlier than the date your student finance is due. We make sure all loans are affordable based on what you’d repay when your student finance was due.

How can you borrow until your next student loan?

A Smart-Pig loan lets you borrow until your next student finance arrives. Learn How it Works.

Students are often left with a temporary shortfall until their next student finance payment arrives. Do any of the following sound familiar?

  • An unexpected cost
  • A mistake in your budget
  • An impulsive purchase
  • A big expense in one term such as a rent deposit

Many students might have the luxury of relying on family to cover a short-term money problem, but Smart-Pig lets you solve the issue quickly, privately and quite possibly more cheaply than you’d expect. See how much a short-term loan for students’ costs with our Loan Calculator

How are our loans just for students?

Read Our Story to learn how Smart-Pig was started after we ran into trouble with a payday loan when we were studying. Smart-Pig was started in a spirit of protest against bad practices in the short-term loan industry. Today, things are much better, but students still need a company offering safe, affordable short-term loans for students that genuinely cares about its customers – just read our many Trustpilot reviews for yourself.

Our loans are only for UK students in receipt of Student Finance, an NHS Bursary or SAAS Loan. You have to provide some information about this when you apply which you can get quickly and easily online using the guides in How to Apply.

You also need to be over 18 and not in an insolvency arrangement such as a bankruptcy or in an IVA. If you’re not a student, or have graduated, then we won’t be able to help you. Luckily, we also created buffa to bring many of the great things about Smart-Pig loans to the wider short-term loan market.

If you’ve recently graduated, or aren’t a student, check out

How is our interest cap different?

Our 50% interest cap is half of the maximum cap short-term loan companies can have in place. The FCA allows lenders to charge a maximum to 100% in interest per loan, at up to 0.8% per day. This means most other lenders can charge you up to £100 for every £100 you borrow.

At Smart-Pig, we believe students should never have to pay this much for credit. We’ve capped our interest at 50% - this means if you borrow £100 the most you will pay in interest is £50, which is still high but a great help for anyone who runs into trouble repaying their loan or borrowing over a longer period. Because of our cap, Smart-Pig loans for students cost between £2.00 and £5.60 per week per £100 borrowed. For a £100 loan:

  • A one-week loan repaying £105.60 costs £5.60 per week
  • A 25-week loan repaying £150 costs £2.00 per week. The average cost per week is lower due to the interest cap.

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

How is our grace period different?

From our experience, we know that student loans aren’t always paid to you on time, and it doesn’t seem fair to us that you should pay extra because of it.

To fix this, every Smart-Pig loan has a 10-day grace period. This means, for 10 days after your due date, no additional interest will be charged. If you have already hit our interest cap, no interest will accrue after that either.

There are things you can do to make sure that your student loan is paid to you on time. See our blog article here.

How can Smart-Pig help?

If used wisely and not too often, Smart-Pig can keep you in control of your finances but giving you a quick loan for students of up to £350. Our instant loans for students can be really useful when time matters. Because loans are paid in minutes, we might be able to help when you are stuck and need money right away.

We’ll always contact you if we think you are using our loans too much or we’re worried about how your finances are going. Smart-Pig is just one tool that you can use to help keep in control of your student money. Learn more about how to manage your finances in our Student Money Advice section.

Representative 1270% APR


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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