How does Smart-Pig work?

Smart-Pig was started by students concerned about how they were being treated by short-term lenders. Our short term student loans are designed to be a safer form of borrowing compared to other short-term loans or payday loans.

How do Smart-Pig student loans work?

  • No Late Payment Fees - We know what it's like to be paid late by the student loans company, so there are no fixed late fees.
  • Ten-Day Grace Period - If your student finance hasn't arrived on time and your loan repayment failed, you will automatically enter the 10 day grace period.
  • 50% Interest Cap - Even if you run into trouble with your loan, it will never cost more than 50% of what you borrow. This is HALF of the 100% cap most other online lenders are allowed to charge.
  • No Rollovers - We will not invite you to pay only the interest on your loan to encourage you to borrow for longer than expected.
  • Ethical Pledge - Our underwriting and collections team have your best interests at heart and will always listen and do what's right for you.
  • Founded by Students - Smart-Pig was created by students for students after one of our founders was treated badly by a "pay-day" lender. No-one understands student lending like we do.

Short term student loan features

  • Top up to your limit, change the due date (up to your student loan date) or repay early to save money, all online from your account.
  • Money in your account the same day, usually within 1 hour.
  • 15-minute application - we walk you through each step.
  • Up to £350, subject to an assesment of what is affordable for you to borrow.
  • Borrow up until your next student loan payment or sooner, to a maximum of 180 days.

What you need to apply

Taking out a Smart-Pig short term student loan is simple. You must:

  • Have a valid UK bank account and debit card
  • Be studying at a UK university.
  • Receive a Student Loan, Grant or Busary from Student Finance England/Wales, SAAS or the NHS.
  • Be a resident of the United Kingdom.
  • Be at least 18 years of age.

How to apply

Applying for a short term student loan with Smart-Pig is easy and takes about 10 minutes. First, enter the day you expect to get your next student loan. This must be accurate and match the date that you are due to receive your next student finance payment, which you can get online – see Getting Your Payment Letter. Your letter should look like the example - make sure you have the right page.

Use the tool on the Smart-Pig homepage to choose how much money you need and for how long. Then click apply now and follow the simple steps to create an account and complete your application. You don't need to set the repayment date to the same day as your student loan payment – it can be earlier.

What then?

Once you complete your application, Smart-Pig checks that your details are correct and that your student loan is genuine. We also conduct checks for the loan's affordability based on your current credit report. You will hear from us very shortly whether your short term student loan application has been approved.

You can extend your short term student loans (up to the sooner of 180 days from the date you took the loan or your next student loan date), pay back early, or borrow more up to your limit by visiting My Account.

Continuous Payment Authority

Like many online services, such as Amazon, Netflix and JustEat, we use a type of regular automatic payment on your debit card called a Continuous Payment Authority (CPA). A CPA authorises us to withdraw sums from your nominated bank account using debit card details, subject to specifically agreed terms which are fully disclosed and agreed through the loan application process. A CPA is not a direct debit, standing order or similar payment mechanism and relies solely on your debit card details. Once agreed, a CPA allows us to take a series of agreed payments using your debit card or credit card without having to seek express authorisation for every payment.

This means that we are able to charge your card without you needing to log in to give us your details again, as we have retained them from the application process. As part of your loan, we will charge your debit card for the full balance at 7 am on the due date. If this is not successful, we will make one further attempt at 7 am two days after the loan is due. Any further charges to your card will be agreed with you. You will always receive an email receipt from the payment service provider when your card is charged.

You are able to cancel your CPA yourself under the "Banking" tab in My Account, however, you will still be required to repay your loan manually using a different debit card or bank transfer. You can change the due date of your loan, subject to your loan terms, in My Account by extending, or can arrange to change or cancel individual CPA payments to us by getting in touch directly.