What are student payday loans?

A payday loan is a loan that you’re expected to repay in full when you next get paid. They’re usually designed for people in work who are dealing with an emergency or unexpected costs and need a quick boost of cash.

Student payday loans are the same thing – just aimed at students. But if you’re working part-time with unpredictable hours, you might struggle to repay on time and get hit with nasty late payment penalties. Or, if you rely solely on student finance for income, most student payday loan direct lenders won’t consider your application in the first place.

We’re here to offer a more accessible alternative that is built with student life in mind. You can apply to borrow from £50 to £350 online to cover costs like rent or laptop repairs – and receive the money minutes later if we say yes!

You’ll pay it back when your next student finance instalment lands – whether that’s weeks or months away – and never pay more than 50% of it in interest. We don’t charge late payment fees and you can repay early if you want to.

Our loans are similar to student payday loans in the UK in that they’re fast and repaid when you get paid. You don’t need a job to access them, and there aren’t any pesky fees or penalties to stress over (save the stress for your assignments).

How our student payday loan alternatives work

Our payday loan alternatives are for students only. The first thing to do is check you qualify:

  • You study at a UK college or university and get government help in the form of a Student Loan, NHS Bursary or SAAS Award.
  • You’re at least 18 years of age.
  • You’re a UK resident.
  • You have a valid UK bank account and debit card.
  • You aren’t in an insolvency agreement (such as bankruptcy or an IVA).

Sound like you? Then here’s how our loan process works.

1. Apply online

Use the student loan calculator on our homepage to choose how much you want to borrow and how long for. If you’d like to repay when your next student finance instalment is due, check your statement for the date – or enter the first day of next term, if you can’t find it. You can put a different date entirely and see if you’ll save money on interest by repaying the loan earlier.

To get started, you’ll need to create an account with us and fill in some key information:

  • A valid email address.
  • Your bank and debit card details.
  • A working mobile phone.

You’ll also need to agree to a credit check and tell us about your expenditure and student finance, too. Check our guides on getting the information you need:

We’re a responsible lender and use credit checks to help us offer loans that we’re confident students can afford. Be wary of adverts for instant payday loans for students with no credit check – they’re usually too good to be true! And anyway, we might still be able to help if you have bad credit.

2. Answer our questions

Next, we’ll get to work reviewing the information you send over plus what’s on your credit report. Sometimes we need to double-check things – if we do, we’ll email or call you. Getting back to us as quickly as possible will help to keep the process moving.

3. Get your loan

If we approve your application, we’ll transfer the money the same day. In fact, for most students, this takes just a few minutes! Leaving you more time for those last-minute deadlines.

What can our loans for students be used for?

Managing money as a student is tough, but our student payday loan alternatives are here to help when you need them. We won’t restrict how you use yours or ask prying questions, but common uses include:

  • Unexpected costs - like laptop or bike repairs.
  • Living costs - like accommodation deposits.
  • Student costs - like course-related books and equipment.

We set up Smart-Pig to make loans fairer and easier to access for students. But at the same time, we won’t offer you a loan if it could put you in more trouble. If you’re struggling with debt or money management, check out our Student Money Advice or visit MoneyHelper. Your university might also be able to help.

Why choose Smart-Pig as your student payday loan alternative direct lender?

Student payday loans can be handy when you need money in a hurry – but they don’t suit everyone. If you need a little extra to cover costs until your student finance lands, here’s why you can feel confident in coming to Smart-Pig instead.

  • Accessible: We offer student payday loan alternatives to unemployed students as well as those with part-time work. Your employment status doesn’t matter to us.
  • No fees: You’ll know all the costs of your loan before committing to it. And, unlike standard student payday loans, you won’t get hit with hefty late payment fees if your circumstances change.
  • Grace period: We know that student finance payments get delayed sometimes. If yours does, you’ll get a 10-day interest-free period so you don’t get punished for something out of your control.
  • Capped interest: You’ll never pay more than 50% of your loan amount in interest. You might see different interest rates advertised across our website – this Guide to APR explains why.
  • Quick and easy: One of the best things about payday loans is how quick they are. Thankfully our alternatives are speedy, too – most students receive our loans mere minutes after approval.
  • Flexible features: Want to move your repayment date, get a top-up, or repay early to save on interest? We’ll do our best to make it happen. See how it works.
  • Designed by students: Most payday loans aren’t ideal for students, but our loans are. We created Smart-Pig after our own experience of borrowing money at university.
  • Rated by students: Don’t just take our word for it – thousands of students have rated us “Excellent” on the independent review website Trustpilot.

We’re a direct lender of alternative payday loans for students too, so you’ll always know who you’re dealing with and won’t get passed around.

Apply for one of our alternative payday loans for students online

Get back on track with student life with one of our easy student payday loan alternatives. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to get in touch with our friendly customer service team. Just fill in our contact form, email [email protected] (with an email subject filled in) or call 0203 5071 930. Our lines are open from 9am-8pm Monday-Friday and 10am-6pm Saturday-Sunday if you want to chat about the process.

Happy that we’re right for you and that you’re eligible? Then apply for a UK student payday loan alternative

and get the short-term boost you need.