How can I prepare?

You can prepare for Universal Credit by taking the following actions:

1. Make sure you have a suitable account for payments

To receive your Universal Credit payments you need a bank or building society account. You can also use an account with an alternative provider, like a Credit Union. The account must be able to accept electronic payments.

Get more details from the Money Advice Service including how to get an account and what they involve.

2. Do you need a joint account?

If you live with your partner and you are both eligible for Universal Credit, you’ll only get a single monthly payment. You may wish to open a joint account to make sure you both have access to your Universal Credit payment.

3. Set up a way to pay your rent

Your rent will no longer be paid direct to your landlord like it was under Housing Benefit. Instead the payment for your rent will be included in your monthly Universal Credit payment. You will need to pay it to your landlord yourself, unless you have had a direct payment to your landlord agreed. You may find it easier to set up an automatic payment like a Direct Debit so you don’t need to remember to make the payment every month.

4. Make a monthly budget plan

Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears, so you may need to make changes to the way you budget. It’s important to budget so your payment lasts for the whole month.

5. Plan ahead with your rent, make it a priority

If you are able to do so start making small extra payments on your rent account now. This will mean you have a credit in place when you do make a claim for Universal Credit.

To help you understand what changes you may need to make, the government have also produced an online Universal Credit personal planner; 'getting ready for Universal Credit'.