Claimants are advised from the onset advances of Universal Credit are not loans. They are Universal Credit awards paid early which is then recovered over an agreed period via deductions from their Universal Credit payment. Universal Credit New Claim Advances are recovered over a maximum of 12 months, this increases to 16 months in 2021. Exceptionally, the maximum period could be deferred by up to three months. Claimants can opt to repay the advance over a shorter period. For advances made after the payment due date, the full amount is recovered immediately from arrears payable.