How to top up your loan

Already having a loan doesn’t always mean you’ll be unable to borrow more money. Many banks and lenders offer something called a top-up loan. This can be useful if your money situation changes – and you’ll usually get an answer on your application quickly. Let’s take a look at how top-up loans work.


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Representative 49.7% APR. Representative Example: Amount of credit: £1,200. Interest rate: 0.34% per day for up to 75 days (25.5% (variable) per annum). Representative 49.7% APR (variable). For example, if you borrow £150 for four days, the interest per day would be £0.51 and the total interest would be £2.04 representing four days at £0.51 per day.
Choose Wisely is a trading style of Choose Wisely Limited and is a free to use price comparison website. Choose Wisely Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a credit broker not a lender, firm reference number 730574 and is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office number Z3106681.

A quick, easy way to get a top up loan today.

  • Borrow from £300 to £10000.

  • Choose between lenders who have accepted your application.

  • Absolutely no fees, ever.

Representative 49.7% APR.

How to get a top up loan in 3 simple steps.

Affordability assessment.

1 form - takes 2 minutes to complete and your data is 100% secure.

Compare products.

Choose from lenders that have accepted your application.

Speedy finance.

If approved, the cash can be in your account in as little as 15 minutes.[†]

Table of contents

Written by Andrew Freelander
Read time: ~5 mins
Published: 3rd March 2020 Updated: 4th March 2020

What are top-up loans?

A top-up loan is only available if you’re borrowing from a lender at the moment. Usually, you won’t end up having two loans on the go at once. Instead, your current loan will be paid off and replaced with a brand-new one for a bigger amount. This means you’ll still only have to make one repayment a month.

How do top-up loans work?

Let’s imagine that you currently have a balance of £2,000 left on your loan.

You have decided you want to top up your loan and borrow another £1,500.

If your lender accepts your application, they’ll open a new loan for £3,500. Some of this money will be used to pay off your old balance of £2,000 in full. You’ll then have £1,500 left over to spend.

Here are a few things to remember:

  • You might be charged for paying back the first loan early
  • The interest rate for your new loan might be higher than the old one
  • You might end up making repayments for longer

How do I apply for a top up?

Log in to the account you have with your lender to see if you’re allowed to top up your loan. Some companies let you see how much more you can borrow. You’ll need to fill out more forms and there will be a credit check. However, there shouldn’t be too much paperwork as the lender will already have most of your details.

Bear this in mind when you’re making an application:

  • If you have a guarantor, they will need to agree to the top-up loan
  • You can have a different guarantor with an Amigo Loans top up, but you’ll need the same one with a Bamboo Loans top up
  • You might only be able to top up your loan after making several repayments on time and in full
  • With NatWest loans and HSBC loans, you have the option to take out an additional loan instead of topping up the first one

Get the right guarantor loan

Don't need to top up your loan? Read this wise guide before applying with a guarantor.

Where can you get top-up loans?

It is possible to top up payday loans and personal loans with most major lenders and banks.

When you’re shopping around for your first loan, you can normally compare interest rates to find the best deal. This is harder to do with a top-up loan, as you’ll have to take or leave the rate your lender gives you. When you’re first getting a loan, it’s worth comparing rates on Choose Wisely and seeing who offers top ups.

The amount you’ll be able to top up your loan with depends on your income, monthly spending and the lender. Nationwide loans have a maximum limit of £25,000, but you could be allowed to top up Barclays loans to a total of £50,000.

Here’s how to find loan companies on Choose Wisely:

  • Select how much you want to borrow, and how long for, using the options on this page.
  • Click Get Accepted to start your application with our 100% secure service.
  • Complete our quick and easy form.
  • Check out the list of loans that match your requirements, ordered by who is likeliest to accept your application and who is cheapest.
  • Select your chosen lender and finalise your application.

Top up loan FAQs

Can you get a top-up on a personal loan?

Yes, many personal loans such as guarantor loans offer top up facilities. If you have a particular lender in mind that you want you to use, or already have a loan with it’s worth contacting them directly to enquire about the availability of a top up.

Do loan top-ups affect your credit score?

Yes, making multiple applications for any type of loan can affect your credit score. However, if a lender has your details, knows and trusts your ability to make repayments based on your account management thus far it’s likely they will lend you to again providing the new loan is still affordable. They will run a new credit check which will appear on your credit file but if you get the top up funded and keep up repayments this shouldn’t cause too many issues.

How much can you top-up a loan

This will be at your lender’s discretion as each will have their own maximum loan amounts set slightly differently. If you need to check the maximum your lender will offer you can see this on their library page by finding the loans library in our navigation. Alternatively, you can contact your lender directly to enquire.

Written by
Andrew Freelander
Brand & Content Manager at Choose Wisely

Andrew joined Choose Wisely 5 years ago, originally working in a design capacity to make sure the website was simple to use. Most notably he worked with the Consumer Finance Association to design the comparison table of choice for High-Cost Short Term Finance products.

The quickest way to find the best top up loan for you.

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Important Information.

All of the information in this guide is correct at the time of writing.

Rates shown are quotes based on your personal circumstances, are subject to status and are available to those aged 18 and over. Rates available range from a minimum of 3.9%APR to a maximum of 1575%APR Representative and loan repayment periods range from 3 to 60 months.

[*][†] Once accepted, your loan can be transferred to you in as little as 15 minutes. The time that it takes for the loan to show in your bank account will depend on your lender and your bank.

If you need financial advice you can visit stepchange, speak to citizens advice, call the national debtline or speak to

If you've been declined, please refer to your credit report to gain an understanding of why before making further applications.
Your score can be accessed for free via any of the main credit reference agencies such as Credit Karma, Clearscore or Experian.