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Student Finance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

When you’re applying for University, you’ve always got the crucial Student Finance at the back of your mind. There’s so much to know when it comes to Student Finance, the different loans, support, the amount you’re eligible for, the list can go on! Let’s start with what Student Finance actually is, Student Finance is a type of Loan. The loan is designed to help students pay for post-secondary education and the associated fees, such as tuition, books and supplies, and living expenses. There are different amounts of the loan available, and that is dependent on your financial circumstances, your parents’ income, and many additional factors. So, let’s get into the blog post!
Student Finance UK - Everything you need to know about student finance

What Student Finance is available?

The type of loan you may be eligible for is dependent on your level of study. For Undergraduates:

  • Tuition Fee Loan – You may be eligible to borrow money to help pay for university or college tuition fees. This loan is then paid directly to your University to cover the cost of your course. This loan will need to be repaid, which is dependent on your income.
  • Maintenance Loan – Depending on your eligibility, you may be able to apply for a maintenance loan, which is designed to help you with the cost of living as a student. This loan is paid directly to you (at the start of each term). Unlike the tuition fee, this will be paid directly into your bank account. The amount you are entitled to is dependent on your household income. Similar to the Tuition Fee Loan, you will also need to pay this back.

Whereas, for Postgraduates, the Postgraduate Loan is available:

  • Postgraduate Loan – This differs slightly from the structure of an Undergraduate loan as all of the money is paid directly to you as the student. It is your responsibility to pay the tuition fees to the University. You will be paid at the start of each term and the necessary payment will need to be made. It’s important to note that this loan is given to cover the course of your university and living fees, so it may be worthwhile budgeting accordingly. Just like with the other Loans mentioned, this will also need to be repaid.

There are also additional forms of support available:

  • Childcare Grant
  • Parent Learning Allowance
  • Adult Dependants’ Grant
  • Disabled Student Allowance

How do I apply for Student Finance?

The next important step is to apply! It may sound and feel like a daunting application but in actual fact, it’s pretty simple and straightforward. You will need to have a few pieces of evidence and proof on hand to submit with your application, but whatever form of document you need will be asked from you within the application. We’ve left a few pointers below on How to Apply for Student Finance:

  1. You can apply online via the Student Finance Website. If you haven’t already got an account online, you will need to create an account. This will mainly consist of you providing Student Finance with your personal details.
  2. Once you have created your account you will need to make your application (please do this as soon as possible to avoid delays in the receipt of your funding).
  3. The questions that follow will be about you and your personal circumstances.
  4. You will then be given options on what you’re studying, the higher education level (Undergraduate/Postgraduate) as well as the duration you plan to study for (Full-time/Part-time), in addition to other factors that Student Finance England will need to consider. It is extremely important that you select the correct university and course in order for your payments to be made in time as selecting the wrong course can delay the process of approval and also your payments being made, even if the application is approved.
  5. Once you have agreed to the Terms and Conditions and submitted your application, you will be presented with a checklist/to do list on your account home page. This will tell you what additional information you need to send to Student Finance, which will be used to support your application. For example, proof of address or your bank account details. Please ensure that you send any required evidence in as soon as possible.
  6. In some circumstances, you may be required to complete a paper application which you will have to fill out.

What happens next?

Now that the ‘hard’ part is all done and dusted, it’s time to wait. It can take 6-8 weeks (sometimes longer in peak periods) for your application to be processed. If you have sent in additional evidence it can take longer as these will need to be assessed.

When your application is approved, you will be sent a ‘Notification of Entitlement’ which is a letter that shows what you have been awarded and your scheduled payment dates.

When will I receive my Student Finance?

Once your application is approved and you are successfully enrolled, your place of study will confirm your Registration to Student Finance, who will then release your maintenance payments to you. In order to ensure you receive your maintenance payments, it is important you maintain a high level of attendance.

What if I cannot secure funding?

There are a number of reasons as to why you may not be eligible to receive funding, some of which are below:

  • Nationality/Residency Status
  • Previous Study
  • Holding an equivalent or higher qualification

If for any reason you are unable to secure funding, you will be required to pay the fees yourself as a Private Payer. Payment plans can be setup with the team.

I have applied for the wrong course or made a mistake on my application, what do I do?

You can complete a CO1 form, this is provided by Student Finance and you will be able to amend the details on your application. However, if the application is approved, we can amend any course details for you via a Change of Circumstances (COC) sent directly to Student Finance.

When do I apply for Student Finance?

It’s best advised to apply for your Student Loan as soon as possible, this is to avoid any delays in your application. If you have decided what institution you wish to study at, you should then apply for student finance.

How do I know if my Student Finance is approved?

You can login online to check the progress or status of your application https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-register-login you will also receive a letter from Student Finance, notifying you of your approval and outlining any scheduled payments to both you and your university.

What should I do when my Student Finance application is approved?

Once your loan application is approved, you should bring the letter of approval into your university and hand this in. You should then ensure that you are in full attendance of your classes.

When will I receive my maintenance payments?

You will usually receive your maintenance payments 3-5 days after your university or college has confirmed your registration to Student Finance. This is subject to you maintaining a high level of attendance and meeting enrolment criteria.

How will my tuition fee be paid?

Providing you have an approved tuition fee loan, your tuition fees will be paid directly to your university or college.

How much Student Funding will I receive?

The amount of student funding you are eligible to receive is dependent on various factors such as your age, where you live and who you live with. If you have people who are financially dependent on you, such as children or a partner, you may be eligible for additional grants. SLC will assess the level of household income received in the previous full tax year.  

Do I have to apply every year for Student Finance?

Yes, you will have to apply yearly.

How do I repay my Loan?

You will need to repay your loan once you have finished your course and when your annual income is over £26,575 (£27,295 from the 2021/22 Year). This will automatically be taken from your monthly pay and can be seen on your payslip. Student Finance will adjust the repayment amount accordingly, and in line with your annual income.

I have already studied at higher education level, will I be eligible for funding?

Typically you will only be funded for your first full degree. If you hold an equivalent or higher qualification, from anywhere in the world, it is unlikely you will be able to receive a tuition fee loan.

If you studied previously but did not complete the course, this may still affect your eligibility.

Will my payments be affected if I take a Career Break or become Unemployed?

This will dependent on your situation, however, you will need to notify Student Finance England and they will then assess the circumstances and offer guidance.

Will Student Finance affect future Money Commitments such as Mortgages?

It does have an impact on Mortgages as you will have a loan to your name, however, this isn’t crucial nor held against you when applying for mortgages.