Whether you are going to be one of 1.7 million* student finance applicants, or a parent or sponsor supporting an application, the Student Loans Company has some top tips before applications open for academic year 2016/17 towards the end of February.
- You don’t need a confirmed place to be able to apply for student finance – you can use your first choice of course and update it later.
- Tuition Fee Loans are available to cover the cost of the fees and these are paid directly to the university or college once they confirm to us your attendance on the course.
- There is also funding available to help you meet living costs, such as rent and bills. The amount of the Maintenance Loan is dependent on your household income, where you live and where you study.
- New students can get clued up on what financial support is available before applying at gov.uk/studentfinance or studentfinancewales.co.uk. Extra help may be available to you if you have dependants or a disability.
- When completing the online application form it is best to have your National Insurance Number and Passport details to hand as you will be asked for this information as part of the application process.
- Keep a note of the email address you use when applying for student finance and make sure you choose a password that you’ll remember. The most common calls to the Student Loans Company are from students who have forgotten their password.
- If you’re applying for funding based on household income, you and your sponsor (normally parent or partner) must provide the correct financial and personal information. Your funding can be removed if you are found to have provided incorrect details.
- If you’re continuing your course this year but your personal details or family circumstances have changed since last year, make sure you gather the details in advance of submitting your application.
- Be aware of fraudsters aiming to steal your student finance by sending phishing emails claiming to be from the Student Loans Company or Student Finance England/Wales.
- Never post your bank details anywhere online or disclose them in an email or text.
- Send any suspicious student finance emails to firstname.lastname@example.org to highlight them to the Student Loans Company, who can close them down to protect other students.
Parents or sponsors
The Student Loans Company will automatically verify things like income details directly with HMRC. Sometimes however, we need evidence from the sponsor of a student finance application. This should be submitted as soon as possible.
Repaying your student loan You must pay back Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans but not until you’ve finished or left your course and are earning over the relevant threshold for your plan. The amount you repay is based on your income, not what you borrowed.
The repayment of your loans is administered through the UK tax system and each month 9% of your earnings over the relevant threshold is taken as a repayment.
Find out more about student loan repayment at studentloanrepayment.co.uk.
*1.7 million student finance applications were processed by the Student Loans Company in 2014/15.