Whether you’re a new student, a parent or sponsor supporting an application or you’re one of the two million customers currently repaying your student loan, Nichola Malton, Assessment Manager at the Student Loans Company has some tips before applications open early in 2015.
- 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.
- New students can get clued up on what financial support is available before applying at www.gov.uk/studentfinance or www.studentfinancewales.co.uk. Extra help may be available to you if you have dependants or a disability.
- 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 SLC, 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 and for around 82% of applicants we achieved a successful match. Sometimes however, we need evidence from the sponsor of a student finance application.
Repaying your student loan
If you’re starting, continuing or nearly finished repaying your student loan, here are some top tips that should help to keep your finances in shape in 2015. Find out more about student loan repayment: www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk.
- You can log into your account and use the Balance Calculator to work out how much you have left to pay on your student loan
- You should monitor your student loan repayments closely and details or deductions, which are shown on payslips and P60s.
- If you’re in the last two years of repaying your loan, you should opt to move from PAYE repayments to repaying via by direct debit to ensure your loan repayments finish when they are due to. Failure to do so will result in you over repaying your loan.
Moving abroad or moving home in 2015?
If you have a student loan and you’re moving home in 2015 or moving abroad in 2015, you must keep the Student Loans Company informed with updated details, as part of your loan terms and conditions.
- Update your personal details on your student loan account, log in using your Customer Reference number and password/secret answer.
- If you will be overseas for more than three months you must complete an Overseas Income Assessment Form to enable us to calculate how much you need to repay. You can download the form from www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk.
Follow Student Finance England and Wales on social media for key updates and advice.