So you have plans to fly the nest and speed away to university to study the subject of your dreams. It’s going to be great; you’ll make loads of new friends, get yourself that much needed degree in order to launch your career and (perhaps the best thing about uni), you don’t have to pay for it upfront!
Be warned though. You can’t just expect to rock up to university, collect the keys to your halls and be handed a fat wad of cash and a pat on the back. No, you have to apply for your student loan (both tuition and maintenance) about six months before your course starts.
Student Loan Application Process
If you’re about to become a fresher then the student loan application process is quite a lengthy one.
Firstly, you need to set up your account on the Student Finance website. You’ll need to fill out all the standard information, including your course details and how much it’s going to cost you every year. That will determine how much you get for your tuition fee loan. You’ll never see this money, it will simply get paid to your university from student finance in your name.
The maintenance loan (i.e. the money you’re going to be living off) is slightly different and depends on how much cash your parents bring home. Therefore, your parents will need to do something called ‘supporting’ your application to provide all the information that will determine how much you have to blow on beer- sorry, we mean how much you’re going to invest in useful course books.
You might need to provide proof of identity too, like your birth certificate or passport, and then after that, your student loan application is ready to be submitted! Within six weeks you’ll get a declaration to sign and return and… voila! You’ll have a student loan ready and waiting for you on the first day of term!
For the more experienced students who have survived the carnage of fresher’s week, it’s really simple to reapply for your student loan. All you need to do is log on to your account and unless anything has changed with regard to how much your parents earn, you should be able to re-submit the same information. That’s all? Yep. As you were.
Student Loan Repayment
You don’t have to repay a penny of your student loan until you get a job after uni. And not just any job! Only when you’re paid a yearly salary of either £15,000 or £21,000 (depending on whether you paid £3000 or £9000 a year) will you start paying off your student loan, and even then it’s in tiny amounts. Check out our articles on student loan repayments for some detailed info.