Guide to Student FInanceLearn everything you need to know about student finance here!
Student Finance can be long, tiring and confusing road, just to get to paying £9,000 a year! But we have your backs. We’ve tried to think of everything Student and everything Student Finance and we have it all here for you to take advantage of.
There’s so many rules and terms to figure out and especially to know how to max out the financing you get! But hopefully after all the in’s and out’s below you will be a power house Student Finance expert or at least know a bit more than you did 5 minutes ago.
What Is Student Finance?
Full-time and Part-time students can apply online for student finance at www.gov.uk/apply-for-student- finance
Student finance is supplied by the UK government and Student Finance England.
- Set up a student finance account online at www.gov.uk/apply-for- student-finance
- Log in and complete the online application
- Make sure you give clear details of your household income. Your parents, partner or caregivers may need to give you support to help you with these details.
- Proof of identity (typically a passport) may be needed.
- Sign and return the loan declaration, which you should receive within 6 weeks.
If you cannot apply online;
Use the form finder found on www.gov.uk/apply-for- student-finance to get the forms you need. Make sure you select the forms for the correct year and course type.
You will have to apply for finance for every university year. To apply just log back onto your student finance account and fill out the necessary forms.
You can apply for the 2015 to 2016 and 2016 to 2017 academic years. The deadline is 9 months after the first day of the academic year for your course.
You don’t need a confirmed place to apply.
|When your course starts||First day of the academic year for your course||Deadline for
|Between 1st August and 31st December||1st September||31st May|
|Between 1st January and 31st March||1st January||31st September|
|Between 1st April and 30th June||1st April||31st December|
|Between 1st July and 31st July||1st July||31st March|
The maximum maintenance loan you can receive as a full time student is as follows:
- Living at home
- Up to £6,904
- Living away from home, outside London
- Up to £8,200
- Living away from home, in London
- Up to £10,702
- You spend a year of a UK course studying abroad
- Up to £9,391
As this it still a loan, you will have to repay all costs received. However, don’t worry just yet. You don’t have to start paying your student loan back until you have graduated and are earning over £21,000 per annum. If you earn below £21,000 per annum you will not have to make any repayments, and the debt will be written off after 30 years.
Don’t think going abroad will stop you from repaying! Your employer will deduct the repayment costs from your salary automatically as stated by law. There is a difference between England, Northern Ireland and Wales Student Finance, so do check the correct options for your University choice.
It is important that you read all of the small print, so you fully understand what you are signing up to. It is all subject to change, so nothing is 100% set in stone.
The biggest cost is your tuition fees, with over 70% of universities charging the full £9,000.
The second cost, which will have the biggest effect on your bank account during your student life, is the living costs.
- Social Life
- The new iPhone you can’t live without
- General living costs
Finally, the main cost that people generally forget about are course costs. Here we mean all costs associated with getting you through your day to day lectures, seminars and tutorials. Books, pens, folders, paper, printing and generally all material costs to keep you fighting through.
Well, the truth is, you have no real control of what you get. It highly depends on your current household income. The more your parents or guardians earn, the less student finance will give you.
Student Finance assume that they will support you through your degree. Make sure you ask early if your parents have the ability to support you or if they will and by how much?
Start practising those puppy dog eyes!
Your employer will take repayments of 9% from your salary where you are earning (before tax) above the weekly or monthly threshold. The threshold is:
- £404 a week
- £1,750 a month
- £21,000 a year
This all works out to be:
|Annual income (before tax):||Monthly salary:||Monthly Repayment:|
|Up to £21,000||£1,750||£0|
It may seem like you are taking out a large loan, but the repayments are very small. Do remember if you ever fall under the £21,000 threshold, the repayments will stop until you reach the threshold again.
Firstly, you still have to pay tax whilst you repay your loan.
It is important to know that income tax is not just your weekly or monthly salary, it is any money you make i.e. work benefits and bonuses, profit from self-employment, savings interest, pension and even state benefits (unless you have tax-free incomes or savings such as an ISA).
Taking out a student loan will not affect your credit rating, contrary to belief, and as the repayments are tied to your earnings, you will not have to worry about not being able to repay them.
However, if you do not repay your bank account overdraft (if you are in one) after your student account finishes, this may affect your credit rating.
Student finance might sound great at this point, especially as the repayments are not unrealistic or too difficult to meet. Now the nasty backdoor small print you didn’t read. All these terms for repayment can be changed at any time, if its deemed fit to do so.
As high as a loan may be, and it may take a long time to repay, but the student loan will probably the best loan you will ever take out. With fixed repayments, that are in-line with your earnings, you will not have to fear about not being able to repay it. University is a big stepping stone towards your dream career, and will give you so many memories and experiences to cherish for life!
However, it is worth mentioning that not all job roles require a university degree, and it may be worth checking to see if there are any other routes into your desired field before you take out a large loan that may not help you in the long run.