Applications can be made for student finance even without a confirmed place at university. Individuals are asked to enter the institution and course details where they hope to study. We recommend this is completed as accurately as possible with the name of the institution and the course that you think you are most likely to be studying in over the upcoming academic year.
You can make an application for a student loan online via the relevant Student Finance authority’s webpage.
It takes at least six weeks to process applications, so it’s important to apply as soon as possible once the application service opens. The application facility for Student Finance England typically opens towards the end of February (for full-time undergraduate loans); the other Student Finance authorities open their application facilities from March onwards. It’s a good idea to follow your Student Finance authority on social media to receive notification of when they open
The institution code is H12; Harper Adams University does not have several campus codes, so leave the campus code field blank.
The course can be selected by searching using the UCAS course code, carefully checking that the title exactly matches that of your chosen course.
Once the application is submitted, it is possible to make changes to the details via your Student Finance online account. If the course you applied for changes, it is important to log back into your Student Finance account and update the details before the start of term.
Should any other details change in regards to your personal circumstances, it is important that you keep your Student Finance account details up to date so that your payments are not delayed in the future.
If your application is for a means tested Maintenance Loan, the amount you are eligible to receive will depend on your household income. Income details and National Insurance numbers will be used to check the level of income and work out how much Student Finance will lend to you. ’Household income’ means all taxable income. In some cases, Student Finance may contact you directly to ask for specific evidence of household income - this could include, for example, photocopies of your, your parents’ or partner’s P60s or tax returns.
There will be a deadline for you to have submitted your application, in order to get funds in time for the start of your course. Check with your Student Finance authority to determine the date that applies to you, and ensure your completed application is submitted well before that date. You should regularly check the ‘communications’ section within the online account you have with your Student Finance authority. Here you can confirm when your loan application has been received and approved, and that payments are ready to be made when the new term starts. If you miss the deadline, you are likely to receive any funds that you are eligible for later than you will need them.
Your household income includes any of the following that apply:
If you are under 25 and consider yourself to be financially independent, you will need to apply for Independent Student Status. Further information is available from your Student Finance authority.
If your parents are separated or divorced, in order to determine your Household income, your Student Finance authority will likely ask you to declare who you live with or have most contact with. If you spend an equal amount of time with both your parents, you’ll be asked to pick who will support your application.
The most common way is to provide valid UK passport details. If this is not available, a UK birth or adoption certificate or valid non-UK passport are normally sufficient. Full details about what is considered as acceptable Identity evidence is are provided when your start your application.
This will be captured in the application form and, depending on your circumstances, the amount you may borrow could increase, particularly if they are studying at university too. Martin Lewis (from MoneySavingExpert.com) provides a comprehensive guide.
A Student Finance Entitlement letter is sent to confirm your entitlement once all requested evidence has been submitted and assessed. Assessment can take, on average, up to six weeks.
Once you have enrolled at university, the first instalment will be released into your nominated bank account. It can typically take between 3 and 5 working days for the money to reach you. We recommend that you have sufficient funds for the first two weeks of term, in case there are any unforeseen delays.
The Tuition Fee Loan will be released and paid directly to the university in instalments from October, subject to attendance and engagement checks made by the university.
Household income is normally assessed on the previous tax year. However, if there is a change to the household income of 15% or more during the application process or within the academic year that the Maintenance Loan is being paid, a Current Year Income Assessment can be submitted. At this point, the Maintenance Loan entitlement will be re-assessed and may result in a revised loan offer.
Yes. Even if nothing has changed. Your circumstances may change and you might wish to borrow less or more than in previous years. Subsequent applications are processed more simply, as base information has already been verified. Care should be taken to ensure all details are still correct.
If you are eligible to start paying back your loan, your repayments will start in April; normally the year after you are awarded your qualification or earlier if you leave your course. The Repayments Team at the Student Loans Company handle this, and repayments are calculated and deducted straight out of your salary each month. If you are not salaried (selfemployed) then they will help arrange for you to make repayments directly. For further information go to: www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk
Repayments are taken as a percentage of your earnings above the threshold earnings level, which means that if your income changes for any reason, repayments will be adjusted or cease all together if income drops below the threshold. The threshold for repayments is linked to mean earnings, so that lower earners will not make repayments until their earnings increase to the threshold level.
Depending on your circumstances, such as how much you earn, it may be that you don’t ever qualify for starting your loan repayments, in which case your loan will be written off. Each Student Finance authority differs in regards to when any outstanding balance will be written off, so please refer to the relevant website for clarification for your own situation. Typically, this period is between 25 and 35 years in length.
Interest is applied to all borrowing – both Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans - from the time it is released. How interest is calculated will be dependent on which Student Finance authority your loans are with. For full and up to date details, see the relevant website.
No. Your student loan will not affect your credit rating and will not work against you when you are applying for a mortgage, personal loan or credit card for example.