If you have applied to start university in 2020, you should already have your Student Finance application in! If not, don’t panic. You can still apply now, you may not receive your first maintenance loan instalment until the year has begun but you won’t forget to apply earlier next year!
Students applying for courses with a 2021 entry should look to apply for Student Finance as soon as the applications open, usually in February. It’s straightforward to apply, just use the university and course that are your Firm choice, and you can always amend this if it changes later. It is much quicker to amend the course and receive approval than to delay the application until you have confirmed where you will be studying.
Tuition Fee Loans are not means tested and everyone can receive the maximum amount to cover the cost of their course fees, as long as they meet the requirements. Maintenance loans are means tested and dependent on household income. You can calculate the maintenance loan you will receive via the Student Finance England website to give you an idea of how much money you will be able to receive. You do have to repay both tuition fee loan and maintenance loan but not until you are earning over £26,575 (April 2020 figure), and then its 9% of any earnings over this threshold. It’s super affordable and if your income ever falls below the threshold, your repayments will automatically stop.
Applications require information on household income from your parents or carers, with some exceptions, and so beginning the process early leaves plenty of time to set up their account and provide the details needed to support your application. It also means that you are much more likely to receive the first instalment of your loan in time for the start of the academic year.
You have to reapply for Student Finance each year you are studying; remember to get those applications in early so you’re all set up for the year ahead!