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Student finance

Student Finance is the name given to grants and loans available to help towards living costs and other expenses while you are studying. Depending on your location, studying status and household income there are different grants and loans you may be entitled to.

In a simple answer, no!

When you are applying for a credit card, loan or mortgage and the financial provider runs a credit check on you, your student loan will not appear. However, some financial providers may specifically ask you whether or not you have a student loan. This is because providers will want to include it as a factor in an affordability check.

If you're studying an undergraduate course, you may be eligible to receive a Tuition Fee Loan. This loan covers the cost of the fees charged by your university or college. Your university or college will set your tuition fee, which does not have to be paid up front, as the loan is paid directly to them. You should check with your institution first to see how much you’ll be charged for your course, so you can apply for the right amount of Tuition Fee Loan.

The Tuition Fee Loan does need to be paid back, but not until you’ve finished or left your course, and your income is over the repayment threshold, which is currently set at £26,574 (April 2020). 


Full-time students only need to start repaying their loans at the earliest in the April AFTER they graduate (or leave), no matter how long the course is. You repay 9% of everything earned above £26,575 (UK current threshold, £27,295 from April 2021). If youearn less than this, you do not repay anything. 

 If you are an employee, your repayments will be taken out of your salary at the same time as tax and National Insurance. Your payslips will show how much has been deducted. You may need to tell your employer which repayment plan you are on. There are three plans. 

Let’s use the example of if you earn £27,000 in a year what will your repayments look like?

The UK threshold is currently set at £26,574, and you repay 9% of everything earned above that, so;

£27,000-£26,574= £425

9% of £425 (0.09x425) = £38.35 per year

£38.35 ÷ 12= £3.20 per month


If your income changes, the amount you repay will change too. But don’t worry, this will happen automatically. If you stop working, or start to earn below the repayment threshold, your repayments will stop until you earn over the threshold again. And if you leave your course early, you’ll still have to repay your loan, but the repayment process may be different. 

You will still have to repay back your loan.

Any debt that you owe will be wiped off after 30 years.


Maintenance loans are provided for by the government. They are intended to cover your living costs while you are in Higher Education e.g. rent, books, or travel. You will receive them in three instalments throughout the year, one at the beginning of each semester. The Maintenance Loan and the Tuition Fee Loan are technically two separate types of funding, even though you apply for them through the same process. The main difference is that this loan is means-tested, meaning it is based on household income, which in practice means your parents’/carer’s income.

This refers to the process of measuring how much income a person has in order to decide if they should receive money from the government in regards to the Maintenance Loan. Your household income is made up of your income plus the income of: 

  •        Your parent(s), if you are under 25 and live with them or depend on them financially
  •        One of your parents and their partner, if you are under 25 and live with them or depend on them financially

The minimum Maintenance Loan on offer for students from England is £3,410, which is paid to students with a household income of £58,222 or more and who'll be living at home during their time in Higher Education.

The maximum Maintenance Loan is £12,010 and is paid to students who will be living away from home and in London, and whose annual household income is below £25,000.


The loan is repaid in exactly the same way as the loan for tuition fees (ie, 9% of everything earned above £26,575 (£27,295 from April 2021).


It is a calculating tool to work out how much funding you may be eligible for. This calculator is for students from England or the European Union (EU). You will need to have an idea of your annual household income. 

Applications usually open in late February or early March. You can apply online at  GOV.UK as soon as possible after that. If you are registered on UCAS they will inform you when to apply. Students do not need a confirmed place at a college or university to apply for student finance.  


Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are grants to help with any extra essential costs you may have as a direct result of your disability. DSAs do not depend on household income, what you can receive depends on your own individual needs. You also do not have to pay them back.

For more information click here


Eligible disabilities could include:

·       Long-term health condition

·       Mental health condition

·       Specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia


You can get help with the cost of:

·       Specialist equipment, such as a computer

·       Non-medical helpers

·       Personal support

·       Travel costs

·       Other disability-related costs of studying

·       Non-medical helper allowance

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This Article Also Answers the Following Questions :

  • What does student finance mean?
  • Do student loans go on your credit file?
  • What is a tuition fee loan?
  • Does the Tuition Fee Loan need to be paid back?
  • How do I repay my tuition fee loan?
  • How do I calculate my monthly repayments?
  • What happens if my income changes or I leave the course early?
  • What if I move abroad?
  • When will the loan be wiped off of my file?
  • maintenance loan
  • means tested
  • minimum and maximum Maintenance Loan
  • maintenance loan
  • finance calculator
  • student finance
  • disabilities
  • SEND
  • finance support
  • finance
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