STUDENTS up and down the country will be preparing for a fresh new term at university from next month, but getting finance and loans in order before then can be daunting.
Here is everything you need to know about student loans including which dates you can expect your payments.
What is a maintenance loan?
A maintenance loan is for living costs while you are studying, so you shouldn't have to use this money on your tuition as that will come separately.
You may have to provide details of your household income on application for a maintenance loan though.
This can affect how much you may be entitled to as well.
The cash is paid into your bank account at the start of each term so you could get up to three payments in a year.
To find out how much you can borrow, visit the government website.
What are the maintenance loan payment dates for 2021?
Student loans are paid in three instalments, but the exact day you'll get them depends on your term start date.
If your course starts in September, you'll most likely receive your payments in September, January and then April.
Payments are generally made to students on their first official day of their course, but only if you've registered your attendance with the university.
This is because the university will let Student Loans Finance (SLC) know that you've enrolled, and it can then release the payment on your term start date.
If you don't know how to enrol, contact your university for more information.
The start date for payments will likely be after you've made the move to university though, and you might have to enrol in person at your institution.
SLC says it can take up to three days for payments to reach a student’s account, so make sure you have money to cover initial costs, such as books, transport or your first month’s rent.
You can view your student loans payment schedule in your online account once your application has been approved.
If your payment dates don’t show on your account, it could be because your application hasn't been approved yet or because SLC is still waiting for a registration confirmation.
How do you apply for a student loan?
Students can apply online for a loan through the government website.
They can apply up to nine months after the start of the academic year.
Students can set up a student finance account online, often needing to include household income, proof of identity and a loan declaration as part of their application.
You can apply for tuition fee loans and maintenance loans.
If you can't apply online then you will need to download the application forms and send them by post.
Do you need to apply for student finance every year?
Changes in the Student Finance process means that continuing students must apply for funding every year.
Now paper applications have been scrapped, students must apply online.
Students can apply for funding via the government website.
When does repayment start?
When a student needs to start paying back their loan – and how much they have to pay – depends on which repayment plan they are on.
Plan One (Loans taken out before September 1, 2012 in England or Wales)
- If a student's income is more than £1,615 a month (before tax and deductions) or £19,895 a year, they will start repaying their loan the April after leaving their course.
- The amount they need to pay back will change on April 6 every year.
- Students will stop paying if their income drops below this amount.
Plan Two (Loans taken on or after September 1, 2012)
- If a student's income is more than £2,214 a month (before tax and other deductions) or £27,295 a year, they will start repaying their loan the April after finishing their course, or, if they are studying part-time, the April four years after the course started.
Repayments are taken out from a person's salary at the same time as tax.
Students can make voluntary repayments through the Student Loans Company.
But they should be careful as more than half a million graduates were owed a whopping £28million due to overpayments, research found last year.
The Student Loans Company then began trialling automatically refunding people who had overpaid back in March.
How much are university tuition fees?
The amount that a student will pay for their university tuition depends on where they study, and what they study.
Tuition fees can start from around £9,000, but can increase to £18,000.
Interest starts being added to your loan from when you get your first payment.
As student loan overpayments hit £18.4million, here's how to see if you're owed a refund.
Martin Lewis explains how to check if you’re due £100s back in student loan overpayments.
A student was mistakenly offered just £3 instead of £3,000 in university loans error.
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