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How To Access Student Loans in the UK


This article contains information on How To Access Student Loans in the UK.

How To Access Student Loans in the UK
Explore ways you can access student’s loan in UK with ease.

Life for students in the UK may not be rosy and as such students may sometimes look for ways to get student’s loan. As a student living in the United Kingdom, there would be times you are incapacitated to do one thing or the other in regards to sales, marketing and finance. You might be wondering what to do in getting funds.

Requirements To Access Student’s Loan in UK

Here is a guideline for you to access student loans in the United Kingdom:

1. Where you live

Your location plays a huge part in accessing student loans. For you to be eligible you must:

  • Habitually live in the countries in UK (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland) for three years up to when you start your course (on the first day of the first academic year of your course’).
  • Must be a UK national citizen with no restriction of duration.
  • If you’ve just moved because of studying there, or you have been away with the UK Armed Forces, you are still qualified for support.
  • you must have lived in the UK, EU, European Economic Area or Switzerland for at least three years before your course starts with exemptions if you are the child of a Swiss national, or the child of a Turkish worker in the UK, or a close relative who lives in the UK as an immigrant and have been granted humanitarian protection; you or a close relative are an EEA or Swiss migrant worker; you are staying in the UK as a stateless person, or having lived legally in the UK for three years before your course.

For European student: As a result of Brexit, it will not create instant implication. Rather, if you or a family member, are an EU national and have lived in the European Economic Area or Switzerland for the three years before your course begins, you will be eligible for student finance to provide a tuition fee loan. You will need to repay the loan. The fees charged to EU students are the same as for ‘Home’ students. This includes Scotland and Northern Ireland, where other students from the ‘rest of the UK’ (RUK) are charged more.

If you normally live in the UK nation being applied to for student finance and didn’t move there for the purpose of studying, you may also qualify for living cost support. To be eligible, you must also have lived in the UK for at least three years before the start of your course (five years, if resident in England).

If you are an International student: Universities and colleges usually charge higher fees to international students than to Home/EU students. International students are unlikely to receive financial support from the UK student loans system unless they meet one of the residence exceptions outlined above. If you qualify for student finance on these grounds, you are considered a ‘Home/EU’ student and tuition fees would be charged accordingly.

2.  Your age

Your age may determine whether you can apply for certain student finance. There is no age limit for tuition fee loans or grants. To get a maintenance loan, you must be under the age of 60 on the first day of the first academic year of your course. If you change to a different course after turning 60 years old, you will no longer be eligible for a maintenance loan.

In addition to the above, there are eligibility criteria for the course you study, and whether you have studied before.

3.  Where you study

Your course must be at a publicly funded UK university or if at a private institution, a course approved for public funding. Note, the tuition fees charged by private institutions may be higher than the tuition loan you receive, in which case you will have to fund the difference.

4.  What type of course you study

Your course must be a ‘recognized’ course. The following types of courses are eligible for undergraduate student finance.

  • First degree
  • Foundation degree
  • Certificate of Higher Education
  • Diploma of Higher Education
  • Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE/PGDE in Scotland)
  • Initial Teacher Training (ITT/ITE)
  • Integrated Master’s degree
  • A pre-registration postgraduate healthcare course (English-resident students)

If you are not sure whether your course is eligible, check with your university or contact your student finance body. On some courses, students may be eligible for money from other public funds – such as the NHS bursary, where this is still available. If students receive public money from a different source, this may affect whether they are eligible for other student finance, or how much they might receive.

5.  Part-time study

If you study part-time, course eligibility also depends on the ‘course intensity’. If your course takes four times as long as the full-time equivalent, this is 25% intensity. It means you study roughly 30 credits a year.

Depending on your household income you may get financial support towards tuition fees and some course costs, but maintenance loans are only available in England and Wales. Be aware that part-time students begin paying their student loan back four years after beginning their course, even if they have not yet completed their studies. However, repayments will only be taken if your income is above the threshold for loan repayments.

6.  A previous study at the same (or higher) level

Usually, student finance is only available to students doing their first degree – even if your previous course was self-funded. You may be able to get further undergraduate student finance if you are studying a postgraduate teaching course (ITT/ITE, PGCE, or PGDE in Scotland) or certain healthcare courses.

If you previously started but then withdrew from a course, you may only be entitled to partial funding. This will depend on how long you previously studied. If you get only partial support, it will be up to you to find the money to complete your course.

What you need to do when you don’t Meet the Requirements

If you are not certain whether you meet the eligibility criteria, everyone has different circumstances – we suggest talking to universities or funding organizations directly if you have questions relating to your personal circumstances and each universities have the discretion to decide each case based on the individual circumstances. None of this will affect the way you will be considered for admission – these decisions are based purely on academic merit. Course applications for undergraduate study are made through UCAS.

When to apply

You can apply for funding up to 9 months after the first day of the academic year for your course.

Start Date for Course Apply by
August 1-Dec 31 31st May after course started
January 1st- March 31st 30 September after your course started
April 1 -June 30 1 December after your course started
How to Apply for Student’s Loan in UK
1.  New students from England

Most full-time and part-time students can apply online [1] to Student Finance England.

  1. Set up a student finance online account.
  2. Log in and complete the online application.
  3. Include your household income if needed. Your parent or partner will be asked to confirm these details.
  4. Send in proof of identity, if needed.

If you cannot apply online, use the form finder to get the forms you need. You can call Student Finance England if you want to apply online, but you cannot use a computer without help.

2.  Continuing students from England

You’re a continuing student if you are:

  • moving on to the next year of your course
  • repeating a year of the same course or returning to a course after taking time out
  • transferring onto a new course from your old course

You should log in to your student finance account and apply online.

If you’re returning to study after taking time out for personal reasons for one reason or the other. You should log in to your student finance account [1.1]and apply online. You must also send a letter explaining why you suspended your studies with supporting evidence.

The letter must include:

  • your customer reference number for student finance
  • an explanation of your situation and why you had to suspend your studies

Supporting evidence include:

  • a letter from your doctor or social services on headed paper
  • a letter from your university or college on headed paper
  • copies of birth or death certificates

You should send the letter and evidence by post to Student Finance England, PO Box 210, Darlington with code (DL1 9HJ)


[1] Apply online for student finance. (2013, February 4). Gov.uk. https://www.gov.uk/apply-online-for-student-finance

[1.1] Student finance login. (2012, January 31). Gov.uk. https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-register-login


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