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Education for full-time and part-time students has seen a change in pricing over the years, as the previous governmental coalition was responsible for restructuring and raising tuition fee limits for anyone hoping to continue studying after leaving school at the age of 16. Student finance support, therefore, exists to help those who wish to continue education at college and university, and can help to fund students who come from certain backgrounds or whom fulfil certain circumstances. For example, if you satisfy criteria based on low income or savings, you may be able to receive a grant or loans towards both your tuition fees and your living expenses.
Becoming a full-time student can be hard – as can becoming a part-time student while earning elsewhere – which is why the student finance customer services team are available on 0843 816 6373 to help you discuss your entitlement to funding from the government, your repayments, and what you may be covered for. Funding can be arranged for you in the form of grants and loans – many of which you will be expected to pay back at a later date. This ensures that any funding you receive from the government can be paid back as soon as you are earning enough.
There is a threshold for student loan repayments that is based on how much you stand to earn throughout your career. Repayable loans will be subjected to yearly statements and will incur interest on an annual basis, meaning that it is important to keep track of how much you owe and how much you have already cleared from your debt. Handily, while student finance guidance is available to help field and resolve any queries you may have, any deductions towards your standing student loan debt will be detailed on wage slips and financial statements from your employer. Until you earn over the threshold to start repaying your loan, you will not be required to discount any of your regular wage.
The student finance contact number has been set up to allow students both past and present to ensure that they have access to a support network. This network of professionals will be able to recall your existing loans, how much you have paid, and when you can expect to clear your debt. The amount you pay back, how often and how much you are able to claim initially will all be based upon your circumstances and your future employment – meaning that it is always a good idea to contact the team if you are in any doubt.
When will I need to call the student finance helpline?
Calling student finance will enable you to learn more about what is expected from you in repaying your loan and when you can be expected to clear the debt. While the student finance team are not departmentalised into specific areas as broadly as other government departments, we have been able to find a host of useful numbers for you to call within the networks to ensure that you reach the right people every time.
If you are a new or enrolling student, you may need to know a little bit about how student finance works, how you can make a claim, and what you may be entitled to. The government has streamlined their website, GOV.UK, and has also made changes to the way that student finance assistance is offered to people who have finished their courses, or are midway through learning. While there is much information available online, calling the student finance phone number is a great way to receive dedicated, specific support for your needs and circumstances.
Alternatively, if you have finished your courses and are due to pay back your loans, you may wish to find out more about when you can expect to clear your debt. Once again, this will depend upon how much you earn on a monthly basis.
Making a Complaint
You may wish to get in touch with student finance specialists if you feel that the way your concerns or queries are being handled falls below your satisfaction. While you are encouraged to call the helpline directly on 0843 816 6373 at the first opportunity, you may also contact the team through social media, or even via post. There is no dedicated student finance complaints telephone number at this time, however, you may use the existing channels we have sourced for you to progress your query at your own pace.
We have included details for you on various areas within the department you can call and who you need to write to for further support. This way, you can get in touch with who you need to as soon as possible – our aim is to break down this information into digestible chunks.
Student Finance Questions
I’m a new full-time student, how much can I expect to receive from a loan?
If you start your course this September (2017), you could receive up to £9,250 in the form of a loan should you go to university. If, however, you are to study at a private university or college, you may expect to receive up to £6,165. How much you receive will depend entirely upon your personal circumstances and where you wish to apply. This is worth bearing in mind before you apply for finance – take a close look at the different universities you are applying for and keep stock of fees that are expected from you. If you are from the EU and are studying in the UK, there is more information here.
What is a maintenance loan?
Maintenance loans are useful payments for students to help them tackle the cost of living while away from home for the first time. Moving away from home can be hard and it is often many people’s first experience of independence – this means that you will need to be able to afford your own food, toiletries and more besides. If you live away from home and outside of London, you could expect to receive up to £8,430 in the 2017/18 academic year (£11,002 in London) – however, if you live at home, you can also benefit from up to £7,097 in maintenance support. If your course requires you to go abroad, you could receive up to £9,654.
How are maintenance loans calculated?
These loans are calculated based on your estimated household costs, which you may need to declare in your application to student finance customer services. There is also a handy calculator available at GOV.UK that you can use to prepare you for such costs – please click here to view.
Will I be entitled to any non-repayable grants?
You may be entitled to certain fixed grants if you qualify through particular criteria. These criteria may include your registration for benefits such as income support, housing benefit, income and support allowance or even the housing element in Universal Credit. It is advised that the amount you receive in the form of this grant will be the same as a maintenance grant – this is another non-repayable grant which you can apply for even after your course has already started. It’s therefore important to call the student finance telephone number as soon as you can to find out more about your entitlement.
What is the general rule of eligibility?
Your eligibility will depend upon where you study, what you study, your nationality and whether or not you have already completed higher education (or have studied such a course part-way). You will need to be studying a degree, a foundation degree, a postgraduate teaching certificate, teacher training, an HNC, an HND, a DipHE or a Certificate of Higher Education to be able to qualify. If you are a part-time student, you will need to be studying your course at a minimum rate of 25% of that of full-time learning. The amount you can earn and your eligibility if you are an EU student will, again, be subject to certain circumstances.
I’ve left a previous course – can I claim again?
You may be able to claim for finance again if you have left a course before – or if you decide to start a course again. This will be judged on a case by case basis, and may result in you receiving limited funding.
How do I apply?
Applying for grants and loans can be completed online through your own dedicated account, or you can request for a form to be sent to you to fill in and return. You will need to complete various sections based upon your personal circumstances and where you intend to study – and you will also be required to send identification documents to help support the process. If you are a student from the EU, the process is slightly different – please see GOV.UK for more details.
Other ways to contact student financeFor more information on how to apply for student finance, view the official gov site at www.gov.uk/apply-for-student-finance
Student Finance England
PO Box 210