Student finance: how to apply

How to apply

How you apply depends on whether you have studied before and your nationality.

New students from England

Most full-time and part-time students can apply online 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.

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.

There’s a different process if you became a part-time student before 1 September 2012.

If you’re returning to study after taking time out for personal reasons

There’s a different process if you have studied for more than one year before and you’re going back to your studies after stopping your course because of personal reasons. This could be for things like if you were ill, pregnant, caring for someone or someone close to you died.

You should log in to your student finance account 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 can 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 might need to send more than one piece of evidence if it helps you to show why you stopped your course.

You should send the letter and evidence by post to Student Finance England.

Student Finance England
PO Box 210
Darlington
DL1 9HJ

Student Finance England will send you a letter confirming how much you’ll get, usually within 8 weeks.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

There’s a different process for students from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

New EU students

  1. Download an application pack - use the form finder to get the forms you need.

  2. Send in proof of identity, if needed.

  3. You’ll get a letter confirming how much you’ll get, usually within 6 weeks.

Continuing EU students

If you’re a continuing student you’ll be sent the application forms.

  1. Step 1 Check if you're eligible

  2. Step 2 Find out how much loan you could get

    Find out the maximum tuition fee and maintenance loan you could get if you're a:

    How much maintenance loan you get depends on where you'll study and your household income.

    1. Use the student finance calculator to estimate your maintenance loan

    You'll have to pay back any loan you get.

    1. Find out how much you'll repay
    2. Find out when you'll start repaying
  3. and Check if you can get extra help

  4. Step 3 Prepare your application

  5. Step 4 Apply

    1. Apply online

    You'll need to create a student finance account if you're a new student or sign into an existing account if you're a returning student.

    It can take up to 6 weeks to process your application. You might have to provide extra evidence.

  6. Step 5 Update your details if your circumstances change

    You must update your application if your circumstances change. For example if you:

    • change your course through clearing
    • change where you're going to live - for example with your parents instead of halls
    1. Find out how to update your application
  7. Step 6 Make sure you can be paid

    After you register at your university or college you'll usually get your maintenance loan paid directly into your bank account at the start of each term.

    Use your student finance account to:

    • update your bank details - for example if you open a student account
    • check how much you'll be paid
    • check when you'll be paid
    1. Sign in to your student finance account
  8. Step 7 Check what to do while you're studying

    You'll need to reapply for student finance for each year of your course.

    You must keep your details up to date throughout your course because some changes can affect your loan payments, for example if your household income or bank details change.

    1. Check how to update your details
    2. Find out what to do if you suspend or leave your course
  9. Step 8 Repay your loan