Student finance: how to apply

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Household income

You must provide your household income if you apply for any of the following:

  • full Maintenance Loan
  • Maintenance Grant - not available if your course started on or after 1 August 2016
  • Special Support Grant - not available if your course started on or after 1 August 2016
  • Childcare Grant
  • Adult Dependants’ Grant
  • Parents’ Learning Allowance

You’ll need to provide your household income for tax year:

  • 2018 to 2019 if you’re applying for the 2020 to 2021 academic year
  • 2017 to 2018 if you’re applying for the 2019 to 2020 academic year

After you apply, Student Finance England will ask the people in your household to confirm their income. They might need to provide evidence.

What counts as household income

Your household income includes any of the following that apply:

  • your parents’ income, if you’re under 25 and live with them or depend on them financially
  • the combined income of one of your parents and their partner, if you’re under 25 and live with them or depend on them financially
  • your partner’s income, if you’re over 25 and live with them (even if they spend most of their time abroad)
  • income you get from your own savings, investments or property, for example dividends or rent

If you’ve supported yourself financially for at least 3 years or had no contact with your parents for over a year, you might be able to apply as an ‘independent student’.

  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