How to get your first payment if you’re applying late

Follow our steps to get your first payment if you're applying late for student finance.

Applies to England

Check our current timescales page to find out when to expect an update on your application or on information you’ve sent!

Watch our film to find out why you shouldn’t wait to apply.

Applying for student finance after the deadline

If you haven’t applied yet or you’ve just recently applied for your full-time undergraduate student finance, here’s what needs to happen to make sure you have some funding in place for near the start of your course.

1. Applying for student finance

It’s important to create an account or sign into your online account and apply as soon as possible, if you haven’t already.

It’s quick and easy to apply online - it only takes 30 minutes with your:

  • Passport details
  • National Insurance number
  • UK bank details

You don’t need a confirmed place at uni or college to apply, you can apply now and update your details later if you need to.

2. Check your online account

You don’t need to call us to track the progress of your application. Once you’ve applied for student finance, you can use your online account to:

  • view our application status tracker

  • check ‘Your actions to complete’

  • upload evidence

  • reset your password or secret answer

  • update your personal details.

Watch our step-by-step tutorial on how to check the status of your application!

How to check the status of your application

It’s quick and easy to use your Student Finance account, watch our other ‘How to’ films for step-by-step tutorials.

If we need more information from you, a red banner will appear and your action ‘status’ will show as incomplete. The banner will stay red until you’ve given us the information and it will turn green when all your actions have been completed.

3. We’ll sort out your initial funding

If you’re getting less than expected, you don’t need to call us - this is to make sure you get some funding near the start of your course.

You may get a smaller amount to begin with but we’ll update your entitlement and send you a top up payment as soon as we process your household income details. You can check your online account for an update.

If you’re eligible for extra help

If you’re eligible for any of the following it could take us longer to process your application:

These will be awarded once we’ve processed your household income details.

You might need to self-fund things like childcare at the start of your course. Once your application has been approved, any extra funding will be backdated.

4. We’ll assess the rest of your application

We’ll then assess the household income details part of your application if you’ve applied for this – this usually takes us 6 to 8 weeks.

If you’re applying for a higher amount of student finance based on your household income, make sure to ask your parents or partner to provide their financial information as soon as possible to avoid delays to your application.

5. What you need to do to get your first payment

You’ll need to register at your uni or college before your course starts, as we won’t be able to pay you until you do. Once your uni or college tell us you’ve registered, we’ll contact you a few days before your first payment to let you know it’s on its way.

You don’t need to call us to check your payment date, sign in to your online account to view your payment schedule.

6. When your application is fully approved

We’ll send you another letter confirming your full entitlement amount. If you’ve already received a payment from us, we’ll pay you the difference as soon as possible, and your second and third payment amounts will be updated too.

For a whole range of student finance information, visit our campaign page and follow us on:

Published 17 August 2021
Last updated 3 October 2023 + show all updates
  1. Add link to current timescales page

  2. Added information on what happens with extra help if applying late.

  3. Added YouTube film for guidance on applying after the deadline.

  4. Embedded 'Applying after deadline' film

  5. Updated guidance to embed step-by-step tutorial.

  6. Updated guidance to include post-deadline messaging for academic year 2022 to 2023, promoting self-serve via online account.

  7. updated image

  8. Updated summary

  9. First published.