5. How to apply

You can apply now if your course started in the 2016 to 2017 academic year.

First check whether you’re eligible, if you’re not sure.

If you’ve taken out a loan with Student Finance England before, use your account to apply.

If you don’t already have one, set up an account.

If you apply for a Postgraduate Loan, you won’t be eligible for an Adult Dependants’ Grant, a Childcare Grant or Parents’ Learning Allowance.

Apply by post

If you can’t apply online, apply by post - the address is on the form.

 When to apply

The deadline for applying is 9 months after the first day of either:

  • your first academic year if you’re on a 1 year full-time course
  • your second academic year if you’re on a 2 year full-time course or a 3 or 4 year part-time course

The academic year is a period of twelve months starting on:

  • 1 September, if your course starts between 1 August and 31 December
  • 1 January, if your course starts between 1 January and 31 March
  • 1 April, if your course starts between 1 April and 30 June
  • 1 July, if your course starts between 1 July and 31 July

You only need to apply once for the Postgraduate Loan, even if your course is longer than 1 year.

Proof of identity

Include valid UK passport details in your application. Use the ‘UK passport details’ form if you need to send the details after your application. Don’t send the passport itself.

If you don’t have a UK passport (or it has expired), send your birth or adoption certificate using the ‘Birth or adoption certificate form’.

If you’re an EU national, send your passport or national identity card.

Supporting information

You should use the evidence return form for extra information to support your application, for example evidence of your residency status.

You may also be asked to complete the UK employment status form.

Change an application

Use your online account to change your personal details, for example bank or contact details. Contact Student Finance England directly if you don’t have an account.

Change the amount you’ve asked for

Use the loan request form to change the amount you’ve applied for - you can’t do this online.

Other changes

Use the change of circumstances form if you need to change any other details, for example your university or course. You can’t do this online.

Taking a break or withdrawing from your course

Tell your institution straight away if you need to withdraw from your course. It may affect your future payments and eligibility for funding. There’s detailed guidance with more information.