Student Finance FAQ's

If you are having difficulty getting to grips with the Student Finance Process, please take a look at our Student Finance Procedure FAQ's section should help you answer some of your questions.

We also recommend you visit the Student Finance Zone on The Student Room website which is delivered by Student Finance England, this will help you find further information and guidance about grants, loans and bursaries

When should I apply for student finance?

If you are a full-time student you should apply online now for 2014/15 academic year. The application for new students went live in February 2014 and for current students in March 2014.

I am a new full-time student, how do I apply for student finance?

New full-time students can apply online by following these steps:

  • visit the Student Finance England website.
  • set up a student finance account
  • complete the online application form
  • send in evidence, such as proof of your identity or household income, if you're asked for it
  • sign and return the loan declaration you receive in the post

What is the latest date I can apply for student finance?

You can apply for student finance up to nine months after the start of the academic year if you're a full-time or part-time student. Check with your university or college when your academic year starts as it's not necessarily the first day of your course. It will either be 1 September, 1 January, 1 April or 1 July.

When I try to register the online system tells me that I am already registered, why is this and what should I do?

When registering to support an application you may receive this message if;

  • you previously applied for student funding
  • you previously registered on our website
  • you previously supported a student's application either online or by paper form

You can speak with an adviser on 0300 100 0607 who will confirm your Customer Reference Number over the phone and will arrange for a new password and secret answer to be issued to you.

I don't have a student bank account yet, will this prevent me from making an application?

No, you do not need to have a student bank account in order to make an application, you can provide your current bank details on the application and then update them later in your online account if they change.

I don't have a UK bank account, can I use someone else's bank details when making my application?

No, you must provide your own bank details to receive payments from Student Finance England. If you have a joint bank account with someone else, you can use this.

I haven't applied for a course/ received any offers yet. Should I make an application?

Yes, you don't need to have applied for a course to make an application. Use the details of the course that you are most likely to attend and update this information on your online account if it changes.

I do not know my term time address yet, can I still apply?

Yes, use your home address when making your application. Once you know your term time address you can update the information on your online account.

The tuition fee loan amount that I'm being offered on my online application doesn't cover my course cost, why is this?

If you've manually entered your college or university details into your online application you may have been shown an estimated tuition fee amount of up to £9,000. This is an estimated amount only. Please check your Notification letter contains the correct amount of Tuition Fee Loan for your course. You can change the Tuition Fee Loan you want to take out by logging back in to your online account and selecting 'Make a change to your application'.

Should I still submit my application with the incorrect amount?

Yes you should. Once your application has been submitted, the assessing team will start processing your application and your tuition fee amount will be corrected automatically.

Where can I check the up-to-date status of my application?

You can find out the latest status of your application by logging in to your online account and clicking on the academic year you have applied for.

I sent you my application evidence. How do I know it has been received and when will my account be updated?

If your application was submitted with the correct evidence, depending on the time of year it can take up to six weeks to process. Please do not call Student Finance England before this as they will not be able to provide you with an update.

I am the parent/partner of a student. How can I submit my details to support an application?

When the student completes their application, they are asked to give the name and email address of their parents or partner. Student Finance England will then send an email with log in details to the parents or partner, so they can complete their part of the application. If a parent or partner is unable to submit their financial details online they should contact Student Finance England.

Once parents or partners submit their details they can log back in and check the progress of the student's application - or check on any evidence they need to send in.

If my parents have other children at university/college, how will this affect my entitlement to a maintenance grant?

If you have a brother, sister or parent who is also getting student support, different assessment rules will apply. The amount your parents are asked to give to support you may change. In most cases your parents' contribution will be divided equally between you and any other family members who are students. If the amount your parents contribute changes, the amount of maintenance loan you get may also change (if you started your course after September 2006). You will get a letter telling you that the amount of your loan or grant has changed.

My parent/partner is supporting my application and has been asked to provide income information for the 2012-13 tax year.Our household income is now lower than it was in 2012-13, can this be taken into consideration when being assessed for a grant?

Student finance applications are assessed on the last complete tax year, so for those applying for entry in 2014/15 Student Finance England will request financial details based on the 2012/2013 tax year. This information must be submitted with the initial application. If household income has decreased by 15% or more since 2012/2013, then the current tax year's estimate income can be provided using a Current Year Income Assessment form after a parent's main application has been submitted either online or via a paper PFF2 form.

I am the parent of a student. What evidence do I need to send to prove that I am a single person?

If you're divorced or separated, you need to submit a clear copy of one of the following:

  • Divorce: Decree Nisi, Decree Absolute
  • Dissolution of a Civil Partnership: Civil Partnership Dissolution Order
  • Confirmation from a solicitor of your marital status
  • Council Tax bill showing the 25 per cent discount for single occupancy (as evidence that you are now separated)

I am a new student. I have received a Notification of Entitlement letter and an Online Declaration in the post. The course details on my entitlement letter might change later in the year, should I still sign and return the Declaration?

Yes you should. When you sign the Online Declaration you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of your funding only, you are not confirming that the course details or entitlement amounts are correct. If your course details change you will receive an updated Notification of Entitlement letter with your new details on it but you won't receive a new Online Declaration.

I have lost or not received my Payment Schedule Letter, where can I get a replacement?

If you log in to your online account you will be able to view and print off your Payment Schedule Letter by clicking on the 'View Correspondence' link.

I haven't received my first payment on the date stated in my payment schedule letter, why is this?

If you have not been paid by the date stated in your Payment Schedule Letter, this is probably because your university or college has not confirmed your Registration. You must take your Payment Schedule Letter with you to your university or college at Registration. Your university or college needs this letter to confirm your attendance on your course before you can receive payment of your loan. Only when your Registration has been confirmed, can the first instalment be paid.

My online account says my payment is ‘awaiting confirmation’ or ‘blocked’ - why is this?

  •  Blocked

Loan payments are 'blocked' while Student Finance England confirm your National Insurance number (NINO) with the Department for Work and Pensions. The block is automatically removed as soon as your NINO is confirmed.

Payments may also be blocked if you haven't given Student Finance England your bank details. If you haven't already provided bank details, do this online now to make sure your payments are not delayed.

  •  Awaiting Confirmation

Your loan or grant payment is scheduled but Student Finance England are waiting for confirmation that you are Registered and attending your course. You may need to give your university/college the payment advice sent to you in your Notification of Entitlement Letter before they can confirm your attendance.

I am a EU student when and how does the SLC assess my household income?

Once you have received confirmation of your tuition fee loan the Student Loans Company (SLC) will send you out an income assessment application for your parent/guardian (s) to complete and send back with the relevant evidence requested. There is no fixed time on when this happens as it depends on your tuition fee loan application process. 

The tax years used for assessing household income is the last complete tax year within the normal UK tax year that the SLC require. For example for 2014/15 the SLC would normally require tax year 6 April 2011 to 5 April 2012 for UK students so the SLC need the tax year that runs from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011 for EU bursary students.