You may apply to the Student Loans Company for a low-cost, income-assessed loan to cover your living expenses.
The following information relates to the support available from Student Finance England. Students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland should check with their funding provider for what support is available (links below).
Many undergraduate students use a maintenance loan from Student Finance to help with living costs.
You may be eligible for the maintenance loan if you:
- are a UK national or have ‘settled status’ (no restrictions on how long you can stay)
- normally live in England
- have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years before starting your course (5 years for students from the EU)
You may also be eligible if you are a refugee, EEA migrant worker or if you’re not a UK national and have lived in the UK for a least 20 years (or at least half of your life).
For full eligibility information on Student Finance loans check out GOV.UK or the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA)
How it works
Everyone who is eligible for Student Finance can get a basic amount of maintenance loan, but you can apply for more based on your household income.
There are also different rates of loan depending on whether you are living at home or living away from home in London.
You can get a personalised estimate online by using the student finance calculator. You’ll need to provide some information about your course and your household income. The minimum amount of loan available for students living away from home in London and beginning study in 2019/20 is £5,812. The maximum is £11,672.
The maintenance loan is paid to you in three instalments – one at the start of each term.
If you are estranged from your parents, have lived apart from your parents for 3+ years or have spent time living in care and can provide evidence of this, then you will not have to provide your parents' income in order to get the maximum amount of loan.
Interest starts to accrue on your Student Finance loans from the time you receive your first payment. The interest rate varies between RPI and RPI+3% depending on your circumstances.
You will begin repayment from the April following your graduation and when your income is over £25,000 per year.
You repay 9% of your income over £25,000 each year. For someone earning £30,000 per year this works out at £37 per month in repayments. Repayments are taken directly out of your salary at the same time as tax and National Insurance.