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Heather, MSc Student: How I applied for Student Finance

There are 2 loans you can apply for, one that covers your tuition fees and one for a maintenance loan. The tuition fee loan goes directly to your university from student finance, so you don’t have to worry about it.

I remember when I was applying for student finance, a lot of people were worried about the process, but don’t worry it’s easier than it seems.

My advice would be to apply as soon as you’ve put down your first choice university. Student finance will require your course and the university you have applied for. If this happens to change before or after you get your results for any reason it's easy enough to switch it over, so don't hold off on completing your application.

There are 2 loans you can apply for, one that covers your tuition fees and one for a maintenance loan. The tuition fee loan goes directly to your university from student finance, so you don’t have to worry about it. The maintenance loan will be sent directly to you for you to spend on food, living, and other expenses. For both loans, you only have to start repaying them back once you start earning £25,000 a year. If you start earning £25,000 a year or more, you pay back 9% of the amount earned each year. So, for example, an easy way to look at it is if you are earning 27k then you repay 9% of £2000 which is £180 a year, this is taken away from your salary by your employers before you are paid – so you don’t need to do anything!

The amount you receive will depend on where you’ll be living, either at home or at university, and on your household income. My recommendation would be to gather this information beforehand, sit down with your guardian and complete it together, as there is a section all about their earnings (which they will have to prove).

"If you’re applying for a postgraduate course then you could also be eligible to receive a loan of up to £10,609, which will be sent to you directly to contribute towards both your course and living expenses."

My main advice would be to get it done as early as possible, as I had a friend in first year that left it quite late and it meant a delay in her money arriving, causing unnecessary stress in her first term of uni. Also, check out the government website as it has step by step instructions on how to apply. https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-student-finance