If you’re studying for your first full- or part-time degree (or equivalent course) and are a UK or EU student, you can apply for help with costs from the Government via the Student Loans Company (SLC) and your country’s student finance body.
Loans come in two flavours:
1. The Tuition Fees Loan covers your course fees (if there are any) and is paid directly to your college or university. It doesn’t matter how much household income you have to get the full amount (you can’t borrow more than your total course fees, though). You can apply for a fees loan wherever in the UK you study – so, if you’re from Scotland (which doesn’t charge tuition fees) but study in England (which does), you can still borrow for course fees.
2. Most of the Maintenance Loan (which covers living costs) is also non-income assessed. You’ll need to declare your household income if you want the full amount and will get funding on a sliding scale depending on how much your folks have coming in. Either way, it’s paid into your bank account monthly in Scotland or three times a year elsewhere, so how you manage it once you have it will be down to you. There are top-up loans if your course lasts longer than 30 weeks.
How much can you borrow?
You don’t need to wait until you’ve got a firm course offer, so apply for your loan as soon as you can
You don’t need to wait until you’ve got a firm course offer, so apply for your loan as soon as you can. Don’t forget that you’ll need to apply for your loan again each year that you’re studying and still want funding, and that you’ll be responsible for any loans even if you quit your course early.
You won’t receive any Maintenance Loan until you start uni and officially register for your course (when you hand over your funding paperwork), so you’ll need some money to tide you over when you first get there for rent and food etc.
You won’t need to start repaying your Student Loan until you’ve left your course AND are earning more than £21k (in England/Wales) or £16,365 (Scotland/NI).