Student Finance FAQ’s

IMPORTANT FACTS- Whose income is taken into account if my parents have split up?

If you live primarily with one parent, this is the income which should be recorded. This is a household income, meaning that if your parent has a partner who lives with you, their income should also be recorded  If you live equally with different parents, then you can choose which parent’s household to nominate – it should generally be who you return to during holiday periods.

IMPORTANT FACTS- I’m a sandwich year student- what support is available to me?

Students can receive full funding if taking a paid/unpaid placement in a:

  • Hospital
  • Public Health Service Laboratory
  • Primary Care Trust
  • Health Authority, Strategic Health Authority, Local Health Board, Special Health Authority
  • Social Services Board
  • A Local Authority carrying out its duties relating to health, welfare, or caring for children and young people, or a voluntary organisation providing facilities or carrying out similar activities
  • Prison or probation sector and after-care services

Students taking a paid/unpaid placement elsewhere can apply for reduced rate loans and half fees

Students are not eligible for a maintenance grant during their unpaid placement/sandwich year, if their full-time study period is less than 10 weeks

Students on a paid placement/sandwich year may be able to receive a grant if their full-time study period is 10 weeks or more.

How do I know if I’m eligible for student finance support?

You need to meet residence requirements – so you must be a UK national/ have ‘settled status’, or be ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for 3 years before starting the university course. The course generally has to be a first undergraduate degree or equivalent (e.g. teacher training and youth work) at a UK degree awarding, Government funded institution. You also need a National Insurance number.

What evidence do I need for my student finance application?

VIDEO- This simple video explains the evidence needed. 

What about after the first year?

You’ll need to apply again for each year of your course.

Will loan repayments affect your credit rating or ability to get a mortgage?

Student loans aren’t part of the information held by credit rating agencies (although if you apply for a big loan the bank might ask if you have one). It has been confirmed that all lenders will have to consider student loans when dealing with a mortgage application. This means they will be taken into consideration, but it’s worth pointing out that this is part of a wider move to grill all mortgage applicants about all of their monthly expenditure and outstanding debts. 

Can I get benefits whilst I am a student?

Full-time students can’t usually claim income-related benefits as well as loans/grants – but part-time students and certain groups of full-time students are sometimes eligible (for example parents or those with disabilities). However, the rules on eligibility can be complex, and whether you can get income-related benefits will depend on your personal circumstances.

What’s a Long Course Maintenance Loan?

If you are studying a course which means you spend 30 or more weeks studying each year then you can qualify for an extra amount of maintenance loan. This may apply to courses such as medicine and other healthcare courses.

What is the boundary of ‘living in London’ for the student loan?

If your university is in any of the London Boroughs

What is the average graduate salary?

According to the High Fliers report, “The Graduate Market in 2019”, the median starting salary for UK graduates in 2020 is expected to be £30,000 for the fifth consecutive year (source).

Should I go to University?At MyBnk, we don’t give opinions and it is up to young people to make their decisions about what is right for them. However, they might want to consider the ‘opportunity cost’ of going to university. When economists refer to the “opportunity cost” of a resource, they mean the value of the next-highest-valued alternative use of that resource. The opportunity cost of going to university is the money you would have earned if you worked instead. On the one hand, you lose four years of salary while getting your degree; on the other hand, you hope to earn more during your career, thanks to your education, to offset the lost wages.

Trivia: More unusual questions on student finance are answered below.

Q- Can we pay a lump sum of our daughter’s student loan in advance of her earnings?

A- Repayments are always triggered by the student’s own taxable income, and voluntary repayments do not affect it. 

Q- What funding is available for students with SEN? 

A-  Funding for all students with SEN will be decided based on post-16 student finance assessment. Universities should provide support but the Disabled Student Allowance will no longer provide a computer as standard.

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