STUDENTS across the country are back on campus after a well-deserved Christmas break – and are probably wondering when their next loan payment comes in.
University students are paid on specific dates throughout the school year – here's what dates should be on your calendar.
We also explain whether you can still apply for student finance, even though term is well underway.
What is a maintenance loan?
A maintenance loan is for living costs while you are studying, so you shouldn't have to use this money on your tuition as that will come separately.
You may have to provide details of your household income on application for a maintenance loan, though.
This affects how much you're entitled to.
The cash is paid into your bank account at the start of each term, so you could get up to three payments in a year.
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To find out how much you can borrow, visit the government website.
What are the maintenance loan payment dates for 2022?
Student loans are paid in three instalments, but the exact day you'll get them depends on your term start date.
If your course started in September, you should receive your payments in September, January and April.
Payments are sent by Student Finance Wales, Northern and England – or the Student Awards Agency Scotland if you're north of the border.
Student Finance England (SFE) says it can take up to three days for payments to reach a student’s account, so make sure you have money to cover immediate costs like transport and your first chunk of rent.
You can view your student loans payment schedule in your online account once your application has been approved.
If your payment dates don’t show up on your account, it could be because your application hasn't been approved yet or because Student Finance is still waiting for a registration confirmation.
How much funding you will get depends on your individual circumstances – including your parents' income.
How do you apply for a student loan?
Students can apply online for a loan through the government website.
They can apply up to nine months after the start of the academic year.
Students can set up a student finance account online – and will need their household income, proof of identity and a loan declaration as part of the application.
You can apply for tuition fee loans and maintenance loans.
Do you need to apply for student finance every year?
Changes in the Student Finance process means that continuing students must apply for funding every year.
Now paper applications have been scrapped, students must apply online.
Students can apply for funding via the government website.
Can I still apply for funding?
Just because your term has started doesn't mean that you can't still apply for student finance.
You can apply up to nine months after the first day of the academic year for your course.
That means if your term started in September, for example, you can still apply for funding for this year – but you'll need to put in an application by June 2022.
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When does repayment start?
When a student needs to start paying back their loan – and how much they have to pay – depends on which repayment plan they are on.
Plan One (Loans taken out before September 1, 2012 in England or Wales)
- If a student's income is more than £1,615 a month (before tax and deductions) or £19,895 a year, they will start repaying their loan the April after leaving their course.
- The amount they need to pay back will change on April 6 every year.
- Students will stop paying if their income drops below this amount.
Plan Two (Loans taken on or after September 1, 2012)
- If a student's income is more than £2,274 a month (before tax and other deductions) or £27,295 a year, they will start repaying their loan the April after finishing their course, or, if they are studying part-time, the April four years after the course started.
Repayments are taken out from a person's salary at the same time as tax.
Students can make voluntary repayments through Student Finance.
But they should be careful as more than half a million graduates were owed a whopping £28million due to overpayments, research found last year.
The Student Loans Company then began trialling automatically refunding people who had overpaid back in March.
How much are university tuition fees?
The amount that a student will pay for their university tuition depends on where they study, and what they study.
Tuition fees are capped at £9,250 for home and EU students.
Interest starts being added to your loan from when you get your first payment.
If you think university isn't for you, here's how you can earn £60,000 without a degree.
And make sure you don't waste your student loan – unlike this student, who blew it on a nose job in Turkey.
And as student loan overpayments hit £18.4million, here's how to check if you're owed a refund.
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