Change in Circumstances
This section explains how a change in your circumstances can result in an overpayment of loan or grant (or both).
How has this happened
There are many reasons why a change in your circumstances can affect the amount of student finance you’re entitled to. These are some of the reasons where a reassessment may occur.
A change in your term time living arrangements
There are different rates of Maintenance Loan available for undergraduate courses based on where you’re living during term time. The maximum amount available decreases in descending order for each of the following:
- living away from home and studying at a university or college in London;
- studying overseas;
- living away from home and studying at a university or college outside London; or
- living at home.
If your term time address changes, for example because you transfer to a different university, this could result in your entitlement being reassessed and possibly reduced. A reduction in your entitlement could result in a loan overpayment.
Find out about the different Maintenance Loan rates for new students and the different Maintenance Loan rates for continuing students.
As a portion of the Maintenance Loan is also based on household income, any change to this could also result in your entitlement being reassessed and possibly reduced.
A change in your course
The amount of Maintenance Loan you’re assessed for is intended to help with living costs you have over the 30 term weeks which make up the standard academic year.
The amount of Maintenance Loan you’re assessed for is based on various factors, such as household income and where you live during term time. However, the entitlement you’re assessed for is intended to help you with costs over the standard academic year which is 30 term weeks.
However, the length of any course in the academic year can vary- some courses run longer than others and the same course can differ between universities and colleges. Where courses are longer than the standard 30 term weeks, you may be entitled to receive a higher amount of Maintenance Loan for each additional week.
If there’s a change in your circumstances which means the course, or the university or college you’re studying at changes (for example because you transfer), this could result in your entitlement being reassessed and possibly reduced. A reduction in your entitlement could result in a loan overpayment.
As the extra weeks of Maintenance Loan is also based on household income, any change to this could also result in your entitlement being reassessed and possibly reduced.
A change in your household income
A change in your household income could also be the cause for a reassessment of your loan or grant (or both), if your application is based on household income. For example, if a provisional assessment was carried out based on your estimated household income, then your entitlement to student finance may be reassessed and possibly reduced once the actual household income for the relevant financial year have been confirmed. Find out more about a Current Year Income assessment.
What happens next?
If you have a grant or loan overpayment as a result of a reassessment, we’ll write to you. This will confirm the overpaid amount and the intention to recover this from any remaining payments you’re due to receive within that and any subsequent academic years.
Alternatively, you can contact us on the number provided in the letter to make arrangements to repay this directly.
Overpayments which are not recovered while you’re studying will remain overdue. You’ll be required to repay any outstanding amount when you finish your course. We understand you may not be able to repay in a lump sum, so we’ll consider reasonable repayment proposals.
You will also be sent a new Notification of Entitlement letter. This will show your reduced entitlement.
Need more information?
If you have a query on your reassessment and why your entitlement has been reduced, contact us.