Current Year Income assessment
Will your household income drop this year?
If your child or partner is applying for student finance this year, we normally use your household income from the previous tax year to work out how much student finance they can get.
|Academic year||Tax year we use to calculate student finance|
|2019 to 2020||2017-18|
|2020 to 2021||2018-19|
|2021 to 2022||2019-20|
However, we understand your household income might have changed since then, for example because of the COVID-19 outbreak, retirement or having a different job.
If you expect your household income to drop by 15% or more compared to the tax year we'd normally use, you can ask us to calculate their student finance based on your estimated income for the current tax year instead.
Example: For the academic year 2020 to 2021, we could use an estimation of your household income for the 2020-21 tax year.
Doing this means your child or partner could get more student finance, but it’s not right for everyone. At the end of the tax year, we’ll ask for evidence of your income to check if the estimates you gave us were right. If they were wrong and your actual income is different to the estimates you gave, your child or partner will probably have been paid too much student finance and will need to pay some of it back.
This information is for parents and partners. We also have information for students.
1 Check if you’re eligible
If your household income is not expected to drop by 15% over the full year
You will not be able to ask for a current year income assessment unless you expect your household income to drop by at least 15% over the current tax year. Keep in mind, being on furlough for a few months during the COVID-19 outbreak may not give you a 15% drop in income over the full 2020-21 tax year.
Remember it’s the combined income for your household, so if only one person’s income has dropped, this might not be enough to ask for a current year income assessment.
For example, if both parents in a household earn £20,000, the household income would need to go down by at least 15% of £40,000. In this example, this would be a drop in household income of at least £6,000 across the year, regardless of whether one or both people in the household have had a drop in income.
If your household income was less than £25,000
Your child or partner will already be assessed for the maximum amount of funding, so there’s no need to ask for a current year income assessment.
But you might still be able to ask us for one if:
- they need it to get more bursary or scholarship from their university or college
- they have children or an adult who depends on you financially
This is because the household income threshold for bursaries and Dependants’ Grants can be lower than other types of student finance. They should check with their university or college before you ask us for a current year income assessment.
If your household income is expected to be more than £70,000 or if your child or partner is not getting student finance based on household income
It’s unlikely they will be able to get any extra student finance, but you can find out more to see if you can ask for a current year income assessment.
You can apply for a current year income assessment by downloading a form and submitting it to us. If 2 people are supporting the application, the completed Current Year Income form should be uploaded to both your online accounts.
You can apply at any point until the last day of your child or partner’s academic year.
You do not have to apply now if you’re not able to. If you send us a current year income application towards the end of the academic year, we’ll make sure your child or partner does not lose out on student finance because of it.
If you’re not sure if the COVID-19 outbreak will have an impact on your household income, you don’t need to apply now. You can wait until you know more.
3 Keep your household income estimates up to date
Once you’ve applied and we’ve done a current year income assessment, you must let us know if your income changes at any point throughout the year. For example, if you’ve:
- worked overtime or extra hours
- changed jobs
- had any pay rises, bonuses or redundancy pay
! If you don’t keep your income estimates up to date, or if you underestimate your income, your child or partner could be paid too much student finance and will be asked to pay it back.
4 Confirm your household income at the end of the tax year
After the tax year finishes, we’ll ask you to let us know what your actual household income was and submit evidence of this, such as a P60. We’ll usually ask you for this at the end of the tax year in April.
! If you don’t do this, your child or partner’s student finance payments will be reduced and they’ll be asked to pay some of it back.
5 What happens next
Once we know your actual household income at the end of the tax year, we’ll be able to check if the amount we gave your child or partner was correct.