What happens after you’ve sent in your form and evidence
Once we get your form and evidence, we’ll reassess how much finance the student is entitled to. We’ll send them a new student finance entitlement letter when this is done.
Before we can do this we need all the correct evidence from you, and your partner if you have one. If you don’t send all the evidence we’ve asked for, or you send in evidence for the wrong tax year, this can cause delays.
What happens if your income is different from your estimated income
If your household income is different from what you estimated, how much finance the student is entitled to will change.
If your estimated income was higher than your actual income
We’ll reassess the student so they might get more student finance. We’ll pay this to them as soon as possible.
If your estimated income was lower than your actual income
We’ll reassess the student so they get less student finance. This means they will have been overpaid, and we’ll reduce their future student finance payments and ask them to repay the extra finance they received. We will ask them to repay the extra finance before they leave university or college and before their income is over the repayment threshold. We’ll write to the student to let them know.
Current Year Income assessment - Has your household income dropped?
1 Check if you’re eligible
If your household income has not dropped 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 sending it to us.
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 doesn’t 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 household 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 household income estimates up to date, or if you underestimate your household 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 send us evidence of this. We’ll usually ask you for this at the end of the tax year in April 2021.
! 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.