Student Finance Explained for parents
While at university or college your child will have two main costs - tuition fees and living costs. They can apply for student finance to help with both.
Students can get a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250 to cover the fees charged by their uni or college, and a Maintenance Loan to help towards their living costs such as rent and bills. If they're starting an Accelerated Degree course, they can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £11,100. These have to be paid back, but not while they’re studying.
There are also grants for students who have a disability, including a long-term health condition, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty. These don’t usually have to be paid back.
Repaying a student loan
Your child will need to repay any loan they borrow, but not until after they’ve finished or left their course.
Interest will be charged on the loan from the day we make their first student finance payment until the loan is repaid in full or cancelled. The interest rate is based on the UK Retail Price Index (RPI) and will vary depending on their circumstances.
How much they repay each month depends on their income, not how much they borrowed. They’ll repay 9% of their income over the repayment threshold. If their income drops below the threshold, all repayments will stop automatically.
For more information about repayment, visit www.gov.uk/repaying-your-student-loan
- Students don’t need to wait until they have a confirmed place at uni or college to apply for finance – they can use their preferred choice and update it online later if they need to.
- If your child has applied for funding that is based on your household income, you’ll get an email within 24 hours with a link to submit your household income details. If you choose to provide this information, you’ll need to create your own account if you haven’t already got one.
- When you register, you’ll need to give us your National Insurance number and your personal income for the previous tax year.
- It’s really important that you type in your income details in your online account and upload any evidence we ask for as soon as possible. Don't upload a P60 instead of giving us your income details. If you do and we haven’t requested one, it will take us longer to process the student’s application. This could result in your child receiving less money than they were expecting at the start of their course.
- Students will only be eligible for the minimum amount of student finance until you submit your income details.
- Once we’ve received their application and any evidence we need, we’ll assess how much they can get and send them a Student Finance Entitlement letter. Your child should take this to their uni or college when they register.
- Once the uni or college let us know they’ve started their course, we’ll make the first of 3 Maintenance Loan payments into your child’s bank account and pay the Tuition Fee Loan directly to their uni or college.
It’s important to note that a students’ Maintenance Loan may not be enough to cover all of their living costs. In this case, students are expected to make up the difference between the Maintenance Loan amount available to them and their total living costs. As a parent, you can provide financial support to the student, but there are several other sources of financial support such as the student getting part-time employment, using savings and receiving university bursaries or scholarships.
For guidance on how to support a student’s application check out our dedicated page.