Applying for and repaying undergraduate student loans

If you are a UK or EU student on an undergraduate degree course, you can apply for financial support from the government, including a:

• Tuition fee loan
• Maintenance loan (full-time students only)

If you’re a full or part-time student from England, you apply online to Student Finance England.

There’s a different process if you’re a student from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or an EU country, for more information see our Government Support page.

If you are a Pre-degree & Foundation student you will not be able to apply for a student loan to cover your fees or living expenses but you may be able to apply for alternative types of funding, depending on your age and financial situation, see our Pre-degree financial support page.

If you’re an international student, you’ll need our international fees and finance pages.

Applying for loans and grants

If you’re a new student from England and starting a full-time course, you should be able to apply for your student finance from early in the year before your course starts. Applying online is the easiest way and the process is pretty straight-forward.

You can find out how much financial support you’re likely to receive by getting a personalised quote using the student finance calculator.

Try to apply as early as possible. You don't have to wait until you have a confirmed place on a course. Use your first choice of course. If it changes, you can change it at a later date using your online student finance account.

Always check the final deadline for applying to make sure that the finances you need are in place when you start your course.

Repaying loans

The tuition fee loan and maintenance loan for living costs are put together into a single loan. You won’t have to make any loan payments until you’re in employment and earning over £21,000 a year.

  • If your income is less than £21,000, you don’t have to pay anything.
  • If your income is more than £21,000, each year you will pay back 9% of your earnings over £21,000 until the loan is paid off. As the size of your repayment is based on your salary (not on the size of your loan), your monthly repayments will be the same, however large your loan.
  • If you stop earning over £21,000 a year, you stop paying your loan repayments.
  • Any loan amount unpaid after 30 years is written off, and you won’t have to pay it back.

Interest on student loans

Interest is charged from the day you receive your first loan payment until you’ve repaid the loan in full or it is written off, whichever is first. Any loan remaining after 30 years will be written off.

Remember – you won’t have to make any payments until you’re in employment and earning over £21,000 a year, regardless of when you finish or leave your course.

More information

The Student Loans Company repayment website is packed with useful information about repaying your loan.

Applying for student finance should be a straightforward process. However, if you need a bit of friendly advice on finance and money matters, please get in touch with our on-campus specialist advisers. They can also direct you to a variety of specialist resources to help you deal with practical issues and personal problems.