What is a maintenance loan?
Student maintenance loans, which are different from your tuition fee loan, are paid by the Student Loans Company (SLC) on behalf of Student Finance England, Wales, Northern Ireland, or the Student Awards Agency Scotland, depending on where you are from. Each finance body does things slightly differently, but they all have websites that offer a wealth of information about the details of applying for your loan.
Your maintenance loan is paid directly to you, in three instalments, at the beginning of each term. The amount you are loaned will be dependent on your household income, referred to as ‘means-tested’. This requires you to provide information about the financial information of your parents/carers if you are applying straight out of full-time education such as sixth form or college. If you are applying as a mature student or do not have a relationship with your parents (known as an estranged student), then you won’t need to provide the financial information about your parents, but will need to provide information about your own financial status instead.
How much money will I receive?
The maximum amount of maintenance loan will depend on your household status, as well as the student finance body you are applying to. Student Finance Wales and Northern Ireland offers all eligible students a maintenance grant, meaning that it doesn’t need to be repaid. On top of this, they also offer maintenance loans if your grant doesn’t cover the costs of your living arrangements. Student Finance England and the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) offer loans to all eligible students, and the SAAS also offers non-repayable bursaries to applicable students.
All maintenance loans need to be repaid, and are automatically deducted from your salary after a certain period of time, and only once you are earning over a certain amount of money. You can track your student loan repayments on your student finance account, as well as find any information you need about repaying your loan.
When will I receive my student loan?
The exact day you will get your loan into your bank account will depend on your university and course. You can expect to receive your first payment towards the end of September or start of October. Your second payment normally comes in at the start of January, and the third payment should arrive at the beginning of April. These payment dates coincide with the start of each university term. You will normally receive some form of communication to let you know that your payment is due in the next few days, but the money can sometimes take a few days to actually arrive in your bank account.
If you are in Scotland, you should be aware that the SAAS loans are paid out monthly, not in three instalments. Currently these payments are made on the 7th of each month.
If you would like to track the exact dates, which can change each year, you can check your account on your respective student finance body website, or contact them to get that information.
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