Student finance: make sure you apply before the deadline –

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We expect to process around 1.7 million finance applications for students in England and Wales this year and expect to see a surge in applications in the weeks leading up to the deadlines.

The deadline dates for student finance vary depending on what country you are studying in, and with the dates falling in May and June our advice is to apply online for your financial support as early as possible.

The Student Loans Company now handles finance applications for students in England and Wales. Applications can take at least six weeks to process. Those who apply after the deadline period will have their application processed as quickly as possible.

Check out the guide to student finance for new students starting university in 2016/17 here.

Here are our top tips to ensure your funding is paid into your bank account at the start of term:

  1. Don’t delay – apply online now. You do not need a confirmed university place to apply for funding you can use your preferred choice of course and update it online later, if needed. This includes students who are planning to apply through Clearing.
  2. Gather your evidence – When completing your online application make sure you have all the necessary information to hand, such as your passport number, course details and national insurance number. If you’re applying for funding based on household income, you and your sponsor (normally parent of partner) must provide the correct financial and personal information. Your funding can be removed if you provide incorrect details.
  3. Bank details – You will also need the bank account number or sort code numbers to hand when you fill out your application. Make sure your bank details are entered correctly and that you provide the account number rather than the long number on the front of your bank card. If your bank details need to be updated, this should be completed at least five working days before payments are made, otherwise you may not receive your funds to the correct account.
  4. Sending details – Send any evidence requested ASAP to ensure you don’t hold up your application and remember to sign and return your online declaration form – it’s faster to print off your online declaration form from your own account.
  5. Remember your details – Keep a note of the email address you use when applying for student finance and the customer reference number you are given and make sure you choose a password you remember. One of the most common calls to the Student Loans Company are from students who have forgotten their passwords.

Deadline dates: New students in England should apply by 27 May and continuing students should submit their applications by 24 June at New students in Wales should apply by 13 May. Continuing students should apply by 10 June

For new students in Scotland, the deadline date for applications to SAAS to guarantee that funds are in place for the beginning of the academic year is 30 June. Students in Northern Ireland are advised that they can apply for finance up to nine months after the start of their academic year. This is applicable for students across the UK, but you are advised to apply by the set deadline dates, as outlined by the relevant authority, to ensure funding is ready at the start of term.

Repayment:  While you do not usually have to pay back any grants or bursaries you receive from the university, you must pay back tuition fee loans and maintenance loans which attract interest.

Repayments are due once you have left university or college and the amount that is paid is dependent on how much you earn – currently you do not begin to repay the loan until you earn £21,000 or more before tax. Find out more from

It’s worth remembering that maintenance grants will no longer be available for students starting university in September 2016. You’ll be offered additional help as a loan.

Security:  And finally, students are also reminded to be vigilant with their personal details on social media and public forums and should be wary of any communications requesting personal or account information.

Phishing emails targeting student funding are common, especially around payment dates and should be sent to our security team: Find out more:

Derek Ross, director of operations and customer service at the Student Loans Company

Student finance: make sure you apply before the deadline –}