Have you applied for your student finance? Are you wondering why it doesn’t cover all your expenses? We’re here to explain exactly how student finance household income thresholds work. If you’ve not yet applied and are unsure whether you qualify, check out Gov UK’s guide

Type of Student Loan

For an undergraduate, there are two types of loans available:

  • Tuition Loan
  • Maintenance Loan

Tuition Loan

This loan is available to all qualifying students regardless of their household incomes. It is paid directly to the university if you choose to take it out. 

Maintenance Loan

This is where it gets a little more complicated. There is a minimum maintenance loan available to all students. This applies even if their income falls above the thresholds detailed later in the article: 

  • £3,597 if you live at home and your household income is £58,253 or above
  • £4,524 if you live away from home and outside London, and your household income is £62,311 or above
  • £6,308 if you live away from home and in London, and your household income is £70,022 or above.
Student Finance household income thresholds
Source: Canva

Household Income

Household income refers to your parents income (if you’re a dependent), your expected unearned income (dividends, rental income etc) and your husband, wife, civil partner’s income or a partner’s income if you’re over 25 (if you’re an independent student). 

What is ignored?

  • Pension payments that meet specific criteria 
  • The first £1,130 for any child who is totally or mainly financially dependent on you, civil partner, spouse or partner if you’re 25 years or over

For dependent students:

Your parents’ household income will be assessed if you choose to share the details and apply for the upper loan limit. For the academic year 2022-2023 they will use income details from 2022-2021. If this income in the current year has dropped below 15%, you can ask for SLC to assess the likely household income of the current year.

If your parents are divorced, only the household income of the parent you are financially dependent on is assessed. This includes any partner’s income.

For independent students:

Yours, your spouses, your civil partner’s or your partner’s if you’re over 25 household income will be assessed according to the same criteria as above. Check here to see if you qualify as an independent student.

Student Finance Maintenance loan
Source: Canva

Household Income Thresholds

SLC will assess the household income and assume it to contribute towards your living costs. If your household income is £25,000 or less, they will expect no contribution, and so you will be eligible for the maximum maintenance loan. For a full breakdown of how much is expected to be contributed, check Gov UK’s guide linked above. 

Available Maintenance Loan

The following outlines the available maintenance loans according to your income thresholds, and living situation. However, it is important to note that this is not 100% accurate, as your maintenance loan will be calculated by other contextual factors as well as the exact figure of your household income (not simply a bracket). If you want a closer estimate of what you are eligible for, check out this calculator.

Household Income Living at home Away from home (outside London) Away from home (London)
£25,000 or less £8,171 £9,706 £12,667
£30,000 £7,484 £9,012 £11,961
£35,000 £6,796 £8,318 £11,255
£40,000 £6,108 £7,623 £10,549
£45,000 £5,420 £6,929 £9,843
£50,000 £4,733 £6,234 £9,136
£55,000 £4,045 £5,540 £8,430
£58,253 £3,597 £5,088 £7,971
£60,000 £3,597 £4,845 £7,724
£62,311 £3,597 £4,524 £7,398
£65,000 £3,597 £4,524 £7,018
£70,000 £3,597 £4,524 £6,312
£70,022+ £3,597 £4,524 £6,308

Note that this article applies to SLC England only. If you’re still unsure about your status as an independent student, check out our guide to student finance here.