Whether you’re a returning student or applying for the first time, you are ready to apply for the next academic year. But do you know when the student finance is opening and when the deadlines are? Don’t worry if you don’t, as here is our guide to student finance for 2023/2024.

When do student finance applications open up?

when does student finance come in

The student finance opens in March 2023, so you can begin straight away!

If you’re waiting for offers, you can still apply for student finance. Just use your preferred choice of University. Then when you get your results in August you can update your student finance. Furthermore, if you choose not to go to Uni, then you can easily cancel your application, so it’s still worth applying even if you’re not sure.

When are the application deadlines?

student finance deadline

If this is your first time applying for student finance, then you have to have it done by the 19th of May 2023.

If you’re a returning student, then you should apply by the 23rd of June 2023.

Make sure you apply, before the date, as if you don’t, your student loan payments will likely be late.

What options are available to you?

when does student finance come in

The two main loans are the tuition loan and the maintenance loan. Let’s dive into these two a little more closely, so you know exactly what financial support you can get, and when.

Tuition loans

The tuition loan is the money the government pays your university. This will go straight from the government to the university so you don’t have to worry about it.

What is a maintenance loan?

The maintenance loan made its debut in the 1990s, serving as an essential financial pillar for students during their university years.

At one point, certain students qualified for maintenance grants, but unfortunately, these were discontinued in 2016 (apologies for the reminder).

Throughout the academic year, students get the maintenance loan in three portions, generally a few weeks into each term. This loan aids in covering daily expenses like food, personal care items, and household essentials, in addition to rent and utilities. The maintenance loan is the money which you get paid into your bank of choice. The amount you will get is calculated by using your household income.

You can find out how much you are entitled to by using the student finance calculator.

As the title implies, the crucial detail about the maintenance loan is its nature: it’s a loan, which means you’re obligated to repay it in the future. Sorry.

However, repayment of your maintenance loan kicks in only when you attain a specific income level. For those under Student Loan Plan 2 (applicable to anyone who began their studies between 1st September 2012 and 31st July 2023), this threshold is currently set at £27,295 annually, £2,274 monthly, or £524 weekly in the UK.

Additionally, you’re required to repay only 9% of your earnings above this salary threshold. We’ll delve deeper into this aspect shortly.

The Disabled Students’ Allowance

However, there are more options available to you, if you meet the requirements. The Disabled Students’ Allowance provides support to cover the study-related costs you have because of a mental health problem, long-term illness or any other disability.

The Childcare Grant is a grant to help with the caring of children 15 or under. You must be in full-time higher education and have a child who is 15 or under (or 17 if they have special educational needs). The Parent’s Learning Allowance is a grant for parents in higher education, this will be calculated by your household income.

How is student loan calculated?

The amount you get from the maintenance loan as a student will depend upon your individual situation, particularly your household circumstances.

To work out the sum a student could be entitled to in maintenance loan payments, take a look at the following factors:

  • Household earnings
  • The date your course starts
  • Where you plan on living while studying

Regarding tuition fee loans, full-time students in England are eligible for up to £9,250. However, if you’re enrolled in an accelerated degree course, the amount increases up to £11,100. This money is transferred directly to your uni, so you won’t receive it in your personal account (bummer, I know).

What about student finance for part time students?

For part-time students, the process for your student loan is a little different. But don’t worry, getting student finance as a part time student is easily achieved, too.

You might qualify for a maintenance loan if your part-time study has a ‘course intensity’ of 25% or greater. This is assessed by comparing your module credits to those a full-time student would do.

Regarding the tuition fee loan, you can receive up to £6,935 in an academic year. However, this amount is sent directly to your university, unfortunately.

Student loan payment dates 2023

student finance payment come in

Your maintenance loan (aka, your student finance payment) will be dropped into your bank in three instalments, each roughly a third of your yearly allowance, with each portion arriving at the start of every term.

While the student loan timings tend to align for most unis, there might be minor variations in the exact payment dates.

For the academic year 2023/2024, you can expect the first maintenance loan payment towards the end of September or early October, aligning with the term’s start. The second payment is planned for the beginning of January 2024, and the last payment at the onset of April.

If you’re wondering about why your maintenance loan isn’t dropped into your account as a single large amount, it’s for your benefit! By dividing your student loan into three parts, student finance aims to put off students from splashing the cash in the first term.

What is the average maintenance loan?

During the 2020/21 academic year, the UK government revealed that students, on average, received a maintenance loan of £6,860 in England, £5,110 in Wales, £3,120 in Northern Ireland, and £5,190 in Scotland.

While these figures provide a general idea, it’s essential to note that your specific student finance will be determined by your own cirumstances.

What is the maximum maintenance loan?

As per the Gov UK website, for the 2023/2024 academic year, students living outside of London and away from their parents can receive a maximum maintenance loan of £9,978. Conversely, those living in London and away from their parents can access up to £13,022.

When will I start repaying my student loan and how much are student loan repayments?

Your student loan repayments – combining both the tuition fee and maintenance loan – start once your earnings go past a specific salary threshold, determined by the student loan plan you’re enrolled in.

Student loan plan 1

For those under Plan 1 (which applies if you started an undergraduate program in the UK before 1st September 2012), repayments for your student loan will start when your earnings exceed £423 weekly, £1,834 monthly, or £22,015 annually (prior to tax and other deductions) as of April 2023.

Student loan plan 2

For those under Plan 2 (those who began their undergraduate studies in the UK from 1st September 2012 to 31st July 2023), repayment obligations kick in once your earnings go past £524 weekly, £2,274 monthly, or £27,295 annually (before any tax and other subtractions).

Student loan plan 5

For students starting undergraduate or advanced courses after August 1, 2023, you’ll fall under Plan 5.

If you’re on Plan 5, the earliest you’ll start repaying your student loan is April 2026, regardless of whether you complete your course. Repayments only kick in once your earnings exceed £480 a week, £2,083 a month, or £25,000 a year.

For all loan plans, repayments don’t commence until you reach the income level designated for your plan.

Keep in mind that the income thresholds can vary over time.

Regarding repayment amounts: those with Plan 1, Plan 2, or Plan 5 student loans will return 9% of their earnings that exceed the set income threshold.

For instance, if you’re on Plan 2 with an annual salary of £30,000, you’d contribute approximately £20 monthly to your loan, which will be directly deducted from your paycheck.