You can get student finance to help towards your living costs while you’re at university or college. Content provided by Student Finance England.

A Maintenance Loan can help pay for things such as rent, food, books, travel, and other expenses. Any loan you borrow needs to be paid back, but not until you’ve finished or left your course, and your income is over the repayment threshold.

The following information is for full-time students – find out about help with living costs for part-time students.


What's available?

Everyone who is eligible for student finance can get at least some Maintenance Loan, but you can apply for more that’s based on your household income.

If you started your course before 1 August 2016, you might also be able to get one of the following:

Students are who are eligible to receive State Benefits, who are entitled to receive the means-tested element of funding, may be eligible for an increased amount of maintenance loan. If eligible, their maintenance loan will be made up of the Maintenance element and the Special Support (SSL) element. 

Student finance in your final year of study

In your final year of uni or college, you'll get less Maintenance Loan than you had in other years. This is because student finance usually covers the breaks between each year, but you're no longer entitled to it once your course has ended.

Check if you're eligible

 

Maintenance Loan

How much you can get depends on when you started your course, where you live, and your household income.

It’s important you let us know if there are any changes to your living arrangements as it will affect your student finance. This is so we can make sure you get the right amount of student finance. You can update any changes in your online account.

Courses starting from 1 August 2016

Long Course Loan

If your course lasts longer than 30 weeks and three days, you might be able to get a Long Course Loan as well as your Maintenance Loan.

How much you can get depends on your household income, and where you’re living while studying. You’ll be able to get a Long Course Loan if you’re getting the extra Maintenance Loan that’s based on your household income.

You don’t need to complete a separate application – Student Finance England will work out whether you can get a Long Course Loan when you apply for your main student finance.

They’ll pay your Long Course Loan to you at the same time they pay your Maintenance Loan.

This table shows the maximum weekly amount you can get:

Where you're living while studying Maximum amount per additional week
2022 to 2023 2023 to 2024
Living with parents £69 £71
Living outside of London, away from home £104 £107
Living in London, away from home £134 £138
Living abroad £144 £148

 

It’s important you let us know if there are any changes to your living arrangements as it will affect your student finance. This is so we can make sure you get the right amount of student finance. You can update any changes in your online account.


How to apply

When you apply for student finance, you'll need to agree to Student Finance England's terms and conditions.

New students

The quickest and easiest way to apply is online at www.gov.uk/studentfinance as soon as the application service opens.

  1. Set up a student finance account
    When you register, you’ll be given a unique Customer Reference Number, and will need to create a password and secret answer. You should keep these safe, as you’ll need them to sign in to your account to check the progress of your application, and reapply for student finance next year.
  2. Fill in and submit your application
    The first time you apply, you’ll be asked for proof of identity. You can easily do this by providing your valid UK passport details. If you don’t have a UK passport, you may have to send evidence.
    If you want to apply for student finance that depends on your household income, Student Finance England will ask your parents or partner for their National Insurance number, and their personal income details.
  3. Send any evidence you're asked for
    Student Finance England may contact you, or your parents/partner, to ask for evidence to support your application. If you’ve had no contact with your parents for over a year, you might be able to apply as an ‘independent student’.

Continuing students

To reapply for student finance, sign in to your student finance account and apply online when the service opens.

If you’re applying for the first time, you can do this online at www.gov.uk/studentfinance.


How to change an application

You must tell Student Finance England about any change in your circumstances which might affect your student finance.

The most common examples are:

  • you’ve changed university or college
  • you’ve changed your course (but stayed at the same university)
  • you’ve left your course
  • your name or contact details have changed

Before your initial course start date, you can tell Student Finance England about any changes by filling in a ‘Change of Circumstances’ form, which you can download from your online account.

After your course start date, you’ll need to ask your university or college to tell Student Finance England about any of the following changes:

  • your tuition fee amount
  • your course details
  • your course intensity
  • you repeat a year
  • you leave higher education
  • suspend your studies

How it's paid

You need to register at your university or college before Student Finance England can make your first payment.

You’ll usually do this in the first week of your course, and you may have to take along your student finance entitlement letter.

Student Finance England pays any Maintenance Loan and/or Maintenance Grant you can get directly into your bank account, in three instalments, usually at the start of each term.

You can find your expected payment dates in your online account, but some banks take longer to clear funds.