If you’re applying for student finance to support your time at university, you’re approaching an important time. Although the date is different depending on whether you’re in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, the deadline is fast approaching or has even passed.
We gave you the lowdown on applying for student finance in week 24, and if you’ve already finished your application, great! Make sure you’ve signed and sent the declaration form confirming what you’ve applied for (whether electronically or through tracked post), and you’re pretty much sorted.
If you haven’t, don’t worry – it’s not the end of the world. It’s not a deadline per se, just a suggested guideline to ensure you get your money on time.
Meeting the dates below guarantees you’ll receive your money on time.
(We're still waiting for student finance to release the deadlines, but these were last years):
- Northern Ireland: 31 March
- England: 24 May
- Wales: 7 June
- Scotland: 30 June
As you’ll see, some of these dates have already passed, and if that’s the case, you’ll probably have to wait longer to get your loan, but make sure you apply as soon as possible!
Waiting for the loan to drop
Even if you’ve got everything in on time, your living costs won’t be paid until a few days after you enrol. This is so the uni can confirm to student finance that you’ve started – after all, they don’t want to give a student loan to someone who has decided not to be a student.
You’ll want to make sure you’ve got enough money to live on until your loan comes through, particularly if your payment is going to be late. We went through some of the ways to do this in week 10.
Dealing with a late loan
If your living costs are likely to be late, there are options, so don’t panic.
Always speak to your accommodation first. If you’re staying in a university-owned hall of residence, they are very likely to wait until you get your money. There’s no guarantee with external landlords, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to ask.
Then, if you don’t have a job and your family can’t help, most universities offer a short-term emergency loan. You will have to pay this back, and you will be charged if you miss a payment, but it should help you out if you’re in a tight spot.
Many universities will have teams of financial advisers to help you with any funding issues and can help you apply for additional support. If you're applying to Solent and you're a bit worried about finances, you can find more information here. Some universities will offer an emergency short term loan for students whose student finance is running a bit late. So if you're really in a pickle, this could be worth considering!
Don't get caught in the net
There’s so much out there these days about the danger of phishing scams that you may think there’s no need to worry. However, with scammers targeting students in particular, it’s always best to be careful.
Most of the time, emails are sent over the summer, and generally either look like they’re from the Student Loans Company, or your university itself.
Always be really careful of any emails that are asking you for any personal details, and avoid clicking on links within emails. If you think the email looks legitimate, log into your online account direct from the website instead. Follow ActionFraud’s advice if you’re ever unsure.
Tasks for this week:
- If you haven't already, make sure you complete your finance application.
- Take a look at the financial support your chosen uni can offer you – whether it’s emergency loans, bursaries, scholarships, or anything else you can think of.