Written by Leyan Yucel
BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism
It’s student finance time! By now you will have sent of your UCAS applications to your chosen universities and will be eagerly awaiting a response. You need to make sure you are aware of how much going to university will cost you and what finances you are eligible for. Let me break it down for you….
Most people will receive two types of loans:
- A tuition fee loan that will be paid directly to your university and you can get up to £9,250 a year.
- A maintenance loan that is paid in to your own bank account. The amount you earn depends on your household income. This is what you will live on.
There’s no need to stress about having to pay all this money back. You’ll only start making repayments when you’ve graduated and when your income is over the UK repayment threshold, which is currently £21,000 a year, £1,750 a month or £404 a week.
This is likely to change though. Subject to Parliamentary approval, this is expected to change to £25,000 a year from 6 April 2018. If your income falls below the threshold, repayments will stop and will only re-start when your income rises above the set amount again.
And the best bit is you only pay 9% of the amount over 21k (or 25k when this changes). You don’t even arrange the payments yourself, the government will deduct it from your salary before it even enters your account.
It may seem like you’re going to spend your whole life paying off your debt but the fact is that majority of student don’t end up paying it all off. On this scheme, students are £540 pounds better off per year than students on the previous scheme and after 30 years any debt you have left will get written off.
So, how do you apply? You can apply online and it can take up to 6 weeks to be processed so it’s best to get it done sooner rather than later. You don’t even need to have a confirmed offer, once your application is done you can update it once you have accepted your offers.
Your parents or carers will be contacted to get the financial proof they need and then you’ll receive a letter stating how much of a loan you will receive. The next step is to return your declaration letter and then you’re all set to go. Make sure you keep hold of all these documents because you’ll need them when you enrol in September.
One thing to keep in mind is that you have to apply each year so second and third years need to remember this too.
If you’d like to estimate how much you’ll get, you can use this loan calculator.
You can find out about funding your studies, including links to further information regarding bursaries and scholarships, on the Fees and Funding section of the BU website.