Written by Mark Smith
BA (Hons) Events Management
With the UCAS deadline fast approaching, it’s time to sort out your coppers. Luckily for you I’ve done the research so you don’t have to. I know it can be boring so I’ll keep it simple. Feel free to send me food as a thank you…
Most people will receive two types of loans:
- A tuition fee loan will be paid directly to your university and you can get up to £9,000 a year.
- A maintenance loan is paid in to your own bank account. The amount you earn depends on your household income. This is what you will live on
Maintenance Loans be like…
In case you missed the memo: there used to be a maintenance grant as well as the loan, but things have changed and it’s no longer on offer. It sucks, I know!
Before you worry about forever being in debt, you don’t have to pay the money back until you’ve graduated and are earning more than £21,000 a year (or £404 a week), and even then you only pay 9% of the amount over the 21k. The government will even work this out for you and deduct it from your salary just like they do National Insurance and Tax, so you can’t mess up!
Paying it back isn’t as bad as you’d imagine…
You can apply online, but it can take up to 6 weeks to be processed, so I’d get it done as soon as you can. Did you know you don’t need a confirmed offer to apply? You can update your application when you’ve accepted an offer. You’ll be asked your National Insurance number and some financial information. They’ll email your parents/carer to get the proof they need, so send it over as soon as possible so your application isn’t delayed.
You’ll then receive a letter telling you how much you will be given. Keep all your paperwork because you’ll need to show it to your university when you enrol in September. You’ll need to return a declaration form soon, too.
For those of you who are confused about the recent reports regarding Osborne, don’t worry. Although its true that he’s made some changes, you won’t really notice it. Originally the amount you can earn before you have to pay your loan back (the 21k) was going to change each year in line with average earnings, but Osborne has now confirmed the amount will be frozen for 5 years, meaning you could potentially be paying £3,000 more than you would have before, but remember that’s spread across many years, so it’s not going to break your bank, and it’s reported you could earn twice as much as you would have without a degree.
With all this in mind, don’t forget you have to apply each year, so if you’re going into second year this includes you!
To estimate how much you’ll get, you can use this loan calculator.
By Mark Smith