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Student loans

You can apply to Student Finance England for a loan to cover your tuition fees and a maintenance loan to cover living costs such as accommodation, food, travel and course materials.

If you have been a resident in the UK (and islands) for three years prior to the start of your course, and you do not already hold a degree or a higher qualification, you could receive:  

Tuition Fee Loan - up to £9,250 per year
This loan covers your tuition fee for the year and is paid directly to the university.

Maintenance Loan - up to £8,700 per year
This is to help with living costs and will be paid directly into your bank account. You will be entitled to at least 65% of the maintenance loan, regardless of family income.

The amount of funding you can receive will depend on your individual circumstances, but you can use the information below as a guide.
What has changed to the maintenance loans and grants?

What will I be entitled to?

This is a basic guide to the amount of loan you may be entitled to from the government, if you choose to move away from home for university and study outside of London. Details for students living at home are yet to be announced.

Household income (£) Maintenance Loan - living away from home and studying outside London (£) Maintenance Loan - living with parents (£)
£25,000 £8,700 £7,324
£30,000 £8,076 £6,707
£35,000 £7,452 £6,090
£40,000 £6,828 £5,473
£42,875 £6,469 £5,118
£45,000 £6,204 £4,855

Please note: Maintenance Loan is repayable

Students from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

Student Finance Wales
Student Finance Northern Ireland
Student Awards Agency (Scotland)

EU students outside the UK

If you're an EU student from outside of the UK you can check what funding you are entitled to by using the student finance calculator. Find out more.

Repaying student loans

Did you know that you don't have to pay anything upfront for your tuition fees? Instead, you can pay your tuition through a loan from the government, which you repay gradually through small monthly repayments. These begin after you have completed your course - and only if you're earning over £25,000.

The repayment will be 9% of your earnings over £25,000. So if you're earning £22,800, for example (that's currently the salary of a newly qualified teacher) you would initially make repayments of £13.50 a month. This level of payment is the same whatever the tuition fees on your course.

The following table and graph shows some salaries and typical repayments.

Income each year before tax Monthly salary Approximate monthly repayment
£25,000 £2,083 £0
£27,000 £2,250 £15
£30,000 £2,500 £37
£33,000 £2,750 £60
£35,000 £2,916 £75
£40,000  £3,333 £112

The amount you pay back each month depends on the size of your loan and how much you earn after you have finished your course, not on how much you have borrowed. Repayments come straight out of your wages each month, just like tax and national insurance. Any unpaid balance will be written off after 30 years.

Interest on your loan will be applied at inflation (RPI - retail price index) plus 3% while you're studying, and up until the April after you leave university. From the April after you leave university if you are earning below £25,000, interest will be applied at the rate of inflation.

Once you've left your course Interest will be based on your income:

  • £25,000 or less = RPI
  • between £25,001 and £45,000 = RPI plus up to 3% depending on your income
  • over £45,000 = RPI plus 3%

Advice for students who feel they can’t take out student loans for religious reasons

Some students may feel they cannot take the student loans they are entitled to because of their religious beliefs. It is very important that you have fully considered your options and have consulted your religious adviser before making a decision about funding your studies. The circumstances of each student are different and the appropriate scholar will be able to advise accordingly.

Eligibility for other sources of funding

It is also important to understand that if you decide not to take a loan, this is likely to affect your eligibility for other sources of funding. This may include applications for financial support from the University or other trusts and charities, interest free student bank accounts and benefit entitlements.

Download the SFE funding booklet (PDF)

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