The UK Rules
How Do I Apply?

How to Apply for Student Finance UK

The way you apply for a student loan in the United Kingdom depends on your nationality and whether you are a new student (e.g. not studied before).

This help guide explains how and when to apply (including deadlines for the current academic year), and how to change an application (e.g. contact details).

Applying as a New Student from England

The easiest way to apply for most full-time and part-time students is online through Student Finance England (SFE), by:

  1. Creating a student finance online account.
  2. Logging in and completing the online application.
  3. Including details about your household income (if required). Your parent or partner needs to 'support a student's application' by confirming the details.
  4. Sending in proof of your identity (see details below).

Note: Use the student finance forms if you are unable to apply online. You can also telephone Student Finance England to get help applying online if you have difficulty using a computer.

If You are a Continuing Student

You would be classed as a continuing student if you are moving on to the next year of your course, or you are:

So, continuing students should use the student finance login facility to make an online application (unless your course started before 1st of September 2012).

Returning to Studies after a Break for Personal Reasons

The process differs if you are returning to study after taking time out for serious personal reasons (e.g. you were ill, or pregnant). You still apply for a student loan by logging in to your online account.

But, you would also need to supply a cover letter explaining the reasons for suspending your studies (along with some supporting evidence) by post to:

Student Finance England
PO Box 210

Note: You should learn how much you will get (by letter) from Student Finance England within two (2) months. Another section explains more about getting student finance while you suspend your studies (or dropping out of your course altogether).

Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland

The student finance application process differs for students who are from Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

Applying as a New EU Student

  1. Use the student finance form finder to download an application pack from the GOV.UK website.
  2. Send in the documentation that proves your identity (e.g. non-UK passport or identity card).
  3. Student Finance England (SFE) will send you a letter that confirms how much you will receive. You should allow up to six (6) weeks to get the letter.

Note: Continuing EU students will receive the application forms by post, sent by Student Finance England.

When to Apply for Student Finance

There is no need to have a place confirmed at a college or university to apply for a student loan in the UK. But, new applications can only be made for 2021 to 2022 and 2022 to 2023 academic years.

The deadline to apply for undergraduate student finance is nine (9) months after the first day of the academic year for your chosen course. So, you should apply by:

How to Prove Your Identity

If you are a student from England, you should include details of your valid UK passport in the application form (if it is the first time you applied). Remember... do not send the actual passport!

You can send an original birth or adoption certificate using the certificate form if your UK passport has expired or you do not have one.

Students from England
Student Finance England
PO Box 210

As an EU student, you should send either your non-UK passport or your identity card if it is the first time you are making an application.

Student Finance Services Non UK Team
Student Finance England
PO Box 89

Note: Student Finance England (SFE) will return any original documentation that you send to them within four (4) weeks.

Providing Your Household Income

SFE will need to have some details about your household income if you are going to apply for (any):

Note: They will want to know your household income for previous tax years (e.g. the 2021 to 2022 tax year for a 2022 to 2023 academic year application).

What Counts as Household Income?

For the purpose of student loan applications, household income will be your own 'taxable income' plus that of:

Note: In some cases, you can apply for a student loan as an 'estranged student' if you had no contact with your parents for more than a year.

How to Change a Student Loan Application

Student Finance England will need to know if you change the details of your application. The method you use to inform them will depend on whether you are a student from England or from the European Union (EU).

Students from England

If you are a student from England, you will be able to update your personal details (e.g. change bank details) by logging into your online account.

You can also inform Student Finance England if you changed your course, college, university, or you are going to repeat a year. Full-time students can use their online account. But, part-time students need to use a form:

You can contact your college or university instead to change or repeat a course, or change a Tuition Fee Loan, once the course has started.

Decrease in Household Income

Parents and partners need to inform Student Finance England if their household income will be at least 15% lower than the amount they submitted for a given tax year. Another section explains what to do if your income has gone down.

In some cases, parents and partners may also need to correct a mistake in their household income. Another section explains what to do if you need to update your details (e.g. the parent or sponsor has another child).

Changing Your Name or Marital Status

Student Finance England will need to know if you change your name or marital status. You should send them a cover letter that includes:

If you changed your name already (e.g. by deed poll) you need to include a clear photocopy of the (either):

If it was your marital status that changed, you would need to send a letter and any supporting documents to Student Finance England, along with a clear photocopy of the (either):

Note: You should contact Student Finance England (SFE) if you are unable to provide them with the appropriate documentation.

Students from the European Union

EU students can use form EUCO1 to update personal details and Tuition Fee Loan amounts. Fill in your details and send the completed form to the Non UK Team at Student Finance Services (details above).

How to Apply for Student Finance in the United Kingdom