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Supporting a Student Finance Application

Has your child or partner applied for student finance in England? If so, you may need to provide details about your taxable income.

This help guide explains the process of confirming household income to support your child or partner's student finance application (e.g. for a loan or grant).

Giving Details about Household Income

If your child or partner applies for student finance in England:

  1. You get an email that explains how to create a student finance account (you cannot use the same one as your child or partner).
  2. Submit the details about your income for the previous tax year.
  3. You can use the current tax year instead, if your income has gone down by fifteen percent (15%) or less (see below).
  4. Provide evidence to Student Finance England (if requested).

SFE use the information you provide to calculate whether new full-time students can get extra financial help on top of the usual loans and grants (e.g. Tuition Fee Loan and the basic Maintenance Loan).

Note: The process of supporting a student finance application differs if your child or partner is going to apply in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

You will need to know:
  • Details about your personal taxable income.
  • The taxable income for your household (check what you pay tax on).

Note: For the purpose of supporting a student finance application, the previous tax year will be 2020 to 2021 if your child or partner applies for the 2022 to 2023 academic year.

Supporting a Child’s Application

Are you supporting your child’s application for a student loan? If so, household income is the combination of your own, plus:

  • Your child’s
  • Your partner’s if you are living with them at the present time (even if you were not living with them during the previous tax year)

Supporting a Partner’s Application

Are you supporting your partner’s application? If so, household income will be the combination of your own plus your partner’s (even if you were not living with them during the previous tax year).

Submitting Your Income Information

You will get an email within 24 hours after your child or partner submits a student loan application. The email provides you with a link so you can submit your details.

Unless you already have one, you may need to create a student finance login account. You cannot use the same account that your child or partner set up.

The next step is for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to check the information you submitted. It need to match their records and usually takes around two weeks to complete.

In some cases, HMRC might ask you to send further evidence about your:

  • Income (e.g. if your details fail to match HMRC records).
  • Marital status (if you have separated from your partner or got divorced).

You should allow a period of up to six (6) weeks if HMRC are going to review the additional evidence you sent in. Following that, Student Finance England will confirm it by writing to your child or partner.

Note: Your child or partner will still get the Tuition Fee Loan and the basic Maintenance Loan when they start their course (if they meet the eligibility criteria) even if HMRC has not finished processing your information.

If You Support a Continuing Student

Continuing students need to apply for student finance at the start of each academic year. So, you would also get an email within 24 hours of them making their application. The link you get from the email allows you to submit your marital status, and:

  • Any changes to the information that you already submitted for the previous year.
  • Your financial information relating to the previous tax year.

Submitting Income Details for the Current Tax Year

It is fine to use the same income details that you submitted last year if they were based on the current tax year. Furthermore, you can send in a new current tax year income assessment form if it dropped again (by at least 15%).

Current Year Income (CYI) Assessment

What if you think your household income is going to be at least 15% lower than the tax year you should submit details for? If this is the case, the Current Year Income (CYI) assessment allows you to give your details for the current tax year instead.

You need to follow the same process of creating an online account so you can request a CYI assessment. Student Finance England (SFE) will then be able to check whether your income went down by 15 percent (or more).

  1. Fill in the CYI assessment form and then send it to Student Finance England (address below).
  2. It is important to keep your income details accurate and up to date during the year.
  3. Then you will need to confirm your actual income at the end of the tax year (5th of April).

You and your partner (if living in the same household) would both need to complete the CYI form. This applies even if only one income changes because SFE would assess them both from the same tax year.

When you estimate your household income, you should include extra money you receive from things like (where applicable):

  • Casual work, shift work, or contract work
  • Income changes from changing jobs or returning to work
  • Income derived from self employment
  • Maternity or paternity pay
  • Pay rises (including bonuses or redundancy pay)
  • Working overtime or extra hours

Forms for full-time students:

Forms for part-time students:

Keeping Income Details Up to Date

What if your income changes during the current tax year? If so, you would need to submit a new current tax year income assessment form to Student Finance England without delay.

The reassessment can affect how much money the student will get (it may go up or down). Either way, Student Finance England would inform the student of any changes to their funding.

Note: Failing to keep your income details current and accurate can result in an overpayment to the student. If so, they would need to pay it back straight away.

Confirming Income: End of the Tax Year

You will need to send evidence of your actual income for the year, once the tax year finishes. You should receive a form to fill in before the end of May.

If You are Self Employed

If you are working for yourself, fill in the form to request a delay in providing evidence after the Self Assessment deadline (January the following year) if you have yet to complete your tax return.

Even so, you would need to return evidence for any other sources of employment (e.g. if you had a salaried job earlier in the year).

If Your Household Income Differs to the Estimation

The amount that the student has entitlement to will change if your household income is different from the amount you estimated. So, if your actual income:

  • Was lower – the student might get more money.
  • Was higher – the student would need to repay any extra money that they received.

Note: Failing to send in the relevant evidence would mean the student only gets the basic student finance.

How to Update Your Details

You can use the PFF2 or PFF3 form to correct a mistake, or if your circumstances change (e.g. you have another child or you get married).

Forms for full-time students:

Forms for part-time students:

Fill in the relevant form and send it to Student Finance England.

Student Finance England
PO Box 210

Supporting Your Child or Partner’s Student Finance Application