Deadline for Student Loan Applications Looming
I’ve just been sent information from the student loans company, to help you apply for your student finance for next year. Remember, you have to apply every year, even if your circumstances haven’t changed, so please read the information below to help you with your application.
APPLY NOW TO MAKE SURE YOU GET STUDENT LOAN AT START OF AUTUMN TERM
DAILY ONLINE SURGERIES CAN HELP YOU COMPLETE YOUR FORM
If you’re a full-time student and are going back to university or college in autumn 2011, time is running out for you to apply for next year’s student finance to ensure your first instalment is in place at the start of term. Don’t wait, apply now. Log in to your Student Finance account today!
If you’re applying for student finance that doesn’t depend on your household income, and your circumstances haven’t changed, Student Finance England will send you a form that you just need to sign and post back.
Q: How do I apply for my student loan? What’s the best way to apply?
A: The best way to apply is online. It is much quicker and simpler than completing paper forms. You can apply online at www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance
Q: When should I apply for finance as a returning student?
A: We advise you to apply online as soon as possible. The deadline for applying is 30 June, 2011. If you miss the deadline, you may not receive all your money at the start of the new academic year.
Q: What changes have been made to the student finance application process for returning students?
A: We have removed the need for reassessing anyone whose circumstances have not changed and is applying for support not dependent on their parents’ or partner’s household income. If you are a student in that category, you do not need to fill out an application form. You just need to sign the form we send to you and post it back. Then we can use the details you supplied in your last year’s application to complete the process. However, some returning students may not be eligible. For example, if you suspended your studies, or took a gap year in the previous academic year, then you will need to complete an application form.
If you have had a change of circumstances and this year want to apply for finance dependent on your parents’ or partner’s household income, you will need to download the sponsor’s income details form and submit your application for reassessment.
Q: How do the changes affect me?
A: If your circumstances haven’t changed and the finance you are applying for does not depend on your parents’ or partner’s household income, then the new process means that you do not have to fill out an application. You just need to sign the form we send to you and post it back. For all other returners, the quickest way to fill out and submit your application form is online at www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance
Q: Why have these changes been made and what benefits do they bring?
A: The new process is designed to reduce the time and effort it takes to apply for finance. It also means that this category of returning students can have their applications processed early on, so more time can be devoted to assessing means-tested loans and special support.
Encouraging sponsors to complete applications online generally means that assessments can be processed quicker than sending a paper form, which is of benefit to both students and to us.
Q: How long does it take to complete the application process for returning students?
A: If your circumstances haven’t changed and the finance you are applying for does not depend on your parents’ or partner’s household income, then you just need to sign and return the declaration form sent to you – this should only take a few minutes. You will receive a letter with your declaration form explaining the new process and providing instructions. The application process for other returning students will take the same amount of time as last year.
Q: What if I’m a means-tested student?
A: The application process for financial support dependent on your parents’ or partner’s household income or for special support remains the same as last year. However, we urge you to encourage your parent or sponsor to submit their information using the online application service. This speeds up the process and is quicker than submitting a paper form. A paper sponsor form will still be available by telephone if required.
Q: How much information is needed from my parents or sponsor?
A: You only need to provide new evidence from your parents or sponsor if your circumstances have changed. If this is the case, you should send evidence of your household income for the previous tax year. This will enable us to assess how much financial help you are entitled to.
Further information on what evidence is required can be downloaded at www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance
Q: When do I start repaying my student loan?
A: If your course started in or after 1998, you have to start making repayments the April after your course ended – but only if you earn more than £15,000 a year gross (before you pay tax). Payments will be automatically taken from your salary through the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) tax system.
Your employer will tell HMRC how much you have repaid at the end of each tax year. Then HMRC will inform us of this amount and we will send you a statement. Different repayment arrangements apply if you pay tax through self-assessment.
Q: How much interest will I pay on my student loan?
A: If your course started in or after 1998, the current rate of interest is 1.5% (from 1 September 2010). Interest accrues on student loans from the date they’re paid to you until they have been repaid in full.
Q: Where do I go for further information on the application process or to apply online?
Please visit www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance to find out everything you need to know about the process, including what you are entitled to, and to apply online.
For more information, please contact SLC Press Office 0141 306 2120 or firstname.lastname@example.org