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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Full-time student finance: frequently asked questions

Use this page to find answers to common questions about full-time student finance.

1. How and when should I apply for full-time student finance?

If you’re a new full-time student starting a course before 1 September 2023 apply online now. Full-time students starting a course after 1 September 2023 will be able to apply at the end of 2011.

2. What can I do if I forget my student finance account details or lock my account?

Don’t call Student Finance England if you forget your login details or lock your account. You can ask Student Finance England to reset your account through 'Find out your student finance login details'.

3. What evidence do I need to send in?

You need to submit evidence of your identity when you first apply for finance, such as your passport details or your birth certificate.

Depending on what student finance you apply for, you, your parents or partner may need also need to submit evidence of your income or your circumstances. Most financial evidence can be collected from HMRC through your National Insurance Number.

4. Evidence: should I send original documents or photocopies?

Photocopies of financial evidence, such as P60s, HMRC tax returns, pay slips and letters from your employer should be sent in. These will not be returned to you - they will be securely destroyed once processing is completed.

If you need to send in a birth or marriage certificate you'll need to send in the original document. It will be returned to you but this can take up to four weeks during busy periods.

5. What loans, grants and bursaries can I get?

Student finance is available in the form of grants and bursaries (which you don’t pay back) and loans (which you do). All eligible full-time students get a basic level of financial help, but you may be entitled to more if you apply for finance which takes your household income into account.

6. How do I tell Student Finance England if my details have changed?

You can update many of your details online, such as your course, university, bank or address details - even if you applied for finance using the paper form. You can do this by logging in to your student finance account.

7. How do I find out what student finance I'm getting?

When your application for finance is approved, you’ll receive a ‘Financial Notification Letter’. This explains what you’re getting this year. You can also view the letter by logging in to your student finance account and going to the ‘View correspondence’ screen.

8. How can I check the progress of my application?

You can check on the progress of your application by logging in to your student finance account and selecting the academic year you’ve applied for.

9. How long does it take to process my application?

If your application is submitted with all the relevant information, it can be processed in four to six weeks.

10. I am being asked for a term-time address but I don’t know it yet, what do I do?

You can use your current home address and, once you know your term-time address, simply log into your account and change the details online.

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