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Tuesday, 2 October 2023

Parents and partners of students: supporting a student finance application

Depending on what finance a student applies for, parents or partners may need to submit details of their income and circumstances. This is so Student Finance England can work out how much finance a student is eligible for. Find out what parents or partners need to do.

Why parents or partners are involved?

Parents and partners don’t have to submit details if a student is just applying for a Tuition Fee Loan or a lower level Maintenance Loan

Parents or partner may have to submit details if the student applies for income-assessed finance, such as the:

  • Maintenance Grant or Special Support Grant
  • Childcare Grant
  • Adult Dependants’ Grant
  • higher level Maintenance Loan (35 per cent is income-assessed in 2012/13)

Income-assessed finance looks at the parents’ or partner’s income and their circumstances, such as the number of dependents they have. Parents or partners submit details of their income and circumstances, including evidence, so Student Finance England can work out:

  • the level of student finance the student can get
  • the financial contribution parents or partners make towards a student’s finance

Parents or partners may not have to make a financial contribution if their household income is low.

When parents submit their details

Parents submit their income details if a student is classed as ‘dependent’. Students under 25 are usually classed as ‘dependent’, even if they don’t live with their parents.

When partners submit their details

Partners of students submit their income details if a student is classed as ‘independent’ and they’re co-habiting. Students are usually classed as ‘independent’ if they’re over 25.

How parents or partners submit their details

There are two ways of submitting parent or partner details:

Option one: at the same time as the student

Parents or partners can submit their details in the same online session as the student. The student can register them with the online service and they are given a Customer Reference Number, password and secret answer immediately.

Option two: after the student completes their application online

If the student completes their application first, they are asked to give the name and email address of their parents or their partner. Student Finance England send an email with log in details to the parents or partner so they can complete their part of the application.

If a parent or partner is unable to submit their financial details online they should contact Student Finance England.

Getting updates online

Once parents or partners submit their details they can log back in and check the progress of the student’s application - or check on any evidence they need to send in.

Getting permission to discuss a student's application

Student Finance England won’t share parents’ or partner’s details with the student or the student’s details with their parents or partner without written permission. See ‘Managing your student finance account’ for details.

Parents or partner income assessment

For 2012/13 student finance applications, parents or partners submit income details for the 20010-11 tax year. For 2011/12 applications they submit income details for the 2009-10 tax year.

If parents or partner income drops

If a parent or partner is expecting a 15 per cent drop or more in their income, they can ask to be assessed on the current tax year. But they still need to submit their financial details online and provide the evidence they’re asked for.

Continuing students: current year income

If a parent or partner gave an estimate of their current year income for a 2011/12 student finance application, this estimate will be used to assess the student’s finance for 2012/13.

Changes in a parents’ or partner’s income or circumstances

If a parents’ or partner’s circumstances change after they’ve submitted their details, it could affect the amount of finance a student is entitled to.

If the student doesn’t repay their student loans

Parents and partners aren’t responsible for repaying student loans

The obligation to repay a student loan lies entirely with the student.

Parents or partners submit information about their income to support the student’s application, but this doesn’t make them liable for any resulting debt. This remains the case even if the student withdraws from higher education or if they die without repaying their student loans.

If a student or former student passes away

If a student or former student dies, a parent or partner should write to the Student Loans Company and let them know. The parent or partner will also need to send in the student’s original death certificate or coroner’s report to:

Douglas Gould
Student Loans Company Limited
100 Bothwell Street
G2 7JD

The Student Loans Company will return the death certificate or coroner’s report.

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