Student Maintenance Loans Guide 2024/25: How Much You'll Get, When It's Paid And More
Student Maintenance Loans Guide 2024/25: How Much You'll Get, When It's Paid And More

Student Maintenance Loans Guide 2024/2025: How Much You’ll Get, When It’s Paid And The Minimum Maintenance Loan

Wondering what’s the minimum student maintenance loan you’re eligible for? We’ve broken it down for you.

Your minimum student maintenance loan is one of the crucial parts of going to uni.

It is designed to help you out while you’re studying and you pay it back after you’ve graduated. However, student loans can also be complicated to get your head around as there are a lot of technical terms. And sometimes, the minimum maintenance loan isn’t even enough to cover your student rent — shocking, we know!

Everyone is eligible for a different amount of money from the government, which depends on a variety of factors including location, age and parental income. And if you’re lucky enough, you might not be stuck with the minimum maintenance loan and may come off with the maximum student loan amount instead. Fingers crossed!

So, if you’re wondering how much minimum maintenance loan you’ll get, here’s everything you need to know.

In this guide:

What is a maintenance loan?

A maintenance loan is a loan from the government designed to help cover the costs of university in the UK. The maintenance loan is different to the tuition fees loan, which is designed to cover the costs of tuition – instead, it is to cover the living costs associated with being a student.

Living costs include essential spending such as rent, bills and food shopping and non-essential things in your social life, such as going to restaurants, bars, clubs, the cinema or buying new clothes or shoes.

Each student is eligible for a maintenance loan which will be paid directly to your bank account in three instalments, for each year that you’re in uni. You’ll usually be paid at the start of each term.

If the course you’re studying lasts longer than 30 weeks and 3 days, you may be entitled to extra money as part of your minimum maintenance loan. This is called a Long Course Loan. It’s still based on your household income, but you should get more money due to the course running longer than standard. You’ll typically be awarded the additional amount automatically.

We’ve got all your questions answered about applying for Student Finance.

iphone calculator - student minimum maintenance loan

How is my maintenance loan calculated?

The maintenance loan is one of the biggest chunks of money for students while at university — unless they have very wealthy families or a good-paying job. Because of this, it’s important you swot up on everything you need to know about the minimum and maximum maintenance loan you can get, and ensure you fill out your details correctly to prevent any delays in getting your student loan when you start your course.

When you apply for student finance you have to fill out lots of information about yourself, which student finance then uses to work out how big of a loan you’re eligible for. This information will include:

  • your age
  • location
  • whether you’re a UK citizen
  • information about your parent’s income and jobs

There are certain factors that can lead to you receiving a bigger maintenance loan, such as being from a single-parent or a low-income family.

Other factors include whether you wish to live at home or in student accommodation and where you wish to study for university, as those studying in London receive a higher minimum maintenance loan due to the increased living costs.

How much maintenance loan should I get?

You can calculate how much you’re eligible for by using the calculator on the government website. This can give you a rough estimate although it may not be 100% accurate, but it’s a good way to see what you’re eligible for before you apply for uni.

As it depends on a lot of different factors, there’s a high chance that your minimum maintenance loan and maximum maintenance loan could be very different to someone else’s.

students talking in library - minimum maintenance loan

How and when is the maintenance loan paid?

Your student maintenance loan will be paid directly to your bank account in 3 instalments throughout the year. The exact dates of when you will receive the money vary from uni to uni and change yearly, but you can expect to receive 1 instalment per term.

Your loan is normally split into 3 fairly equal instalments, although depending on how much money you’re eligible for, you may find that one payment is slightly more than the others. You will most likely receive a payment around the start of each term, so you can expect to receive your payments around late September/early October, January and March/April. This is the same for the whole of the UK except for Scotland, where students will receive payments equally on the 7th of each month.

You will usually receive a text message or email a few days before an instalment is due to notify you that the payment is on the way. You can also log in to your student finance account to check the exact timetable of payments and how much you can expect to receive per instalment.

Maintenance loans table for England for 2024/25

Household IncomeLiving at homeLiving away from home (outside of London)Living away from home (in London)
£25,000 or less£8,610£10, 227£13,348
£30,000£7,887£9,497£12,606
£35,000£7,163£8,766£11,863
£40,000£6,440£8,035£11,120
£45,000£5,716£7,304£10,377
£50,000£4,993£6,573£9,634
£55,000£4,269£5,842£8,891
£58,291£3,698£5,229£8,191
£60,000£3,790£5,111£8,148
£62,347£3,790£4,767£7,799
£65,000£3,790767£7,405
£70,000£3,790£4,767£6,662
£70,098+£3,790£4,767£6647
Maintenance loans table for students in England 2024/25

While this will give you a good idea, the exact thresholds are determined by exact parental income, so there may be a slight difference in what you are actually entitled to.

If you are living at home, the maximum threshold is around £58,252 per year so if your parents earn this or more, you will get the minimum maintenance loan allowance. If you are living away from home outside of London it’s £60,000 per year and if you are living away from home in London it’s around £70,022.

Maintenance loans and grants table for Wales for 2024/25

In Wales, students are entitled to both loans and grants. Grants are money that you won’t have to pay back, whereas you will have to pay back your loan. Like in England, the amount of money you’re eligible for depends on parental income and where you will be studying.

The key difference, however, is that all students in the same living situation (either living at home, studying in London or studying away from London) will all receive the same amount of money from the government. The only difference is how much of a grant and how much of a loan you will receive. Those from lower-income families will receive a higher grant and a lower loan, whereas those from higher-income families will receive a lower grant and a bigger loan, but the total amount of money given will be the same.

For students living at home with their parents while at uni:
Household incomeGrantLoanTotal
£18,370 or less£6,885£3,430£10,315
£25,000£5,930£4,385£10,315
£35,000£4,488£5,827£10,315
£45,000£3,047£7,268£10,315
£59,200+£1,000£9,315£10,315
Maintenance loans table for students in Wales living at home 2024/25
For students living outside of London for uni:
Household IncomeGrantLoanTotal
£18,370 or less£8,100£4,050£12,150
£25,000£6,947£5,203£12,150
£35,000£5,208£6,942£12,150
£45,000£3,469£8,681£12,150
£59,200+£1,000£11,150£12,150
Maintenance loans table for Welsh students living away from home outside of London 2024/25
For students living in London for uni:
Household IncomeGrantLoanTotal
£18,370£10,124£5,046£15,170
£25,000£8,643£6,527£15,170
£35,000£6,408£8,762£15,170
£45,000£4,174£10,966£15,170
£59,200+£1,000£14,170£15,170
Maintenance loans table for Welsh students living in London 2024/25

Maintenance loans and grants table for Scotland for 2024/25

In Scotland, the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) offers both grants and loans to university students. However, a huge difference between Scotland and the rest of the UK is that your maintenance loan won’t be assessed based on your living situation. Instead, there are 4 sums of money on offer and the amount you’ll receive will depend on your household income band.

Household IncomeLoanBursaryTotal
£20,999£9,400£2,000£11,400
£21,000- £23,999£9,400£1,125£10,525
£24,000- £33,999£9,400£500£9,900
£34,000+£9,400£0£8,400
Maintenance loans table for Scottish students 2024/25

Maintenance loans and grants table for Northern Ireland for 2024/25

In Northern Ireland students are entitled to both maintenance loans and maintenance grants, which won’t need to be repaid. The amount of money you’re eligible for will depend on household income, and whether you’re living at home, in London or away from London.

For students living at home with their parents while at uni:
Household IncomeMaintenance GrantMaintenance LoanTotal
£19,203 or less£3,475£3,135£6,610
£25,000£2,201£3,605£5,806
£30,000£1,215£4,035£5,250
£35,000£689£4,561£5,250
£41,540£0£5,250£5,250
£45,000£0£4,740£4,740
£50,451+£0£3,938£3,938
Maintenance loans table for Irish students living at home 2024/25
For students living away from home and outside of London for uni:
Household IncomeMaintenance GrantMaintenance LoanTotal
£19,203 or less£3,475£4,661£8,136
£25,000£2,201£5,131£7,332
£30,000£1,215£5,561£6,776
£41,540£0£6,776£6,776
£50,000£0£5,530£5,530
£53,035+£0£5,084£5,084
Maintenance loans table for Irish students living away from home but outside of London 2024/25
For students living in London for uni:
Household IncomeMaintenance GrantMaintenance LoanTotal
£19,203 or less£3,475£7,377£10,852
£25,000£2,201£7,847£10,048
£30,000£1,215£8,277£9,492
£41,540£0£9,492£9,492
£50,000£0£8,246£8,246
£57,643+£0£7,121£7,121
Maintenance loans table for Irish students living in London 2024/25

What’s the minimum and maximum student maintenance loan?

The average student loan varies, but the minimum maintenance loan you could receive in England is around £3,790 per academic year, if you are living at home during uni, as it is assumed that if you’re living with your parents you won’t need to pay rent.

The maximum student maintenance loan you could get is £13,348 if you are living away from home and in London, if your household income is under £25,000 per year. You can find out more here on the government website.

students on steps chatting - minimum maintenance loan

Can I apply for a Current Year Income Assessment?

When you apply for student finance for 2024/25 you’ll need to provide your yearly household income for the 2023/2024 tax year. However, if you think that your household income for the current and upcoming tax year is going to be significantly less than last year due to your parents changing or losing jobs, you can apply for a Current Year Income Assessment.

If you do apply when it gets to the end of the 2024/25 tax year you’ll need to provide evidence of what your household income was and if it was lower than expected you’ll get some extra maintenance loan. However, if it’s higher than you estimated you’ll need to repay some of the money you’ve been given straight away.

The criteria to be eligible for a Current Income Assessment is:

  • England: Your household income needs to have dropped by at least 15%
  • Northern Ireland: Your household income needs to have dropped by at least 5%
  • Scotland: Your household income must have dropped into a different income bracket
  • Wales: Your household income must have dropped by at least 15%

You can find out more about the Current Income Assessment, your eligibility and what this might mean for you on the government website.

To apply, you’ll need to fill out the Current Year Income Assessment form and provide evidence.

How and when do you repay your loan?

You have to pay back your student loan after you finish uni. The first April after you’ve graduated is the earliest you could be eligible to start paying it back, but this depends on how much money you’re earning. You don’t have to pay back any of your student loan until you’re earning over a certain threshold, which normally increases every April. The current threshold is £27,295 so you won’t have to pay back any of your maintenance loan until you’re earning this much money per year.

When you are earning over the threshold, money will be deducted from your monthly paycheck every month. You have to pay back 9% of what you earn each month, so the more you are earning the more you have to pay. If you’re earning a salary of £28,000 a year before tax, you will be paying back £11 per month. This is designed so that you are paying back small and manageable chunks per month and that you won’t really notice that you’re paying back your maintenance loan as it is deducted like tax from your payslip.

You have 30 years to pay off your student loan from the year after you graduate, but if you don’t pay back your loan by then whatever you haven’t paid yet gets written off and you don’t need to pay the rest back. You can find out more about paying back your student loan on the government website.

What is the interest rate on maintenance loans in 2024/25?

Interest rates fluctuate but for students from England and Wales, the interest rate depends on if you’re a student, a graduate, and your salary. But due to the rising inflation, the interest rate for everyone on Plan 2 and Plan 5 loans is currently 7.8%.

In Scotland and Northern Ireland, the interest rate on student loans is currently 6.25%.

While this is the current interest rate, interest rates will change yearly based on inflation.

student maintence loan

When is the maintenance loan debt written off?

When you graduate, you will start paying back your student loan once you have reached the threshold based on how much you’re earning. The April after you graduate is when you will start paying back your student loan if you’re eligible. For example, if you graduate in June and land a graduate job in July with a salary of £30,000 which is over the current threshold of £27,295, you will not need to start paying back your student loan until April the next year.

However, if you graduate in June and land a graduate job with a salary of £23,000 a year in July, you will not be required to start paying anything back until you are earning above the threshold of £27,295 a year, but you will be eligible to start making payments from the next April. So, when April comes, although you won’t have to pay anything this is when the countdown starts towards your student loan debt being written off.

You will have 30 years from the April after you graduate to pay back your student loan, after this the rest of your existing debt will be written off.

student maintenance loan

Which student loan plan am I on?

As the student loan system has changed quite a bit over the last 20 years, there are a few different types of student loan plans out there. The plan that you’re on will impact when you start paying back your student loan after you graduate, and how much you’ll need to pay per month.

There are currently 3 undergraduate student loan plans; Plan 1, Plan 2 and Plan 4. There is also an additional plan which is the postgraduate loan plan, for postgraduate students.

Plan 1 loans are for English and Welsh students who started university any time before 2012. These students are on a different plan as this was the first type of student loan available, and the way that student loans work and the cost of university increased after 2012. Northern Irish students who started uni any time after 1998 will also be on Plan 1 loans, so if you are a Northern Irish student applying for university this year, you’ll be on this loan plan too.

Plan 2 loans are for English and Welsh students who started or attended uni any time after September 2012. Plan 4 loans are for Scottish students who started or attended uni any time after September 2012. So, if you are an English, Welsh or Scottish student applying for university this year you will have a Plan 2 or Plan 4 loan.

If you’re wondering what student loan plan am I on, check out our guide to student loan plans for the rundown of each plan and what it means for you.

What to do if your minimum maintenance loan isn’t enough

There’s probably a large chance that your student maintenance loan isn’t going to be enough. Unfortunately, with the rising costs of renting and the cost of living, it’s quite likely that you’ll find that your maintenance loan won’t stretch for what you need it for.

If you are struggling, many students find part-time jobs to help cover the costs, or ask their parents for financial support if they come from higher-income families. You can also try side hustles, such as selling clothes on Depop or Vinted, selling old textbooks or tutoring other students.

Many students are also eligible for an interest-free overdraft with a student bank account, which can be really helpful if you need some emergency cash.

If you do find yourself struggling financially while in uni, talk to an advisor at your university as they may be able to suggest some additional funding that you can apply for to help you cover the extra costs.

To help make managing your finances a little easier, check out the best student bank accounts that come with freebies —including free railcards, free cash, and more!

student. minimum maintenance loan

To find out more don’t forget to check out the student loan dates, the average student loan, the average student budget and a complete guide to student loans.

Can I cancel my student finance application and start again?

Applying for student finance can be quite stressful as there is a lot of information to fill out in order for the government to work out how much student maintenance loan you’re eligible for, and if you get it wrong and don’t correct the errors it can be could really mess things up.

When applying it’s best to take time out of your day to sit down and read through it properly without rushing, and this goes for your parents too as they’ll need to fill out personal details about their incomes, which will impact your student finance eligibility. All it takes is a few mistypes for your allowance to be completely miscalculated, which can be tricky to amend, especially if you don’t notice the error until you’ve started uni.

If you’ve made a mistake, you won’t need to cancel your application and start again you can just adjust your details or contact student finance for more info if you need more guidance on what to do.

Regardless of how much you’re entitled to, it’s important to keep an eye on your weekly outgoings – especially those climbing grocery bills.

Whether you’re a Waitrose worshipper or loyal to Lidl, keep track of your weekly food shop spends to ensure you’re staying within your means. We’ve got the best and cheapest online supermarket for delivery for you to save some extra cash.

Follow our Meals that got us through Uni 👨‍🍳 Youtube playlist to discover how to make the best but budget-friendly student meals to help you keep within your budget.