Everything you need to know about student finance payment dates.
We can bet that student finance payment dates are some of the most exciting days of the year.
Three times a year, you’ll get a payment from student finance with a portion of the student loan money that you’re entitled to. You can bask in the feeling of the rich for a couple of hours, at least.
If you’re budgeting term by term, you’re going to want to keep note of these important student finance payment dates so you know when to expect your student loan to come in.
- What is a maintenance loan?
- How and when is the maintenance loan paid?
- When will I get my student loan for tuition fees?
- What’s the maximum student maintenance loan?
- When do you repay your maintenance loan?
- Which student loan plan am I on?
Student finance and payment dates
What is a maintenance loan?
A student maintenance loan is a loan from the government to help students pay for their university fees and living costs. University courses in the UK currently cost a maximum of £9,250 per year, or and £4,625 for part-time study, while living costs will vary based on where you’re attending university and where you choose to live. Every student in the UK is entitled to two types of student loan, a tuition fees loan and a maintenance loan.
A tuition fees loan covers the cost of tuition for 3-4 years of university and the money is paid directly to your university by student finance, so you won’t actually get any of this money in your own bank account.
The maintenance loan is designed to cover everything else that you’ll need to pay for while at university including your rent and living costs. The amount of maintenance loan you get is based on family income as well as a few other factors, so every student will get a different amount of money.
You may also hear the term SLC disbursement, which is simply is the process of receiving your Student Loans Company (SLC) payment.
Student finance payment dates
How and when is the maintenance loan paid?
Student finance dates aren’t always the same, but you can expect a payment roughly once a term.
The maintenance loan is split into instalments and paid directly into your bank account. Although it varies, maintenance loans are normally split into 3 roughly equal instalments throughout the year. You can expect to get one loan payment per term, so you should receive a payment at the start of each term. The reason the loan is split into instalments allows students to be more responsible with their money and stops all the money from being spent in the first term.
Although the payments are normally split into equal instalments, depending on how much maintenance loan you’re entitled to you may find yourself getting a larger sum of money in one instalment compared to the others. You can check how much money you’ll be getting in each instalment by logging into your student finance account.
The exact student finance date will depend on your course and your university. As instalments are split between terms, you can expect a payment at the end of September/start of October. Another will hit your account at the start of January and the last will be at the start of April. To track the exact dates you can expect to be paid your maintenance loan in 2023/24, log into your Student Finance England account to see the exact schedule.
Student finance normally send you a text message or an email a few days before you can expect to see the money appearing in your bank account. The money can sometimes take a few days to actually arrive in your bank account so you’ll want to make sure that this doesn’t conflict with any upcoming, large outgoings.
In Scotland, SAAS student loan payments are paid monthly, rather than in three equal instalments – like the rest of the UK.
When will I get my student loan for tuition fees?
The cost of your tuition fees is also covered by your student loan, however, this is paid directly to your university. This means that the money that you do receive in your student loan instalments is all for you to spend on whatever you need it for, whether that’s rent, textbooks, food shopping or your social life.
You don’t have to worry about your tuition fees as this will be sorted out for you, but you can check on your student finance account when the tuition fee payments are scheduled to be sent to your university.
Tuition fees are also split into 3 instalments and 25% will be paid at the start of your first term, 25% at the start of your second term and 50% at the start of the final term of the year. If there are any problems with your tuition fee payments your university will contact you to let you know, this might be an error that student finance has made so it’s best to check your online account regularly to make sure the right amount of money is scheduled to be made.
What’s the maximum student maintenance loan?
The amount of student loan you’re entitled to depends on whether you’re in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and whether you’ll be living at home or in student accommodation, as well as your household income.
Students who choose to study in London and live in student accommodation will get a higher amount of money to accommodate for the higher cost of living in London.
For students in England studying in 2023/24 and living away from home (but outside of London), their maintenance loan will be between £9,978 and £4,651, depending on their household income.
To find out more regarding how much loan you’ll get, check out our student maintenance loans guide for 2023/2024. We have all the info you need for English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Ireland students, as well as info on whether you’re living at home, away, or inside London.
Do you have to repay your student loan?
Yes, you will have to repay your student loan once you have graduated from university, however, you won’t have to start paying it back until you’re earning a certain amount.
After you graduate you have 30 years to pay back your student loan and after this, the remaining balance will be written off, so there’s a very large chance you won’t actually have to pay back the majority of the loan.
Student Finance England (SFE) deal with the allocation, eligibility and entitlement of loans and your application, but when it comes time to receive your loans or make repayments on your student loans – you’ll be dealing with the Student Loans Company (SLC).
When do you repay your maintenance loan?
You begin to pay back your maintenance loan when you meet the threshold amount once you’re employed.
The current threshold is £27,295 per year (on plan 2) so those earning less won’t yet make student loan repayments. Once you’re earning over the threshold, a payment will be automatically deducted from your paycheque each month. If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to make payments directly to student finance.
If your salary decreases to below the threshold, your payments will be paused until you are earning more than £27,295 again. You will have 30 years after you graduate to pay back your student loan and then the remaining balance will be written off.
Using Plan 2 as an example, students have to repay loans at a rate of 9% of everything that they earn above the threshold, i.e. £27,295 per year. So, if you earn £35,295, that’s £8,000 more than the threshold, so you’ll repay 9% of that – which is £720 a year.
Which student loan plan am I on?
There are five student loan plans, Plan 1, Plan 2, Plan 4 and Plan 5 are for undergraduate students and the fifth plan is a postgraduate student plan. Your student loan plan will impact how and when you have to start making repayments towards your plan.
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.
Find out which plan you’re on here.
Want to know more about student loans work in the UK? Check out everything you need to know here.
When does SAAS come in?
SAAS (Student Awards Agency Scotland) is the student finance funding system in Scotland. With the SAAS, you’ll get paid on the 7th of each month every month, rather than in three equal instalments throughout the year.
Do you have to apply for student finance every year?
No, you don’t need to apply for student finance every year. When you’re applying for university, you’ll be asked to fill out lots of details about yourself and your household income. These details are used to create the account that you’ll use for your entire time at uni.
You’ll provide student finance with details about your course, and payments will be automatically scheduled. It is best to double-check your account every now and again to make sure that everything is correct, though.
Regardless of how much maintenance loan you’re entitled to, it’s always nice to have some spare money left over at the end of each loan payment period.
Browse our Meals that got us through Uni 👨🍳 Youtube playlist to discover our favourite budget-friendly student recipes that will help you make your student loan last.