Picture of lots of money spread over a table
Picture of lots of money spread over a table

Student Finance Payment Dates 2024: When Is Your Maintenance Loan Paid?

Everything you need to know about maintenance loan payment dates in 2024.

Student finance payment dates are arguably some of the most important dates in any student’s calendar. When else are you going to get a chunk of cash sent straight to your bank account (without actual employment)?

Three times a year, you’ll wake up to a healthy portion of student loan straight in your bank account. And for a few hours at least, you’ll be feeling wealthy, healthy, and thriving. You’ll be fed by your riches for a total of… I don’t know, 3 hours maybe? Until you have to pay your rent, bills, and do a food shop…

Budgeting is super important as a student, so you’ll need to keep note of your student finance payment dates so you know when to expect your riches. Or you’ll end up blowing the whole chunk on new clothes and takeaways. Been there, done that, got the debt for it. Budgeting is almost as important as going to your lectures and sticking to your flat’s cleaning rota.

We’ve got all your important student finance payment dates and information about student maintenance loans. Make a note of them so you don’t forget!

Last updated on 12 June 2024. We regularly review and update this post to make sure you’re getting the most up to date information about student finance payment dates.

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What is a maintenance loan?

A maintenance loan is a type of financial support provided to eligible students to help cover their living expenses while they’re attending university and is administered by the Student Loans Company. The maintenance loan is designed to assist with costs such as accommodation, food, transportation, and other day-to-day living expenses like socialising. 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.

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 (sorry peeps!). 

You may also hear the term SLC disbursement, which is simply the process of receiving your Student Loans Company (SLC) payment.

If you want to find more, check out our guide to how student finance works.

Pile of coins on a plate

How and when is the student maintenance loan paid?

You can expect student finance to pay your maintenance loan in three instalments, made at the start of each term.

You’ll receive first at the end of September/start of October, then another will hit your account at the start of January and the last will be at the start of April. The exact student finance payment date will depend on your course and your university. To track the exact dates you can expect to be paid your maintenance loan in 2024/25, log into your Student Finance England account to see the schedule.

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.

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.

Student Finance Payment Dates

Student finance dates differ from university to university, but typically, if you’re a student from England, Northern Ireland or Wales, you’ll receive your first maintenance payment of the academic year in September 2024, around when your course starts. Then you can expect to receive your next instalments in January 2025 and April 2025, within the first few weeks of term.

If you’re a Scottish student, you’ll get your student finances on regular monthly dates, usually the 7th of each month.

Student finance payment dates tips

To ensure you get paid on time and on your student finance payment dates, follow these steps:

  • Ensure you’ve submitted your application before the deadline and that you’ve given all of the evidence needed for the SLC.
  • Check that your bank details are correct on your online account. If this isn’t correct then you may have issues getting paid on time.
  • Enrol/register onto your course. Payments won’t be made until your university confirms that you’ve enrolled/registered.

Following these steps will hopefully make sure you’re paid on time and not left fending for yourself.

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.

A picture of someone sitting at their laptop with their phone in their hands

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 2024/25 and living away from home (but outside of London), their maintenance loan will be between £10,227 and £4,767, depending on their household income.

To find out more regarding how much loan you’ll get, check out our student maintenance loans guide for 2024/2025. 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. You also usually don’t have to start paying anything back until the April after you graduate, so you don’t have to worry about paying anything back as soon as you finish your final exam.

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).

Woman walking with a backpack and books in her arms

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.

If you’ve started uni in England since August 2023, you’ll be on Plan 5. The current threshold is £25,000 per year so those earning less won’t yet make student loan repayments. Once you’re earning over that 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 £25,000 again. You will have 40 years after you graduate to pay back your student loan and then the remaining balance will be written off.

Using Plan 5 as an example, students have to repay loans at a rate of 9% of everything that they earn above the threshold, i.e. £25,000 per year. So, if you earn £35,000, that’s £10,000 more than the threshold, so you’ll repay 9% of that – which is £900 a year.

Plan 1 student loan

If you’re on Plan 1 for student loan, you’ll only have to start making repayments when your income is over £480 a week/£2,082 a month/£24,990 a year.

Plan 2 student loan

If you’re a student on a Plan 2 student loan, you’ll only have to repay once you earn over £524 a week/£2,274 a month/£27,295 a year.

Plan 4 student loan

For Plan 4 students, repayments start once your income is over £603 a week/£2,616 a month/£31,395 a year.

Plan 5 student loan

If on a Plan 5 student loan, you’ll repay once you earn over £480 a week/£2,083 a month/£25,000 a year.

Postgraduate loan

If you studied for your Master’s or Doctorate, and took out a loan, you’ll only repay when you earn over £403 a week/£1,750 a month/£21,000 a year. Instead of the standard 9% repayment, you’ll repay 6% of your income over the threshold for your postgraduate loan.

To work out your potential repayments, check out the UK student loan calculator.

How is student loan calculated?

Your maintenance loan is the money you receive in order to help out with living costs. It’s based on your personal circumstances and the circumstances of your household.

To determine how much student maintenance loan you’re entitled to, the loan company takes into account the following factors:

  • Course start date
  • Where you live while studying
  • Household income (your parents’ or guardians’ total earnings)

Which student loan plan am I on?

There are several different student loan plans, Plan 1, Plan 2, Plan 4 and Plan 5, plus the Postgraduate Loan Plan. Your student loan plan impacts 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 and before July 2023. Plan 4 loans are for Scottish students who started or attended uni any time after September 2012. No changes have been made since 2012 for Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

For anyone in England starting their degree after August 2023, you’ll now be on Plan 5.

Find out more about which plan you’re on with our guide to understanding student loan plans.

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When does SAAS come in?

SAAS (Student Awards Agency Scotland) is the student finance funding system in Scotland. SAAS is a government agency responsible for administering financial support for eligible students in Scotland. SAAS provides various forms of financial assistance to help students with the costs of higher education, including tuition fees and living expenses.

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?

You will need to reapply for student finance for each year of your course and you must keep your details up to date throughout the duration of your course, so make sure if addresses, phone numbers, or any personal information has changed, that you inform the Student Loans Company. 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. You can find more answers to the most common student finance questions in our guide.

How to find my student finance payment dates schedule

While many universities across the UK will have the same student finance payment dates, there will be discrepancies between some and also depend on your personal circumstances (for example, bank delays or wrong bank info).

To ensure you’re prepared for the student finance dates, make sure to check your personal payment schedule with Student Finance. Follow these steps

  • Head to the Student Finance login on the Gov website and sign into your account.
  • Click ‘Undergraduate student finance applications’.
  • Select the relevant application you need.
  • Click ‘view your payments’ (below ‘manage your student finance’).

What your student finance payment dates status means

When checking the status of your student finance payments, these are the terms you may see and what they actually mean.

Payment statusWhat this means for you
Checking detailsWe’re checking your National Insurance number before we can pay you. If you haven’t done so already, enter your National Insurance number by heading to ‘Your actions to complete’.
ScheduledYour student finance payments have been scheduled. Before we’re able to pay you, your university needs to confirm to us (student finance) that you’ve enrolled/registered with them. This is done when you start your course.
Awaiting confirmationWe’re waiting for your university to tell us that you’ve enrolled//registered.
Ready to be paidThere’s nothing for you to do but wait. Your payment will be made on the date shown.
Payment in progressYour student finance payment is on its way. It may take up to three working days to appear in your bank account though.
PaidYay! We’ve made a payment into your bank account — go check!
BlockedWe can’t pay you. You should already know this but if not, contact us.
CancelledWe have cancelled your payment. You should know about this but if not, contact us.
FailedYour payment has been returned to us. Check ‘your personal details’ on your account to check your bank details are correct.
Table of student finance payment status meanings

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.

Worried about starting your university journey? Don’t worry! We’ve all been there. Watch our YouTube video on what to expect when you start university to help calm any nerves.