University is full of new and confusing changes, moving out, meeting new people, yet many questions still stand unanswered. Is student finance really as complicated as people make out?
“You’ll be paying back your student finance forever”
A common misconception about student finance is that you have to pay back the entire sum, this is incorrect. Many students never pay back the full amount, this can be due to a number of factors including different income brackets and periods of unemployment.
Student finance is automatically wiped after 30 years no matter how much you have repaid. Not only this but you only pay back 9% of your earning per annum so the rates are considered quite affordable. Don’t fret, you aren’t bogged down by debts for the rest of your life!
“You need cash to pay for your tuition fees”
You are eligible for student finance if you are a British citizen and have been living in the country for more than three years and you must also be a UK national or have ‘settled status’. You are also eligible if you study at a publicly funded institution or a private institution that is approved for public funding.
Many students are told they aren’t eligible for student finance if they are a certain age, however anyone is eligible for grants or tuition fee loans no matter how old they are. The caption bracket for maintenance loans is a lot higher than most students realise, with students accepted up to the age of 60.
Most courses are also accepted by the government as recognised courses, these include first degrees, foundation degrees, masters and postgraduates among many others.
“Student grants don’t exist anymore”
There are a range of grants available from the government but also from the universities themselves so make sure you don’t miss out as thousands of pounds are missed by students every year who don’t realise they are eligible for these extra grants, bursaries and scholarships. Despite the government slashing the maintenance grant they still off a wide range of support including:
- Disabled student allowance – Sufferers of long term illness
- Childcare grant- There could be up to £159.59 up for grabs if you have one child
- Adults dependance grant- Those in full-time education with an adult depending on them can get £2,834
- Teacher training- You can get £30,000 tax free while you train
Those with extra responsibilities on their hands don’t have to study without support.
“You probably won’t need a job”
Many students are left with the impression that student finance is the holy grail of money troubles, but the reality is far from the myth. Although student finance will most likely cover rent for most students the amount you receive is entirely dependant on your parents income. Many students once coming to university have to work to earn money for food and luxury items as budgeting can be difficult if you receive the lower end of the finance amount.
Many big chain companies offer positions around the country, with food outlets such as Deliveroo and UberEats spanning all over the cities, the best earners for students tend to be bars and night shift work in hotels and security.
“Debt collectors will chase you if you don’t repay it”
Student finance automatically comes out of your wages, you don’t have a choice in the matter. You will never be expected to repay your finance if you are out of work or are earning below the catchment income amount of £25,000 so there’s no need to keep on top of how much you owe.
Unlike usual debts, student finance appears much like National Insurance on your pay slips, so your employer will already account for the amount before the wages even reach your account.