You only repay the Student Loan if you earn enough

You only repay the Student Loan if you earn enough

You only repay the Student Loan if you earn enough

  • Travel grants are up for grabs if you study part of your course abroad, or you’re a medical or dental student and have clinical placements in the UK. Contact Student Finance about these.
  • Universities usually oversee bursaries for care experienced students, but in Scotland, a bursary and accommodation grant is handled by SAAS.
  • Crowdfunding (asking strangers to invest in you) is an option if you have a good story to tell.
  • The Turn2us grants checker lists charity funds you may be eligible for.
  • If you’re taking time out from a job (and expect to go back after uni) talk to your employer about cash support or sponsorship.
  • Most students can’t usually get benefits but check for yourself if you have special circumstances or are really struggling. Our guide to Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance should be able to help.

A sponsored degree, where a company pays for your studies, is a sizeable commitment rather than a bit of extra cash. You may be expected to work for them during and after your studies, in exchange for wages plus (often generous) study-related expenses.

You might need to sift through several company websites (try their recruitment pages) to track down opportunities. Alternatively, ask your careers’ adviser or search online for ‘Degree Apprenticeships’.

Emergency money

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If you run out of cash after starting your course, ask your university or students’ union about hardship funds (emergency grants or loans for students).

Each uni sets its own criteria for who can apply and how much they’ll get. They may also want to see copies of your Student Finance letters and your budget before handing over any cash.

Student Loan repayments

Student Loan repayments kick in the April after you’ve left your course. However, you only make payments when you earn MORE THAN:

  • ?19,895 a year if you’re from Northern Ireland, or if you’re from England or Wales and started uni before 2012 (i.e. you have a Plan 1 loan)
  • ?27,295 a year if you’re from England and Wales and started uni in 2012 or later (i.e. you have a Plan 2 loan)
  • ?25,000 a year if you’re from Scotland (i.e. you have a Plan 4 loan).

If you don’t earn more than this, you won’t make repayments. This includes if your salary drops later on or you become unemployed. If that happens, repayments stop until you’re back over the earnings threshold.

You’ll carry on making monthly repayments (as long as you earn above the income threshold) for around 30 years, until either you pay back the whole amount or the loan is cancelled.

You’ll probably see your salary increase several times during the lifetime of your loan. That’s a good thing! However, there’s a good chance you’ll be making the largest repayments by the time you want to buy a house or are supporting a family of your own something to factor into long-term budgets.

Repayments are taken from your wages

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Repayments are automatically docked from your wages before you get paid you don’t have to go hunting for the cash or remember to pay on time. The calculation will be shown on your payslip: just check the numbers and hang onto the paperwork in case you need to query anything.

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If you’re self-employed, you’ll make repayments along with any income tax you owe by filling out a self-assessment tax return once a year.

How much will you pay back each month?

You don’t make repayments on your full salary. Instead, you pay 9% on anything you earn above the threshold. This is a crucial detail, as it means monthly repayments may be far more manageable than you fear.