Understanding Student Loans
Your student tuition fee loan will probably be the first loan you ever take out. Owing such a large amount of money can be a daunting prospect, so it is important to understand how the loans and repayments work, so you do not spend all your time worrying about it.
With University fees set to rise, again, up to £9,250 per year many students are worried they will not be able to afford such payments. However loans, bursaries and grants are widely available for students going into higher education in England. You will only have to start paying back your student loan once you have graduated and are earning over £21,000 per year. Even then, you will pay back 9% of anything you earn over this amount.
The tuition fee loan is paid directly to your University or college and covers the cost of your course, so there is no possibility of spending it on nights out! There is also a loan of up to £10,250 for postgraduate studies as well which can go towards course fees and living costs.
Student loans are collected directly from your income, like tax so you don’t need to worry about paying it yourself. It is automatically deducted from your salary once you earn over £21,000. If you never earn over this set amount you never have to pay any money back. If you do earn over this threshold then the money is deducted until it’s paid off, or 30 years have passed since your graduation.
Bursaries and Scholarships
As well as the normal student finance package, you might qualify for extra help. Individual universities offer their own sets of scholarships and bursaries too. Your university could offer a fee waiver which is a reduction each year on your tuition fees, meaning the loan you need is less or a bursary- a form of cash or gift in kind which could range from £1000 grant or help living costs, depending on your situation. Both bursaries and fee waivers are given to people with a low household income if they’re from a family whose members haven’t been to university. A scholarship similar to a bursary is usually a form of cash or gift in kind and securing one depends on academic ability rather than income.
Maintenance Loans and Grants
Maintenance loans are also given to help with living costs, food, travel etc… these are generally given out in three termly instalments to your account and the amount given depends on your household income. You need to be a full time English student to apply and you have to pay it back. A maintenance grant is similar to a maintenance loan, in that it is provided to cover living expenses. However you do not need to pay it back, although any maintenance grant you receive will reduce the size of any maintenance loan you may receive. It is paid into your bank account at the beginning of term and the amount given is based on your household income.