The cost of starting a further education course can become a nightmare. You will suddenly be responsible for purchasing all of your textbooks, as well as covering the cost of your transport, tuition and socialising.
As a result, there's the possibility that you may rack up large debts if you aren't careful. However, if approached in the right manner, your student debt can become easy to manage.
Student loans are designed to assist you with the costs of higher education. Loans are provided by the Student Loan Company Ltd (SLC), which is officially backed by the Government for students in England and Wales.
The SLC loan is the best place to start when you are looking at ways to fund your studies. In terms of borrowing, you are given two loans:
For courses starting in September 2016:
Living at home
Up to £6,904
Living away from home, outside London
Up to £8,200
Living away from home, in London
Up to £10,702
You spend a year of a UK course studying abroad
Up to £9,391
Tution Fee Loan
Up to £9,000
Full-time at a private university or college
Up to £6,000
Tuition Fee Loan
Up to £6,750
Part-time at a private university or college
Up to £4,500
The loan will need to be repaid once you complete your course and graduate, or if you leave. Currently graduates earning under £21,000 are not required to pay off their loan yet. This figure is reviewed each year, with loans becoming deferred if your earnings do not meet the current level.
The loan is fully means tested and can be affected by your parents' earnings and location. It is always suggested that you take the full loan offered to you even if the money isn't needed because:
Staying out of serious debt as a student isn't as hard as it sounds. Quite simply, if you spend more than you've got and don't plan ahead then you'll be in debt, and borrowing more isn't the way forward.
Following these actions should ensure you stay out of financial trouble:
To contact the SLC you can:
Write to them at Student Loans Company Ltd, 100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2 7JD.
Call them on free phone 0800 405010
Or check out information on the following websites: direct.gov.uk/studentfinance or slc.co.uk
Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.
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