Student Loans – fund your course without debts - Students - Guides - Moneyfacts


Student Loans – fund your course without debts

Student Loans – fund your course without debts

Category: Students

Updated: 03/10/2016
First Published: 29/09/2016

Are you ready to leave home and become financially independent?

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.

What are student loans?

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:

  1. Maintenance loan - to cover maintenance and accommodation costs. Part of the loan depends on the household income of the student;
  2. Tuition fee loan - to cover the actual cost of the course.

How much money will I get?

For courses starting in September 2016:


Full-time student

Maintenance Loan

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

Tuition fees

Full-time student

Tution Fee Loan


Up to £9,000

Full-time at a private university or college

Up to £6,000

Part-time student

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.

What to do with the money?

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:

  1. You could receive interest if you put the money in financial products such as a cash ISA or a high interest savings account.
  2. You'll have money to fall back on later in the year if you find yourself in a financial bother.

How to stay out of serious debt?

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:

  • Budget. Everybody says "I budget", but do they really? Being able to plan your way through your course will reduce your expenditure and ensure you'll be left with some money in your pocket at the end of the week to go shopping or socialising!
  • Cut utility bills. Make sure you're paying the right amount of money for your bills. Constantly research deals and never take them at face value. Deals that appear to be "too good to be true" most likely are!
  • NUS card. Many places will give you up to a 10% discount for flashing an NUS card, so don't forget to ask retailers whether they offer a student discount - there's no harm in asking!
  • Part-time job. Keep your eyes open for part-time jobs that can work alongside your course and give you extra money that is yours to spend. The job will introduce you to new people and will welcome you into the world of employment while also giving you extra money to socialise.

What next?

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: or

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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