How Do I Use The Student Maintenance Loan for (SFE) | UK

Note: Student Finance is only available for undergraduate and masters courses (from Level 4). It is not available for students doing A levels/ Level 2 or 3 courses at colleges. If you need help financially for students attending colleges, please ask the institution. There are grants that they may get access to. Student Finance for students coming from Overseas Territory countries like Montserrat, Anguilla, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands etc. can only get a tuition loan not a maintenance loan. If you are applying from England and have lived there for three years or more, you can get a maintenance loan. 

Depending on what you’ve been approved for by for Student Finance it may include the full payment of your tuition (£9250) and the minimum maintenance loan (£4524). 

However, you can get up to £9706 for maintenance, if you prove that your parent cannot support you. This would help in covering the cost for rent, bills, food and even nights out. The maintenance loan is paid in three installments. So budget accordingly and choose the right accommodation payment plan for you. The tuition loan will be paid directly to your university. 

Here’s an example of a budget with the maximum maintenance loan (£9706) with the cost of things in September 2021. This is subject to change due to the Cost of Living Crisis.

Details £
Rent (electricity, water, wifi, heat) – Ensuite £120/pw for 44 weeks. Starting September 17th 5160
Food per month – £150 1800
Phone bill – £10/m (year plan) 120
Emergency 300
Transportation £160/term 320
Total 7380
Remaining (9706 – 7380) 2326

As shown above, after the major expenses, there is money that can be used to set up your room or buy your winter clothes. You will not receive all of the money at once. It will be given to you at the beginning of the first semester, second semester and at the end of the school year.

You can use the Budget: Kitchen and Room, Budget: First Week – Groceries, Preparing for the Winter and My Monthly Expenses for more budgeting tips.

Food: The price I put for food is for if you are buying groceries that don’t include pre-packaged/cooked meals. I like to cook. so I buy fresh ingredients. If you don’t know how to cook, learn to make simple meals. Your bank account will thank you later. A pre-cooked meal is sometimes the price of a pack of meat that would last longer.

Transportation: Get a student bus or train pass and get discounts on travel.

Note: The prices provided on the accommodation websites are weekly. Example – 115/pw.

How it’s paid

You need to register at your uni or college before Student Finance England can make your first payment.

A registration form is usually sent in August. Tuition fees sometimes won’t be paid until November. This is paid directly to the university.

Student Finance England pays any Maintenance Loan and/or Maintenance Grant you can get directly into your bank account, in three instalments.

You can find your expected payment dates in your online account, but some banks take longer to clear funds. If your money isn’t in your account in three working days, you should contact your bank – they should be able to let you know when your money will arrive.

Note: Rules can change. Please check your contract and/or Student Finance England to verify details.

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