Government student loans

Once you’ve decided that university is the right route for you, you’ll need to consider how you intend to fund your future studies.

A Guide to Student Fees and Funding

University finance can be a complicated topic, with varying amounts of money available depending on your personal circumstances – watch our short video guide for all you need to know about the fees and funding support for Higher Education.

One option is to apply for a Government Student Loan for Tuition. Rather than pay your tuition fees while studying, a loan from the government allows you to defer payment until you have graduated and you are earning a minimum salary.

Government Support

SupportWhat is it?How much?More information
Student loan for tuition For UK/EU students to cover cost of tuition fees. The loan is paid back in instalments once you are earning a minimum salary. Up to £9,250 per year More information can be found at
Student loan for living costs For all UK students to help with living costs. The amount that can be borrowed depends on your household income and where you live. The loan is paid back in instalments once you are earning a minimum salary. Up to £8,200 per year

More information can be found at

Use the student finance calculator to estimate how much you are entitled to.

Have a question?

The thought of taking out a loan can be scary, to ensure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision we've listed the most frequently asked questions, regarding Government Student Loans, below.

Am I eligible for a student loan?

To be eligible for funding you need to;

  • Be a British Citizen or have ‘settled status’ in the UK (under the terms of the Immigration Act 1971). ‘Settled status’ means that there are no immigration restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK.
  • Be ‘ordinarily resident’ in England. Ordinary residence is where you normally live. Sometimes living abroad on a temporary basis will not prevent you from receiving student funding. If you move from England with your family overseas due to an armed forces posting you are considered ‘ordinarily resident’ in England.
  • Have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK, for the three years immediately before starting the course (not wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education) or have exercised a right of residence in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland before returning to the UK to study.
  • Other students may also be eligible for student finance e.g. EEA/Swiss migrant workers and refugees.     
  • EU nationals who have been resident in the EEA will normally be eligible for the tuition fee loan only.
  • You must be studying for a Higher Education qualification. Science and Engineering Foundation students are eligible for student finance.

The BTEC Art Foundation programme does not count as degree level and does not qualify for the funding set out here.

Any previous study at degree level can affect your eligibility for student finance.

How do I apply for a student loan?

The majority of prospective student choose to apply online. However, you can also choose to post the completed forms.

There is lots of information regarding the application process online.

How is household income assessed?

The majority of students will be assessed on the basis of the gross income of the household that they live in.

  • Students who live with both of their parents or guardians will be assessed on the joint income of both parents/guardians.
  • Students who live in a single parent household will be assessed on the income of the parent/guardian they live with.
  • A student who lives with one of their parents/guardians and the parent/guardian has a new partner or spouse then the joint income of the parent/guardian and partner or spouse will be taken as household income.

Independent status enables a student to be assessed independently of their parents’ household income. Students will be accepted as independent and will be assessed on their own income and the income of any partner in any of the following circumstances:

  • Over 25 years of age
  • Married
  • Responsible for a child
  • Self-supporting for 3 years from earnings or benefits
  • (a minimum income of £7,500 a year is normally required)
  • Estranged from parents
  • Parents are deceased.

Please note; household income assessments are based on your circumstances in the most recent full financial year. Further information is available on

When should I apply for a student loan?

You can apply for the tuition fee and maintenance loan in the February before you start. We recommend you apply then even if you have not yet decided which university will be your firm and insurance choice. This detail can be altered later in your online account should you change your mind.

How long will it take to process my application?

Applications are typically processed within 6 weeks of receiving them. You will then receive a loan declaration which will need to be signed and returned.

When will I get my first loan instalment?

If you have applied for and secured a maintenance loan, this money will be paid directly into your nominated account at the start of term. Tuition loans are paid directly to the university.

How do I pay my tuition fees to the university?

The student loan is paid directly to the university. More information on how to pay your tuition fees can be found here.

What happens if my situation/parents’ income changes?

If your parents income drops by 15% or more, you can ask for a current year assessment. This can be a complex situation and we would recommend you contact the Student Advice and Support Service if this happens to you while studying at Loughborough University (or just before you arrive), for more advice.

When will I need to start repaying my loan?

Repayments will begin once you have left university and you are earning a minimum salary. The amount which you will need to repay each month depends on how much you earn a year and what year you started your undergraduate course, as opposed to how much you have borrowed. If you started your undergraduate course on or after the 1 September 2012 you fall under Plan 2, if you started your undergraduate course before the 1 September 2012 you fall into Plan 1. The repayment threshold for Plan 2 will be £25,000 per annum, wheras the repayment threshold for Plan 1 will be £18,330 a year. 

If for any reason your annual salary drops below the minimum threshold figure for your plan, the repayments will stop and they will only resume once the minimum threshold is exceeded again.

Student Finance will collect the repayments from a graduate’s wages. As earnings increase over time so will the amounts and any remaining balance 30 years after graduation will automatically be written off. Full details regarding repayments can be found on the Student Loans Company website