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Eligibility and how to apply

Plus information on how to repay your loans after you finish your course

Most UK university students use student loans to help pay their tuition fees and living costs.

Student loans are provided by the Government. You only start repaying them after you finish uni if your gross income (before tax and other deductions) is more than £27,295 a year. 

There are 2 types of student loan – a tuition fee loan to cover your tuition fees and a maintenance loan to help with your living costs.

Tuition fee loan

A tuition fee loan covers your course tuition fees, which are currently £9,250 a year for full-time UK students studying at Portsmouth. The loan is paid directly to the university.

The amount you can borrow isn’t based on your household income. You don’t have to borrow the full amount if you want to fund some of your tuition fees yourself.

Part-time students

If you’re a part-time UK student, you can get a tuition fee loan if you’re studying at least 25% of a full-time course (30 credits a year).

Ask us if you’re not sure how many credits you're studying.

EU and international students

Student loans from the UK government aren't available to non-UK students that don't meet the residency requirements for home fee status, but other funding options may be available.

Maintenance loan

A maintenance loan helps cover your living costs, up to £9,488 a year. It’s paid directly into your bank account in 3 instalments throughout the year. 

The amount you get depends on where you study, where you live and your family income.

2021/22 maintenance loan amount for full time students studying outside London

Assessed household income

Maintenance loan amount (living away from home)

Maintenance loan amount (living with parents)

£25,000 or under

£9,488

£7,987

£30,000

£8,809

£7,315

£35,000

£8,130

£6,642

£40,000

£7,450

£5,969

£42,875 £7,060 £5,582

£45,000

£6,771

£5,296

£50,000

£6,092

£4,623

£55,000

£5,412

£3,950

£58,220 £4,975 £3,516

£60,000

£4,733

£3,516

£62,286 or over

£4,422

£3,516

Part-time students

If you're a part-time UK student, you can get a percentage of the maintenance loan if you’re studying at least 25% of one of the following full-time courses (30 credits a year):

  • a first degree, for example BA, BSc or BEd
  • a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma
  • an Initial Teacher Training course (if it’s degree level or above)
  • an integrated master’s degree
  • a Foundation Degree in dental hygiene and dental therapy
  • a DipHE in dental hygiene and dental therapy or operating department practice

If you're studying a part-time distance learning course, you'll only be eligible for a Maintenance Loan if you're studying long distance because you have a disability.

EU and international students

Student loans from the UK government aren't available to non-UK students that don't meet the residency requirements for home fee status, but other funding options may be available.

Applying for student loans

If you're a student from England, apply for your student loan on the Student Finance England website.

If you're from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, apply through your home government:

If you're from Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, contact your local education authority:

When to apply for student loans

You can apply for student loans and other student finance in the spring before the start of your course. Don't wait until you get an offer or receive your exam results – apply as soon as you can.

Remember – you'll need to reapply before the start of each academic year, not just before your first year at uni.

Part-time students

If you're a part-time student, you'll be asked how many credits you're studying when you apply. Ask us if you're not sure.

Repaying student loans

If you've taken out a UK government loan, you’ll start repaying your student loans from the April after you finish your course. If you applied through Student Finance England or Wales your repayments will start when your gross income (before tax and other deductions) is at least £27,295. 

You'll repay 9% of your income over £27,295. For example, if your income is £31,000 a year you’ll repay £333 a year (9% of £3,705) or £28 a month.

These figures might be different if you live outside of the UK after your course or you’re from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man.

Eligibility for student loans

You can usually only get a student loan if you're doing your first undergraduate course, although there are some exceptions.  If you’re starting a course on or after 1 August 2021, you must have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme to get student finance. Irish citizens do not need to apply for a visa or to the EU Settlement Scheme.
If you're over 60 years old at the start of your course, you can only get a smaller maintenance loan, which is based on your income. There's no upper age limit for the tuition fee loan.

See the Gov.uk website for full eligibility details.

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