Finance and loans for tuition

Eligible UK students are entitled to apply for a tuition fee loan to cover the full cost of tuition fees.

These are paid direct to the University and you don’t have to pay anything back until you have graduated and are earning over £25,000 (Plan 5) per annum*. While you will pay interest on your student loan, the rate is low in comparison to other loans, and will not impact your credit rating. 

Your tuition fee loan will be paid directly to the University when you enrol onto your course. 

For daily living costs and other expenses related to your education, you will need to apply for a maintenance loan, bursary or grant.


Whether you qualify for student finance depends on:

  • Your university or college
  • Your course
  • If you’ve studied a higher education course before
  • Your age (there's no upper age limit for Tuition Fee Loans)
  • Your nationality or residency status

Tuition fee loans are not means tested, you can apply regardless of your existing income or savings.  

Your status as a student parent, carer, disabled student, estranged student or care leaver does not have an impact on your eligibility for receiving a tuition fee loan. You are however eligible for extra support with daily living costs and expenses related to your course.

Part time students

Part-time students can apply for a loan to cover the full cost of their tuition fees. providing you are studying at least 25% of the equivalent full-time undergraduate course per year. The maximum part-time tuition fee loan available for 2022/23 is £6,935.

Please note: If you’re repeating modules from a full-time course, you’ll be considered a full-time student for funding purposes and should, therefore, apply as a full-time student.

UK Students outside of England

All eligible students will be able to apply for a tuition fee loan, but the package of student finance for living costs differs across the UK. Please visit the relevant website for more information:

How to apply

Once you have confirmed that you are eligible for a tuition fee loan, you will need to apply online on the relevent government website. This is also where you apply for your maintenence loan.

When to apply

The application window usually opens in February,  and although late applications will be processed it could cause delays to your funding, so please make sure you apply in good time. On average, an application where there are no issues can take around 6-8 week to be processed, so we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

You can make an application without having made a firm decision about where to study. You’ll be able to confirm details of the course and university at a later date without delaying your application.

Apply online as early as possible at:

What you'll need

To complete your application, you’ll need your: 

  • Passport number (or birth/adoption certificate if you do not have a passport)
  • NI number

For maintenence loans, you will also need:

  • Household income details (P60, tax return, etc.)
  • Bank account details

Top tips

  • Apply early to make sure your student finance is ready for the start of your course.  You can check whether the application window is open on the GOV.UK website.
  • Apply with your preferred choice of course and institution. If necessary, you can change these details later.


The earliest you’ll start repaying your loan is from the April after you leave your course and only then if your annual income is over the minimum threshold (currently £25,000 - Plan 5). The amount you'll repay will depend on your earnings and not the amount borrowed.

You'll repay 9% of your annual income over £25,000 or more per year. If your income falls below £25,000 a year, for any reason, repayments will stop until your income rises above the threshold again.

If you want to make additional repayments you can do so at anytime by debit card, cheque, postal order or direct debit and will not incur any additional charges for doing so.

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