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    I'm starting a 5-year medicine degree this September as a graduate. I completed my first degree in June 2010, and have been in full-time employment since. I lived at home for 2 years, however I paid board, and will have lived in privately rented accommodation with my girlfriend for just over a year once I start my course in September.

    I know I am ineligible for the tuition fee loan due to this being my second degree. However with it being a medical degree I am entitled to the maintenance loan (but not the grant). I had assumed I would be entitled to the full loan (around £7k in London) as I have lived completely independently for over a year, and will be receiving no support from my parents during my course. However it know seems that I will be income assessed as I have not been completely independent by their standards for over 3 years. This means my parents income will be assessed, even though they will not be supporting me, and I will not receive the much need FULL maintenance loan.

    So as I understand there are a number of ways I could maximise my loan:

    1. I turn 25 in Novemner, so would this make me classify as independent from then onwards? Or would me being 24 at the start of my course mean I'm classified as non-independt for the whole year?

    2. I could get married? And this would classify me as independent.

    3. My parents are separated, could I just use the income of one of my parents rather than of two?
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    Hi byebyebadman,

    Unfortunatey this is the case with many students, myself included. It sounds as though your only way of being classified as independent is by calling student finance and explaining that you will be 25 in the November, so is there any chance you can be assessed as an independent student? I don't believe there is any other way for you to be classified as independent.

    You can indeed use the income from one of your parents, the one that you lived with most of the time. Your parents will need to be divorced for SF to consider this and your parent will need to send their decree absolute as proof of this.

    Your best choice is to phone student finance, explain your situation and see what they can do for you, but be prepared for them to say that you will have to be assessed on your parent's income.

    I hope this has helped.

    Stacey
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    (Original post by University of Derby)

    You can indeed use the income from one of your parents, the one that you lived with most of the time. Your parents will need to be divorced for SF to consider this and your parent will need to send their decree absolute as proof of this.
    Surely, they only have to be separated?
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    (Original post by byebyebadman)
    I'm starting a 5-year medicine degree this September as a graduate. I completed my first degree in June 2010, and have been in full-time employment since. I lived at home for 2 years, however I paid board, and will have lived in privately rented accommodation with my girlfriend for just over a year once I start my course in September.

    I know I am ineligible for the tuition fee loan due to this being my second degree. However with it being a medical degree I am entitled to the maintenance loan (but not the grant). I had assumed I would be entitled to the full loan (around £7k in London) as I have lived completely independently for over a year, and will be receiving no support from my parents during my course. However it know seems that I will be income assessed as I have not been completely independent by their standards for over 3 years. This means my parents income will be assessed, even though they will not be supporting me, and I will not receive the much need FULL maintenance loan.

    So as I understand there are a number of ways I could maximise my loan:

    1. I turn 25 in Novemner, so would this make me classify as independent from then onwards? Or would me being 24 at the start of my course mean I'm classified as non-independt for the whole year?

    2. I could get married? And this would classify me as independent.

    3. My parents are separated, could I just use the income of one of my parents rather than of two?
    Hello byebyebadman,

    As you are under 25 on the first day of your course you would ordinarily be considered as being dependent on your parents.

    However if you have been supporting yourself for 3 years prior to the start of your course you can claim you are independent even though under 25.
    You can be 'self supporting' even if this means you are living with your parents. As you have been working and supporting yourself from June 2010 presumably up to when your course starts in September 2013 you will have accrued these 3 years, but it is up to the judgement of SFE whether this constitutes self supporting.

    If you were to get married before the start of your course you would be automatically considered independent.

    You might find this guide from Student Finance England useful that explains what they count as dependent and independent: http://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/m..._sheet_v03.pdf

    If you were classified as being dependent, and your parents are separated you could be assessed on only one of their incomes. You would need proof of their separation such as a solicitors letter or a signed certified letter from an approved person confirming they are separated, they wouldn't need to be legally divorced however.

    You may also want to check whether you are eligible for any Bursaries your university offers to help with your living costs.

    All the best!
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    Surely, they only have to be separated?
    Hi again,

    You need to have legal proof that they have separated, rather than them just coming to an arrangement on their own. This is quite rare, hence why I didn't previously mention it. If this is the case for you then you may still be able to only include one parents' income for your finance.

    Stacey
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    (Original post by University of Derby)
    Hi again,

    You need to have legal proof that they have separated, rather than them just coming to an arrangement on their own. This is quite rare, hence why I didn't previously mention it. If this is the case for you then you may still be able to only include one parents' income for your finance.

    Stacey
    Utter garbage! it isn't rare at all as countless posts on here attest. If they are separated proof has to be provided either by the single person council tax allowance or a solicitor's letter.
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    Am the same 24 when start course but 25 in November it totally sucks. I live with my parents but have been earning my own income since I was eighteen. 3 out of last four years. I earned over 10 grand. I could have possible tried to be considered independent but I don't think I stand much of a chance. So I decided just to go with non income based part of maintenance loan and fund rest myself from my full time job. The way it's going am going to have enough to cover myself without loan. But I have been hard saving since October.


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