Independent Financial Status Watch

jad300
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#1
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Hi All,

Please could you advise on the following situation? I believe I should be receiving a full loan & grant but SFE have refused me so far.

I completed my original degree last June (2014) and whilst at university for my 3 year course I lived in shared accommodation contributing to bills and rent from a combination of my previous student loan and part time work which amounted to roughly 4k per tax year. Since leaving university I have been living in a combination of shared housing and I now reside with my boyfriend which until starting my PGCE, I contributed to equally.

I have now begun my PGCE this month with a very low payment from SFE and my boyfriend cannot afford to support the gap.

I think I should be declared as an independent student because I haven’t lived at home since September 2011 and have been self-sufficient in that time. I haven't received a penny in financial support from my parents in that period and although I have from my boyfriend, I am 23 and we are not married so his income cannot be used.

Please can you give me your views?
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Klix88
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Being under 25, the default is that you will be assessed on your parents' income, as you've found.

In order to be assessed as independent, you need to have been completely self-sufficient for a full three years before the start of your course. In your case, this means that you must have had no support from your parents since Aug/Sep 2011. This isn't limited to financial support and can include practical things. For example, if you went back to them during uni holidays at any point, and lived with them for free or at a reduced rent, then this will be taken as "support".

In addition, the general guideline that SF use, is a threshold of £7500 per year. If you haven't been earning or bringing in that (from e.g. job, benefits, Student Finance savings or a combination), then you will be hard-pressed to prove that you were independent. If you can show SF that you have been bringing in £7500 a year through wage slips, or copies of your bank/savings statements, then you may be able to appeal. The fact that your b/f has been giving you money probably won't help your case. As he's needed to do this, SF will take it as an indication that you haven't been self-sufficient.
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balotelli12
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As above.
You will not be considered independent
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balotelli12
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Wrong
Not getting money from parents is not on that list.
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lascelles
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It has absolutely nothing to do with your parents (whether it be not living with them, or receiving money from them). You need to be over 25 OR have been earning £7500 a year for three years. I live at home and am an independent student according to SF.


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jad300
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What I dont understand is how they can assess on parents income when it truly has nothing to do with my life over the past 4 years. I could understand if they base it on my bf's income but they wont do that as we are not married and I am not over 25. How does previous student finance work in relation to independent living? Does it contribute? If not, why not when it meant I didn't take a penny from my family?


I did not even live with parents in between university years and haven't spent a night in their house since I left for university over 4 years ago.
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Tiger Rag
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If it was based on previous years student finance, you'd have people studying 4 year courses claiming in their final year, that they are independent, when they're not.
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jad300
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Agreed. But why does that then make me reliant on parents income? It makes no sense whatsoever.
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Tiger Rag
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Because you're not classed as being independent by SFE? For all SFE know, your parents may have sent you money when you were a student.
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Klix88
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(Original post by jad300)
Agreed. But why does that then make me reliant on parents income? It makes no sense whatsoever.
It doesn't, it just means that you weren't financially independent. It doesn't matter who was giving you money or helping to support you. The fact that you needed any support from any source, means that you weren't financially independent.

Parental income is the basis for SF entitlement calculation. That's a separate issue.
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jad300
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So what you are saying is as follows:

SFE claim I wasn't independent because I was dependent on THEIR previous loan.
SFE then offer loans for PGCE courses but as I was previously dependent on them for 1 year (out of the last 3 years, 2 of which I was independent and earnt over £7.5k) I am not entitled to enough money to live and therefore cannot do the course without relying on my bf's income.
SFE then judge my case on my parents income.

That really does make little sense.

Who is the archaic person saying that marriage is the basis of independence over a long-term relationship as I believe if I was simply married, it would be based on my bf's income? Also, why is parental income the basis for entitlement when each case and each family is different from one another.

This system seems outdated and discriminatory.
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balotelli12
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Whatever
It is how it operates and they won't change it for you.
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Klix88
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The system is the system and the rules are the rules. It's flawed in many respects, but you won't change it by complaining about it on the internet.

You won't get assessed as an independent student yet. If you work for three years and support yourself, or apply when you hit 25 (whichever happens soonest), you'll be assessed as independent.
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jad300
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(Original post by balotelli12)
Whatever
It is how it operates and they won't change it for you.
Thank you for your insightful post.
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balotelli12
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Whining on here about the unfairness of it all is just a waste of your time. You have been told how it works several times yet you persist with the self pitying responses. There is nothing you can do about it.
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jelly1000
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(Original post by jad300)
So what you are saying is as follows:

SFE claim I wasn't independent because I was dependent on THEIR previous loan.
SFE then offer loans for PGCE courses but as I was previously dependent on them for 1 year (out of the last 3 years, 2 of which I was independent and earnt over £7.5k) I am not entitled to enough money to live and therefore cannot do the course without relying on my bf's income.
SFE then judge my case on my parents income.

That really does make little sense.

Who is the archaic person saying that marriage is the basis of independence over a long-term relationship as I believe if I was simply married, it would be based on my bf's income? Also, why is parental income the basis for entitlement when each case and each family is different from one another.

This system seems outdated and discriminatory.
as far as SFE are concerned if you don't get enough money to live your parents should be making up the shortfall, not your bf. I think they count marriage because its more concrete, although obviously some marriages end in divorces they tend to be longer than a relationship where people can easily break up with someone. And it would be too costly to take into account individual circumstances each time.
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Tiger Rag
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SFE, I assume, see marriage more as you being independent, rather than just having a boyfriend who you live with.
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