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Apparently I earn too little to be an indepenant student! Need advice! watch

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for some guidance in terms of appealing my student loan decision. SFE (Student Finance England) have awarded me the minimum maintenance loan and no maintenance grant while I study full time at a London university. This is after weeks of sending in evidence, being told that a decision would be made next week, then the one after, then the one after etc.

    To give you a brief bit of background on my situation, I moved out of my family home in 2011 aged 17 due to my rapidly deteriorating relationship with my parents and have not spoke to them in some years. I have applied to student finance as an independent student, a status that they have apparently approved. The problem stems from the fact that even though SFE apparently recognise me as an independent student, I haven't earnt enough money to prove that I live independently. This is despite me sending them a letter from a social worker confirming that I am estranged from my parents, letters detailing my addresses and confirming that I was a paying tenant for the last 3 years, a letter stating that I am on housing benefit to support my low income, payslips, P45's and P60's and I just don't understand how I can earn too little to claim for further finance when I know just how hard it's been to pay my own way on minimum wage in London, with no outside support from other people.

    Sorry for the essay, but I am having sleepless nights and bouts of anxiety attacks. Through my own fault I am in quite a bit of debt, and there's just no way for me to go through university with the overheads I do on a student loan that falls some way short of my yearly rent. I really do not know what to do, I had to leave university a couple years ago due to money problems, as they refused to acknowledge me as independent then (due to me being on my own for less than 3 years), and I feel like history is repeating itself.

    Is there anything anyone can recommend?Thanks in advance!

    MJF.
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    Did you claim income support aged 17 and 18 as a full time student due to being estranged from your parents?
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    No, I was naive to some of the benefits available then and relied on my part time job at M&S to pay my way whilst I was at sixth form.
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    (Original post by MoJoeFilter)
    No, I was naive to some of the benefits available then and relied on my part time job at M&S to pay my way whilst I was at sixth form.
    That kind of wage is unlikely to pay a market rent in London. Were you living with relatives, or in a hostel? SF need you to be living completely independently (apart from some benefits) and be able to provide evidence of this. They use £7500 a year as the minimum on which someone can live without some sort of outside financial support. If you earned less than that, you might have an uphill struggle proving independence.
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    That kind of wage is unlikely to pay a market rent in London. Were you living with relatives, or in a hostel? SF need you to be living completely independently (apart from some benefits) and be able to provide evidence of this. They use £7500 a year as the minimum on which someone can live without some sort of outside financial support. If you earned less than that, you might have an uphill struggle proving independence.
    Thanks for the reply. I think there's been a bit of confusion. I have lived on my own since 17 (4 years), I moved in with a friend but we are in no way related and he never gave me any financial aid. That was in Kent. I moved to London 2 years ago, and last year earned £10,500 so surely that should be enough to prove I have supported myself. I genuinely haven't received help so it is quite infuriating to be told that I've earned too little as I'm the one that has gone without electricity for 2 weeks because I couldn't afford the meter, so I know firsthand how hard it is to get by on that money but I did it and would like to know how to make SFE realise this.
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    (Original post by MoJoeFilter)
    Thanks for the reply. I think there's been a bit of confusion. I have lived on my own since 17 (4 years), I moved in with a friend but we are in no way related and he never gave me any financial aid. That was in Kent. I moved to London 2 years ago, and last year earned £10,500 so surely that should be enough to prove I have supported myself. I genuinely haven't received help so it is quite infuriating to be told that I've earned too little as I'm the one that has gone without electricity for 2 weeks because I couldn't afford the meter, so I know firsthand how hard it is to get by on that money but I did it and would like to know how to make SFE realise this.
    You need to have earned £7500 for three full years. Have you done that and proved that?
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    Can you get any letters from your school to prove that you were estranged from your parents?
 
 
 
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