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Student finance massive carry on, what a horrible company watch

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    Send everything in and I thought all was well and good.

    Have to send 3 different counterpart signatures in!!! only reason I had to send new ones in was because supposedly their occupations were lower down a rank or 2 compared to what was on the list. These people known me between 7-15 years by the way.

    And the way they refuse to acknowledge what you are saying on the phone, and the fact they seem to not care at all about you.

    Anyhow everything is done, BUT I have to wait another 2 weeks or so for them to check my national insurance number with the revenues place.


    All this time theyve had that ni number yet they wait till my application is accepted etc.....

    Whats your horror stories of this company.

    This is definitely going to be a TL;DR, but whenever I hear something about SFE I remember what I faced with them.

    I found out I was eligible for a maintenance grant for which I applied last year in August.
    They told me because the application was sent in August, it would take at least 6 weeks for it to be approved after I had sent all the requested documents. As I didn't have any problems financially, I was fine to wait up to Christmas.

    I'm not going to list the number of phonecalls, but I had to send them a total of 27 documents.
    After I sent them everything, I encountered a massive problem. Because I was a child of a migrant worker, I needed to apply for a NiNo.
    I contacted a student advisor from my uni, as it was already December (and my maintenance grant was showing £0 on every statement that I was receiving), and she managed to pursue them to hasten the process for me to get a National Insurance number.
    After 3 weeks I was already on my Christmas break, and I went to stay with my dad until January the 3rd. When I came back it turns out that they had sent me a letter on December 27th (a day after I left campus) for an appointment for January 2nd (a day before I arrived back in campus). I called to arrange a reappointment but I was told that student finance had to request a new appointment. After going back to my student advisor, they said that they would send me a new appointment letter in 3 weeks time. I was already running short on money, had 0 social life because I could barely afford food on its own, and in mid february I heard that dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and he had to urgently go back to romania to be treated. Given that at home my mom earns around £160 per month as a pastry chef, I was pretty much f^cked.
    I started some random part time jobs as dad could only help me with the accommodations costs from there on, and in the meantime I struggled to cope with my uni work and to nourish myself as best as I could. There were many times when I cried in the bathroom before going to lectures, and I had to go to counselling.

    I finally got my new NiNo appointment, after more than a moth. They could have arranged for me to go to Leicester (which was closer to my uni) but they sent me to Nottingham for a 9 am appointment, and I've never been there before. When I got there at 8 am, I found out from some guards that the Jobcentre plus office was moved to a totally different area, and had to get the tram and walk for another 30 mins to reach it; I arrived at 9 sharp which was a massive relief though.

    After another month I finally got my national insurance number.

    In late March, just before the Easter Break, they asked me for yet another piece of evidence. I had arrived to the UK in August, and my course started in September, and they wanted to see where I've been for a month. I told them I lived with my dad in his staff accommodation, and mum had come too to spend some family time until my course started. They asked me for evidence of my arrival to the UK, and I sent them a copy of my plane ticket. THEN, 2 weeks after, I got another letter where they were asking me and my father to send evidence that he lived in staff accommodation, even though he had originally sent them a copy of his contract where it stated that he lived in staff accommodation and did not have his own place.

    In June, I realised that I could no longer carry on my degree as dad had to rest for the summer and could no longer work, and the money I earned working part time was only enough to help me with my food costs up to that moment. One of my lecturers asked me what was wrong and I opened myself to him and a counsellor. They helped me massively, alongside with my student advisor, that kept calling SFE and chastising them for being so ridiculous.

    In August, I received a letter from them saying that my payments were finally approved. That's right, after 12 months.

    My experience with them was horrendous, but it had a happy ending. My father is responding well to his treatment and he can start working again from November onwards, and I have my grant in a savers account to help me with my rent. I also volunteered as a mentor in my uni to help out students facing the same problem, and I also have a wonderful and supportive boyfriend by my side, so as far as I'm concerned, after 9 dark months of depression I never felt more alive and relieved
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