Uni drop out student loan overpaymentWatch
Student finance said this to me: "If you are in financial hardship then we can defer it until the 2nd year of your studies but we can't defer it until after your studies. You could set up a payment plan now and try pay of as much as possible before you start your course." which is pretty unhelpful. They seem pretty inflexible too. I offered to pay in 9 smaller instalments over the course but they refused that.
Of course, if they agree that you'd be in financial hardship without it, you could always save a small amount of the loan, and work over the summer to help reduce the debt.
Some universities and charities offer hardship bursaries and grants, that could be worth looking into as a backup plan in case student finance don't approve your financial hardship evidence.