chlxe88
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I’m going for private accommodation (eg renting) during uni as my uni doesn’t have a halls of residence, which means I have to pay rent monthly, and I’m renting from September-April. However, as the maintenance loan is paid in 3 installments, I’m struggling to see how I’ll be able to afford my first couple of months rent, considering I get a third of my maintenance loan in April, when I’ve finished my course - the money that I’ll need for when I’m actually renting, it’s too late once I’ve finished my course!

Does anyone have any advice on what I can do?
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lmgreynolds
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Ok so as far as I'm aware (having had siblings at uni), when you add your course to SFE, they do all the calculations for you e.g if your course starts earlier, you sometimes get the money slightly earlier. If your course lasts longer than something like 30 weeks and 3 days, SFE calculates it for you and gives you a 'long courses' maintenance loan which is more money than your average loan. Thus, they'll probably (hopefully) adjust your instalments slightly HOWEVER they may look at your course dates and go 'hey they don't need the full amount of money because their course ends early' and lower your amount if anything but crossed fingers that won't happen. Just make sure you apply ASAP so that if anything goes wrong it can be fixed and you'll be able to pay your first month's rent.

I know your course finishes earlier, but that surely means that you're actually paying less rent than the rest of us who are paying from beginning of Sep - end of July (in my case though this is usually May/June)? I know you're in private accommodation but many students are also in PA so I'm not sure SFE will take the fact your course starts in sep and finishes in april v seriously I'm afraid because you're renting for fewer months (thus, unless your place is costing way more than they average student, doesn't make sense to effectively increase your loan for that length of time by giving you it early), unless you literally can't come up with the money (e.g. via parents if you can, job, savings, overdraft etc etc). The September instalment is meant to last you until January, Jan is meant to last until April regardless of your living arrangements. It's a shame we don't have the Scottish system where instalments are every month (makes much more sense I think anyway) but I'm just not sure a shorter course length is going to pass SFE for giving you a loan that is meant to last you all through the summer from April - Sep - I think the last instalment is meant to be slightly higher - months early unless they 'naturally' change your instalment dates to match your course. The dates are fairly fixed. If you're really desperate, apply to a hardship fund if possible or use your overdraft if you can. You're still getting the same amount for the same length of time. Every other student who is in PA will also be paying for their rent with their loan from sep until jan and jan until april and although it's difficult there's nothing particularly abnormal about paying the rent at the same rate as those with longer courses.

With me, I'm hoping to get a long courses loan (kinda the opposite oops) but even then due to my accommodation being super expensive, the fact maintenance is based on your parent's income if under 25 and not estranged (which unfortunately for me is not great because although my parent's income is good, I can't for various reasons get any money from them and don't quite qualify as estranged), I still have to come up with £3000 extra per year for accommodation alone - not living in London but have London rates but unfortunately no extra London money - and that's without food, clothes, books, travel and other resources so probably I'll need to come up with 4-5K extra per year total. It's unfair but that's how SFE is unfortunately. IDK how I'm going to come up with that money either but I'll try to make it work through jobs, selling items etc.

I really do wish you the best of luck. I'm not sure SFE will come through for you due to the length etc being exactly the same as thousands of other students, but I hope they do. Honestly when my mum went to uni, it was not only fee free but they paid her maintenance on top of that and way more than she needed. :'-/
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