The Student Room Group

What constitutes Household Income for Student Finance?

What counts as household income from parents? Confused by this. The form says only taxable earnings and taxable state benefits are to be declared. Yet we seem to have been penalised for a non-taxable benefit that takes 'income' over the £25K p.a.
Reply 1
If there's an SFE support rep who can help with my query I'd be very grateful. I have tried to call SFE again (having held for over 1.5 hours yesterday), but they are not even accepting calls today :-(
Original post by NHolder
What counts as household income from parents? Confused by this. The form says only taxable earnings and taxable state benefits are to be declared. Yet we seem to have been penalised for a non-taxable benefit that takes 'income' over the £25K p.a.

Hi there,

What non-taxable benefit are you referring to?

Thanks, Graeme
Reply 3
Hi GraemeThanks for responding. Housing Benefit/Pension Credit.
Reply 4
Hi GraemeThanks for responding. Housing Benefit/Pension Credit.
Original post by NHolder
Hi GraemeThanks for responding. Housing Benefit/Pension Credit.


Hi there,

Yes, I can confirm that the those benefits are non taxable. So we can look further into this please contact us so we can check on the income used in the assessment.

Thanks, Angela
Reply 6
Original post by Angela SFE
Hi there,

Yes, I can confirm that the those benefits are non taxable. So we can look further into this please contact us so we can check on the income used in the assessment.

Thanks, Angela

Hi Angela, when you say 'contact us', what precisely do you mean? The last tel con (yesterday) just went round in circles, and they're not allowed to discuss income on the phone because of data protection (when it's a 2-parent family) and because they don't appear to have the training or authority to expedite queries. I asked the chap to put an email through to his manager but he seemed very unsure that he could do that. Can you please elucidate on how you mean to proceed? Thanks.
Original post by NHolder
Hi Angela, when you say 'contact us', what precisely do you mean? The last tel con (yesterday) just went round in circles, and they're not allowed to discuss income on the phone because of data protection (when it's a 2-parent family) and because they don't appear to have the training or authority to expedite queries. I asked the chap to put an email through to his manager but he seemed very unsure that he could do that. Can you please elucidate on how you mean to proceed? Thanks.


Hi there,

We can discuss income details with parents, each parent will need to contact us for us to disclose the income details we hold for them.
If there is a section on the online account showing as contact us there maybe an option to contact us via a live chat or secure message instead of by phone.

Thanks, Angela.
Reply 8
Original post by Angela SFE
Hi there,

We can discuss income details with parents, each parent will need to contact us for us to disclose the income details we hold for them.
If there is a section on the online account showing as contact us there maybe an option to contact us via a live chat or secure message instead of by phone.

Thanks, Angela.

Dear Angela, three independent SFE advisors have all stated that they can clearly see the income is below £25K, so that's not in dispute, they agree with our figures. But as the second advisor said, '...for some inexplicable reason, you have been wrongly assessed'. When SFE don't even know why a student has been wrongly assessed, you know you're in trouble! There is no point in ringing the SFE number again, the advisors have no answer or rationale for why this has happened, neither do they have the requisite expertise to deal with any problems. There is no facility to speak to a manager when there is a problem. There is no Live Chat facility, and the DM facility on Twitter has been withdrawn. There is also no option to make personal contact on FB. It really is an incredibly frustrating and most terribly inefficient process to battle through. The 'Secure Message' option has no live link, and is only showing as an option between 11am and 2pm (but no explanation as to how this works, and by what means??). There is an SFE complaint template via .gov website, so this appears one option, albeit lengthy. Alternatively, and perhaps additionally, there is an Appeals email address for if you disagree with a decision, but it takes 15 days to respond. By then, we will have missed the cut off for applying for the Bursary. Feeling extremely hacked off about all this. We did find a telephone number for making a complaint about Student Finance, but incredibly, the number - 0843 504 9340 - is charged at 7p per minute!!!
Original post by NHolder
Dear Angela, three independent SFE advisors have all stated that they can clearly see the income is below £25K, so that's not in dispute, they agree with our figures. But as the second advisor said, '...for some inexplicable reason, you have been wrongly assessed'. When SFE don't even know why a student has been wrongly assessed, you know you're in trouble! There is no point in ringing the SFE number again, the advisors have no answer or rationale for why this has happened, neither do they have the requisite expertise to deal with any problems. There is no facility to speak to a manager when there is a problem. There is no Live Chat facility, and the DM facility on Twitter has been withdrawn. There is also no option to make personal contact on FB. It really is an incredibly frustrating and most terribly inefficient process to battle through. The 'Secure Message' option has no live link, and is only showing as an option between 11am and 2pm (but no explanation as to how this works, and by what means??). There is an SFE complaint template via .gov website, so this appears one option, albeit lengthy. Alternatively, and perhaps additionally, there is an Appeals email address for if you disagree with a decision, but it takes 15 days to respond. By then, we will have missed the cut off for applying for the Bursary. Feeling extremely hacked off about all this. We did find a telephone number for making a complaint about Student Finance, but incredibly, the number - 0843 504 9340 - is charged at 7p per minute!!!


Hi there,

There is a live chat facility. To access our live chat or secure messaging service, select undergraduate and then contact us. From here you will be able to send a secure message or use our live chat service when it is available. 👉 Sign in: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-register-login You can also access live chat and secure messaging via the inbox on your online account.

Thanks,
Kristina
Reply 10
Original post by SFE Kristina
Hi there,

There is a live chat facility. To access our live chat or secure messaging service, select undergraduate and then contact us. From here you will be able to send a secure message or use our live chat service when it is available. 👉 Sign in: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-register-login You can also access live chat and secure messaging via the inbox on your online account.

Thanks,
Kristina

Unfortunately the alleged 'Live Chat' service is not a tangible option. It is manned by a bot who tells you there is a 28 minute wait time to speak to an advisor and then offers you the option to wait in the queue. If you select, 'yes, wait in queue', you are instantly told there are no advisors available. There is a 3-hour daily window to type a 'secure message' but it takes a week to receive a response. The system is watertight in offering no simple solutions to easily resolved problems, unless you become embroiled in the SLC formal appeals/complaint procedure. Whatever happened to Customer Service?
Original post by NHolder
Unfortunately the alleged 'Live Chat' service is not a tangible option. It is manned by a bot who tells you there is a 28 minute wait time to speak to an advisor and then offers you the option to wait in the queue. If you select, 'yes, wait in queue', you are instantly told there are no advisors available. There is a 3-hour daily window to type a 'secure message' but it takes a week to receive a response. The system is watertight in offering no simple solutions to easily resolved problems, unless you become embroiled in the SLC formal appeals/complaint procedure. Whatever happened to Customer Service?


If you send a secure message, you should receive a response within 5 working days.

Thanks,
Kristina

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