Student finance – how to apply

New students

The quickest and easiest way to apply is online at www.gov.uk/studentfinance as soon as the application service opens.

1. Set up a student finance account

When you register you’ll be given a unique Customer Reference Number and be asked to create a password and secret answer. You should keep these safe as you’ll need them to log into your account to check the progress of your application and reapply for student finance next year.

2. Fill in and submit your application

The first time you apply you’ll be asked for proof of identity. You can easily do this by giving us your valid UK passport details. If you don’t have a UK passport, you may have to send us evidence.

If you want to apply for student finance that depends on your household income, we’ll ask your parents or partner for their National Insurance number and their personal income details.

When you apply for student finance you'll need to agree to our terms and conditions

3. Send any evidence we ask for

We may contact you, or your parents/partner to ask for evidence to support your application.

If you’ve had no contact with your parents for over a year, you might be able to apply as an ‘independent student’.

 

Continuing students

To reapply for student finance, log into your student finance account and apply online as soon as the application service opens.

If you’re applying for the first time, you can do this online at www.gov.uk/studentfinance

Evidence

Proof of identity

If you don’t have a UK passport you may have to send us evidence, such as a non-UK passport or your UK birth or adoption certificate.

You should send this as quickly as possible to avoid any delay in your application being processed. Remember to include your Customer Reference Number with everything you send us.

 

Proof of household income

If you’re applying for finance that depends on your household income, we’ll ask your parents or partner to give us their National Insurance numbers and details of their personal income. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will check this information matches their records.

We may contact your parents or partner to ask for evidence of:

  • their income – if the details they give us don’t match HMRC’s records
  • their marital status – if they’re separated or divorced

Your parents or partner will need to give us financial details every year you apply for student finance.

 

Changing your details

If any of your details change after you’ve applied for student finance, don’t worry – you can simply update your application. Before the start of your course you can use your online account to make changes to:

  • your choice of course
  • your choice of university or college
  • the amount of loan you’re applying for
  • your personal details

You can also use your online account to change your personal details once your course has started. But if there are any changes to your course, you should contact us and let your university or college know so they can tell us too.

If you don’t tell us about a change to your circumstances, you might end up being overpaid. In this case, you might have to start repaying earlier and before your income is over the repayment threshold.