Student finance – how to apply

Applications for full-time and part-time undergraduate courses in 2023 to 2024 are now open!

You should apply as soon as possible to make sure your funding is in place for starting your course.

The quickest and easiest way to apply is online at

If you apply late, you may receive the minimum amount of student finance to ensure you have some money near the start of your course. Find out more about applying late.

Got a query or problem that you need help with? Visit our ‘How to’ guide to find answers to questions that undergraduate students are currently asking us.

New students

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 re-apply 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. See section 3 to find out what to send.

You will also need the following information to complete your application:
  • course start date and end date
  • bank account details
  • National Insurance number

Don’t worry if you don’t know your National Insurance number or where to find it. HMRC have made it quick and easy to find this information, all you have to do is click on the link and register your details:

This means that you no longer have to contact HMRC directly to obtain your National Insurance number.

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. Submit any evidence we ask for

We may contact you, or your parents/partner to ask for evidence to support your application. They can find out more information on how to provide evidence on

If you’ve had no contact with your parents for over a year, or you’ve been in the care of a local authority since the age of 16, you might be able to apply as an ‘independent student’.

Continuing students

To re-apply for student finance, sign into your student finance account and apply online as soon as possible to get some money in time for starting your course.

If you’re applying for the first time, you can do this online at


Proof of identity

UK nationals

If you don’t have a UK passport, you can upload a copy of your original UK birth or adoption certificate to your online account.

Non-UK and non-EU nationals

If you’re a non-UK and non-EU national, you'll need to send us your original passport or Home Office biometric residence permit card.

If we ask you to provide us with a Home Office share code we'll not need identity evidence.

You’ll also need to provide us with proof of your lawful residency status in the UK for the full 3 years prior to the start of your course. Your biometric residence permit card or proof of your visa stamped in your passport are both acceptable forms of evidence to prove your status. We’ll return your original documents using a secure method of post.

It’s important to apply early and send us your evidence as soon as possible. We’ll return your evidence as soon as we’ve checked it so you don’t need to worry about being without your original documents for long.

Don't send your original documents to us if you’re due to travel within 8 weeks as we can’t guarantee they’ll be sent back in time. Instead, you should send the evidence when you return from travelling.

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.

We usually don’t to ask your parents or partner to provide evidence of their income once they’ve supported your application, we check their details with HRMC. We may contact your parents or partner to ask for evidence of their:

  • marital status – if they’re separated or divorced
  • income – if they’re living abroad or finalising their current year income assessment.

They should only send evidence if we've asked for it, as sending evidence we haven't asked for will cause delays to you getting your money.

Your parents or partner will need to give us financial details every year you apply for student finance. Check out our dedicated page to find out how they do this.

If their income is 15% lower than the previous tax year, they can submit an estimate of their financial details for the current tax year. Read our guide to find out how to do this and to download a Current Year Income application form.

Changing your details

You must tell us about any change in your circumstances which might affect your student finance.

The most common examples are:

  • you’ve changed university or college
  • you’ve changed your course (but stayed at the same university)
  • you’ve left your course
  • your name or contact details have changed

Before your initial course start date, you can change your application online or by filling in a ‘Change of Circumstances’ form, which you can download from your online account.

After your course start date, you’ll need to ask your university or college to tell us about any of the following changes:

  • your tuition fee amount
  • your course details
  • your course intensity
  • you repeat a year
  • you leave higher education
  • you suspend your studies

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.