Once you start university or college, you will need to apply again for student finance each year. For example, if your degree is 3 years long, you will have to apply for student finance for all three years.

Usually, this is very easy. All you have to do is confirm that you’re continuing the course and none of your circumstances have changed.

You can apply using your student finance account.

You can also use this account to:

  • View loan statements (amount you’ve borrowed, interest amounts, etc.)
  • Check when your next payment is going to come to your account.
  • Change an old password.
  • Find your Customer Reference Number (CRN). This is your personal number used to identify your loan.
  • Update any personal details like your address, name or parents’/partner’s details.
  • Apply for a loan for the next year at university.

Changes in your circumstances

You must tell student finance immediately if any of your circumstances change. You can do this online using your account or through calling the helpline.

This could be anything like:

  • Your household income increasing/decreasing.
  • Getting married.
  • Getting divorced.
  • Changing your course.
  • Deciding to leave university/college.
  • Changing your name.

If you are an EU student, you should download the EUCO1 form. Once you fill this in you can post it to student finance to inform them of any changes in your circumstances.

Interest

You will start getting interest on your loan from the day that you receive student finance.

The interest rate you get depends on what plan you’re on. The government have two plans:

  • Plan 1 – if you took the loan before 2012.
  • Plan 2 – if you took the loan after 2012.

For Plan 1 students, the interest while you’re studying and after you’ve graduated is 1.5%.

For Plan 2 students, the interest while you’re studying is the rate of inflation + 3% (which usually works out about 6.1%). For example, if you’ve borrowed £10,000 at 6.1% interest, the student loans company will add on £650 in interest to what you owe.

Once you graduate, the amount you pay in interest changes. If you earn less than £21,000 then you will pay the rate of inflation on your loan. If you earn more than this, the government will increase your interest up to 6.1% in stages.

You will pay 6.1% if you do not respond to the student loans company, even if you earn less than £21,000.

The rate of inflation changes every year. You will need to check your statements online to see what the current rate is. You can call the student finance helpline and an adviser will explain the charges to you if you would like.