Your Guide to Student Finance

Your Guide to Student Finance

As the start of term approaches for full-time students, we know there are plenty of things on your minds! One of which we’re sure of  is student finance.

How do I pay for my course? What am I entitled to? What do I do if I don’t get my finance in time? At Discuss, we’re here to tell you all about it.

Applying for finance
Tuition fee loans and maintenance loans are available for full-time students. How much you are entitled to is usually based on your current financial circumstances, including the income of your parents (if you’re living at home). If you haven’t applied yet, it’s a good idea to apply as soon as possible, especially if you have gained a place via Clearing, as it can take up to six weeks to process.

You can apply for student finance via Student Finance England, a government body who manages student loans.

When do I get my money?
Tuition fee loans are paid directly to us by Student Finance England – sorry, you won’t see that money in your bank account any time soon! But, if you’re entitled to a maintenance loan, this is paid into your bank account in instalments, typically lining up with your term dates to make sure you have enough to get you through the academic year.

In order to get your payments started, you need to enrol and provide us with the relevant documents. More on this is available in this helpful Student Finance England video.

What if I don’t apply, or don’t get my money in time?

Some students choose not to take out loans at all and instead self-fund their course. Some students may also be sponsored by a company or individual in the pursuit of their course.

If you don’t have a sponsor and are not intending to self-fund your course, but haven’t received confirmation of your loans by the time term starts, you have two options:

  • Pay your first module upfront – this money is refunded to you once your student finance has been confirmed and we’ve received the funds from Student Finance England.
  • Defer until the next module – this means beginning your studies in November, rather than September, allowing time for your student finance to be processed. The modules are standalone, meaning you can sit the September module in blocks 5 or 6 instead, without affecting your progression to next year.

Receiving a large sum of money at once is very exciting! There is a very real temptation to spend all of it at once. But hold your horses – your maintenance loan payment has to last you at least one term, and you have your rent, bills and travel costs to consider, just to name a few of your new financial commitments now that you’re a student. Check out our blog on budgeting your money and student bank accounts for advice on how to successfully manage your money.

Resources available
At CUC, we have a dedicated student funding advisor, who can assist you with any finance queries you may have. Applicants and current students can contact them using

Plus, check out Student Finance England’s info on how student finance works, when you have to pay your loans back and much more.