The basics of student loan in UK

The level of academic education in England and generally in the UK is known worldwide. Taking into consideration that quality costs, (including exceptions of course), one comes to the conclusion that the UK must have already applied an entire mechanism of receiving as well as managing the relevant resources.

The following article is an attempt to present student loans briefly and as clearly as possible simultaneously.


English universities cannot charge students from England or the European Union more than £9,250 per year (2018/19). This is regulated by a monitoring authority. Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) was also established to assist this scheme. However, some institutions which achieving high level in teaching quality assessments can increase their fees beyond the above-mentioned limit.

Interesting note:

Universities in Scotland do not charge European and apparently Scottish students. Northern Ireland also applies variations to universities fees for its citizens.

If one is a full-time student and lives in shared accommodation, they are exempted from council tax charges.

And yes, the financial limit mentioned above do apply for universities such as Oxford too.

For non-European students however, the fee limits differ considerably and are set by universities themselves. For more information on fees, click HERE.


Loans are categorised as tuition fees and maintenance loan (the last covers living costs).

The relevant loan is granted and paid off under the supervision of the government. Whether a student is eligible for such a loan is based on factors such as age, nationality, accommodation status, whether it is their first degree etc. In any case, an application for such loan, can be filled in easily online. For the application click HERE.

The maintenance loan is granted after a social/financial assessment.

Interesting note:

Students do not actually receive money themselves. The loan is transferred directly to the university.

If the studies program is not full time, the loan can be up to £6,935.

Application assessment can take up to 6 weeks.

The final deadline for funding is 9 months after commencement of the academic year.

For an estimation of the amount you could receive, click HERE.


Students begin to pay off the loan once their annual income is over £18,330 and after they complete (or terminated) their studies. More specifically, there are two levels/plans of repayment.

Plan 1: The loan can be paid off, if the annual income is more than £18,333 (this limit is subject to change every 6 months) for:

- An English or Welsh student who started the degree before September, 2012.

- A Scottish or Northern Ireland student.

Plan 2: The loan can be paid off, if the annual income is more than £ 25,000 for:

- An English or Welsh student who started the degree after September, 2012.

Interesting note:

If one is employed, payments are usually done through payroll or through Self Assessment if there is no salary scheme (employee status).

The interest rate is equal to the Retail Price Index (RPI) + 3%.

Further support is provided to individuals with low income, disability or children. For details click HERE.


It is always possible to cancel or alter a loan. Students who reside in England, Wales or Northern Ireland will still have 25% of their loan, even if they stop, transfer or postpone their studies during the first semester. The amount increases to 50% if the decision is made from the third semester onward.

Interesting Note:

It is highly recommended to have a separate bank account for student needs. Banks offer very flexible packages and we advise you to do some research beyond of just interest rates.

In case of university change, the money is simply transferred directly to the new institution.

For more information, please visit GOV.UK.


Translated / Edited by, Apostolia Nestoratou.

© 2018 UPECO LTD



This article intends to give only a general informative picture and should not, in any case, be taken as a rule. It is strongly recommended to seek a full and professional guidance specifically for your circumstances before making any decisions.


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