The cost of university tuition has risen over the years, making it unaffordable for some students. Loans funded by the government make it possible for these individuals to pursue their higher education without assuming high-interest debt. The two types of government loans for university attendance are the Tuition Fee Loan and the Maintenance Loan.
Tuition Fee Loans cover the cost of university tuition and the payment is made directly to the university.
Maintenance Loans are also referred to as Loans for Living Costs and provide financial assistance with daily living expenses. The money is paid directly to the student’s building society or bank account. Payment is made in three installments, monthly within Scotland. The first payment is provided at the beginning of the academic year.
Once the degree is obtained, repayment commences when the individual begins working and is earning more than £15,000 annually. Monthly loan repayments are deducted via the tax system at a rate of nine percent of the income that exceeds this figure. Repayments stop if the income falls under £15,000 annually.
Students in England apply for these loans online through Student Finance England. They are able to apply for financing at the same time they complete their application for higher education. Welsh students apply for loans through their local authority. Scottish students apply through the Student Awards Agency for Scotland, while students in Northern Ireland apply through the Education and Library Board.
Students should apply for loans should do so as soon as they receive a university offer. The student loan package is comprised of Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loans. Any loans that are outstanding for more than 25 years will be written off by the government. Individuals beginning repayment in 2012 or later may take an up to five-year repayment period, which will be added to the write-off period.