Clearing: all about Student Finance

You probably have a few questions about student finance during Clearing. We're here to help.

Take a look at our handy guide for Clearing students from England applying to study a full-time undergraduate degree for all you need to know.

If your question isn't answered here, drop an email to or give us a call on 01482 463002.

Clearing student finance FAQs

I’ve applied for student finance already but for another university/course, what do I need to do?

Log in to your account on Student Finance England’s website and just update your university and course choice, it’s really straightforward.

I haven’t applied for student finance yet, what do I need to do?

Apply online ASAP.

It can take around 6-8 weeks for Student Finance England to fully assess your application, but this doesn’t mean that you won’t get any money during that period. If you apply late Student Finance England will check that you meet the basic eligibility criteria to receive student finance and pay you the minimum amount as soon as possible. Once they’ve fully assessed your household income (which is how they decide how much Maintenance Loan you should get) they’ll pay you the extra amount you’re owed.

Does my place at university need to be confirmed before I apply for student finance?

If you’ve already applied for your student finance and been assessed you’ll get your first Maintenance Loan payment 3-5 days after you enrol at university. If you applied late your first payment may be late, but the University will offer you a short-term loan to help you at the beginning of the academic year.

How do I check the status of my application?

There’s an application status tracker in your online Student Finance England account, so you can check the progress of your application. There’s also a live chat service, which is the easiest way of staying in touch with Student Finance England.

Will I be eligible for student finance?

There are some basic eligibility criteria. You can apply for full support if:

  • you’re a UK national or have settled status (no restrictions on how long you can stay)
  • you normally live in England
  • you’ve been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years before the first day of the first academic year of your course

EU students with pre-settled status can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan only at first, but when you gain settled status (usually after 5 years of living in the UK) you can also apply for a Maintenance Loan.

There are some other students who can apply for full student finance too, including students with Refugee or Humanitarian Protection status (but not asylum seekers), students who are in the UK via the Afghan or Ukraine visa concessions, and migrant workers. If you’re not sure seek advice.

What if I’ve already studied for a degree?

In most cases if you’ve already completed a degree you can’t take out funding for another. Exceptions to that are Nursing, Midwifery, Operating Department Practice, and Physiotherapy (not Paramedic Science).

If you’ve started a degree but not finished it you may still be able to take out funding, depending on how long you studied for. If it was for a year or less you’ll still be able to take out full student finance, but If it was for any longer seek advice.

I’m going to be studying a healthcare course, can I get any extra funding?

Yes, if you’re eligible for full student finance and you’re studying Nursing, Midwifery, Operating Department Practice, Physiotherapy or Paramedic Science you can apply to the NHS Learning Support Fund for a £5,000 Training Grant each year. If you have a child under 15 you’ll get an additional £2,000 per year. Funding you get from the NHS is non-repayable.

I have children, will I get any extra funding?

The extra funding offered by Student Finance England is means-tested, so if you’re living with a partner or spouse you may not get the maximum amounts (or any funding at all, it’s quite harshly means-tested). The maximum amounts are:

Parents' Learning Allowance – up to £1,915 per year

Childcare Grant – covers up to 85% of childcare costs (your childcare provider must be OFSTED registered), with a cap of £188.90 per week for one child or £323.85 per week for two or more children

When you’re completing your student finance application you’ll be asked whether you have children and prompted to apply.

I have a disability, will I get any extra funding?

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is available to help meet extra course costs students face as a direct result of a disability, long term medical condition, or specific learning difficulty. They are aimed at helping you to study on an equal basis with other students. In most cases you won’t receive this funding yourself, it’ll be paid to a supplier or provider of equipment or services that you need.

When you’re completing your student finance application you’ll be asked whether you have a disability and prompted to apply.

I’m estranged from my parents, what happens?

When you apply for your student finance you can tick a box to say that you’re estranged from your parents, so Student Finance England know your parents won’t be providing their household income to support your application. They’ll ask you to provide some proof of your estrangement instead. If your school or college is aware of what’s been happening they could write a letter explaining things. If you wouldn’t be able to ask anyone who knows you in a professional capacity to write a letter an assessor from Student Finance England can give you a call instead. If Student Finance England accept that you are estranged you’ll get the maximum Maintenance Loan available, which for 2022/23 is £9,706.

The University of Hull offers a Humber Grant of up to £1,000 per year to students who are estranged. 

General student finance FAQs

What is student finance?

Student finance is the funding that the government offer to make it affordable for you to go to university.

There are two loans available, the Tuition Fee Loan and the Maintenance Loan. The Tuition Fee Loan covers your tuition fees in full, and is paid straight to the University on your behalf. The Maintenance Loan is means-tested, so the amount you get will vary depending on your household income. There’s a calculator available which will tell you how much you’ll get to live on each year. Your Maintenance Loan will be paid directly into your bank account in three equal instalments, so you’ll get a third of your loan at the start of each term.

How do I apply for student finance?

When do I apply for student finance?

Applications are open now, apply as soon as possible to avoid delays with your student finance.

How much will I get to live on as a student?

The Maintenance Loan is means-tested, which means that the amount you’ll get to live on will depend on your household income, as well as where you’re going to live while you’re a student. There’s a calculator available which will tell you how much you’ll get to live on each year.

The maximum amount that you will receive in 2023 is £9,978 if you move away from home and £8,400 if you live at home.

This is paid to you in three equal instalments, so you get a third of this money at the start of each term.

What if my household income has gone down recently?

Student Finance England will be looking at the 2021-22 tax year to determine how much Maintenance Loan you can take out for the 2023-24 academic year. If your household income has dropped by more than 15% since then you can complete an additional form which will become available on their website later in the year called the ‘Current Year Income assessment’ form, or CYI. This form will allow your parent(s) to estimate the household income for the 2023-24 tax year, and your Maintenance Loan for 2023-24 will be based on that estimate. After the tax year has ended Student Finance England will ask for evidence, and will adjust your Maintenance Loan based on that, so try to keep that estimate as realistic as possible.

How much does university cost?

Tuition fees for an undergraduate degree are £9,250 per year. If you’re taking out a Tuition Fee Loan that cost is covered in full, so you don’t need to pay anything upfront.

That just leaves your living costs. If you’re planning to live in student accommodation that will be your biggest cost. You can find prices for all of our on-campus accommodation here. But there are other things you’ll need to pay for too: food, travel, your phone bill, clothes, any books and equipment you need for your course, any hobbies you have (or would like to try), and just having fun.

A good resource for creating a budget is Blackbullion (you’ll need to create an account), but there are lots of others available. Just enter your incomings and expected outgoings into a budget calculator and it’ll tell you whether your incomings will cover your outgoings. It’s hard to guess now how much money you’ll spend on things like food and going out when you’re a student, but there are some resources to help you out there, like Save the Student’s National Student Money Survey and the Natwest Student Living Index . Both of these asked over 2,000 students how much they spend on things like rent, takeaways, and going out, and then published the results. You can use these to get a general idea of how much students on average spend, but remember that you’re not an average! If you have a hobby that you plan to continue while at uni that costs you money, don’t forget to include it.

If you really want to do your homework, track your spending now so you know how much you’re spending at the moment. Making lots of small purchases can really add up, so make sure to include things like buying coffee, or spending money on in-app purchases. There are lots of spending tracker apps to help you (I’ve tried Emma and Yolt), but you can do this by just making a note of any purchase you make.

I’m going to be studying a healthcare course, is there any extra funding for me?

Yes! If you’ll be studying Nursing, Midwifery, Operating Department Practice, Physiotherapy, or Paramedic Science the NHS offer a Training Grant of £5,000 per year. It’s non-repayable, and they offer some additional funding to cover your placement travel costs too. You can apply for the NHS Learning Support Fund now. You’ll need to have a firm offer of a place and have received confirmation from Student Finance England that you’re eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan.

Medicine students receive NHS funding from their fifth year onwards, including a grant of £1,000 and a means-tested bursary of up to £2,643. While you’re receiving this funding you’ll get a reduced rate Maintenance Loan. From your fifth year the NHS will also cover your tuition fees in full, so you would no longer need to take out a Tuition Fee Loan.

What if my student finance won’t cover all of my living costs?

You may find that the amount of Maintenance Loan you can take out won’t cover your living costs in full. If your household income is above £25,000 you won’t receive the maximum Maintenance Loan; the government expects that your parents will help to support you while you’re at university, though many aren’t aware of this. Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert explains this expectation, so it may help to share this with your parents.

Of course, that’s not possible for everyone. Our Job Shop can help you to find part-time work that fits around your studies, check out the kind of jobs on offer over on their Twitter account.

How do I repay my loans?

You’ll begin repaying your loans once you’ve left university and are earning above the repayment threshold, which is currently £25,000. You’ll repay 9% of anything you earn above this threshold, and if you’re working in the UK repayments will be taken directly from your salary. 

The table below shows example salaries, and how much your repayments would be if you were earning that amount after leaving university.


Salary Monthly repayment
Less than £25,000 £0
£30,000 £38
£40,000 £113
£50,000 £188


Any remaining loan will be written off 40 years after you leave university, if you haven't already paid it back in full during that time.

Does interest apply to the loans?

Yes, interest is added to the balance of your loan from the date the first payment is made. The rate of interest charged is the Retail Price Index, which is a measure of inflation. 

What if I run out of money?

We hope it doesn’t get to this point, but if it does, we have a dedicated Financial Support Team who can get you back on your feet. They can advise you on budgeting, and if you’re really stuck they’ll help you to apply for a grant or loan through our Hardship Support Fund.

How do I know whether I’m eligible for student finance?

There are some basic eligibility criteria for student finance. If you are a British national or have settled status (i.e. there’s no time limit on your stay in the UK), have lived in the UK for the past three years, and will be living in England on 1 September, you’ll usually be eligible for student finance. Previous study can affect this though, so if you’ve previously started a degree get in touch with us for advice.

If you are originally from the EU and have pre-settled status you’ll be able to take out a Tuition Fee Loan, but not a Maintenance Loan. If you’re originally from the EU and have settled status you’ll be eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan. Again, previous study can affect this, so if you’re not sure please get in touch for advice.

How do I contact someone to talk about student finance?

If you want advice you can contact us at or 01482 463002. If you’re at the University for an Open Day we’ll also be available for a chat on the ‘Money Matters’ information stand, so check your guide or ask a student ambassador to point you in the right direction.

There are some things you’ll need to speak to Student Finance England about, including checking the progress of your application. You can log in to your online account to access their live chat, which is available during standard working hours, or you can call them on 0300 100 0607.

Fees and funding

Fees and Finance

Find out about paying tuition fees, get tips on budgeting, learn about our scholarships and more.

Get in touch

If you still have questions about student finance, get in touch. or +44 (0)1482 463002