How to survive if your student loan is late
So the crew at Student Loans Company are late in sending you your dough? Don’t sweat! Here’s some tips to get you through…
Waiting for money to appear in your bank account should be recognised as a form of torture, and unfortunately checking it every five minutes won’t make your cash come any quicker, either.
As it’s called a ‘maintenance loan’ in order to, you know… maintain… life, missing these monthly pennies to live off can be extremely stressful. Added to the fact that with living costs on the rise, loans are barely enough to cover rent these days and students in England are having to stump up an additional £250 every month to make ends meet.
New starters please note: If you’re just starting out and your first month installment is late, your first stop should be to make sure you’re properly registered at uni – if you're not officially registered, the SLC won't send you any cash.
It's also worth checking that you got your application in before the deadline date (2017/18 deadlines listed here). If you missed the deadline, it's likely there will be a delay in getting your cash.
9 things you can do if your student loan is late
If you are properly registered at your uni – meaning there's some other annoying obstacle getting in the way of you receiving your cash monies – here are a few back-up tips you can employ to tide you over…
Use your student overdraft
The beauty of having a student bank account is that you get a 0% interest overdraft of up to £2,000, meaning it’s essentially free money! Well, not really – you'll have to start paying it all back when your account changes to a graduate bank account, but until then…
We’d advise that you don't go into your overdraft too heavily, precisely so you can bail yourself out during emergencies like this. If your rent is due but your loan’s not appeared, ‘borrow’ it from your overdraft and it’ll be replaced when the SLC cash comes through.
Borrow from the bank of mum and dad
As controversial as this is, the government actually expects your rents to help you out financially while you study (if they have a combined income of more than £25,000).
This is why maintenance loans are calculated depending on how much money your folks earn, even if you don’t see any of it. If you’re struggling 'cause your loan is late, now’s the time to ask for help.
Here’s our guide on how to ask your parents for money – it doesn't have to be as painful as you think!
Make some quick cash online to tide you over
We’ve got a few quick ways to make money online for you to check out (40 to be exact).
Note that some of these options take a while for payment to come through, so make sure you do your research first!
Borrow from friends
This is a tough one, as there’s a strong chance your mates are all in a similarly tough financial situation as you are.
But if you do have a friend who always tends to be quite flash with the cash, or who you know is particularly good with looking after their money, there’s no harm in asking if they could help you out while you wait for your cash to come through (maybe even split it between two friends if you’re worried about asking too much of them).
However, it’s extremely important that you only use this method if you’re 100% sure you will repay them as soon as your loan comes through. Lending money to friends as a student isn’t an easy thing to do, so you should be really grateful – don’t let your friend down by not sticking to your promise.
On the flip side, if you leant a friend some cash when they needed it in the past, now's the time to ask for it back.
Apply for a bridging loan with your uni
Most universities will have a scheme in place to protect their students from delays in receiving loans through. They call these ‘bridging loans’ as they’re essentially a short-term loan to ‘bridge’ you through to your next cash installment.
A bridging loan is normally around the £50 mark (paid weekly until you cash appears) so will only be suitable for costs like feeding yourself, or paying bills, and won't be enough to cover rent.
To arrange your bridging loan, contact your university’s student advice service and bring along a bank statement (you might have to go into a branch to get an up-to-date one) to prove your loan hasn’t come through.
The worst thing you can do at times like this is keep quiet.
We'd recommend calling your landlord or visiting your student accommodation office if you live in halls, to let them know your situation and that your rent will be late.
If you have bills due, call your mobile provider or anyone else you think you’ll be late paying and explain what's going on. It's unlikely that you'll be in this situation frequently, so they should be understanding and appreciate you getting in touch to let them know.
If you're close to your overdraft limit and have a bill due to come off your account, call up your bank and see if they'll waiver the fee for exceeding your limit when the bill is deducted.
Go into emergency budget mode
So you're dangerously low on funds, but you're not completely flat out broke yet? Now's the time to enter extreme survival student budget mode!
As depressing as this might sound, budgeting ain't all that bad. We've got a great guide to help you get your daily rations in order.
Start a mini business
What better way to secure yourself some instant emergency cash than starting your own mini business at uni?
This can involve anything from selling stuff on eBay, to offering a delivery service to other students in your halls for a small fee.
In fact, we've got 50 small enterprise ideas to get your entrepreneurial juices flowing – read more here.
Call student finance
Yeah, we know, so we're putting the most obvious suggestion right at the end – so what!
This bit goes without saying, but make sure you call the Student Loans Company up and find out what's going on with your cash monies!
The numbers you need to know are the following:
• Student Finance England: 0300 100 0607
• Student Finance Wales: 0300 200 4050
• Student Finance Northern Ireland: 0300 100 0077
• SAAS (Scotland): 0300 555 0505
Hopefully these tips will provide at least a little bit of respite from your loan stress. If you have any personal tips of your own, let us know about them!