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What happens after I apply for Student Finance?

What happens after I apply for Student Finance?

Student Finance England (SFE) will assess your application. If they need further evidence from you, they should contact you to ask for this. Try to provide any requested evidence as soon as possible and send any documents by special delivery post to avoid delays and the risk of any original documents being lost.

If you don’t hear from SFE within a few weeks of applying, phone them on 0300 100 0607 to check the progress of your application, and to ask whether you need to provide any further evidence.

You can check the status of your student finance application via your online account with SFE. 

Beware of fraudulent emails from anyone claiming to be SFE which ask you to update your bank details or verify your student account details by email. SFE will never do this. Don’t reply to the email. For more information click here.

How will I know if I am eligible for Student Finance?

If SFE decide that you are eligible for Student Finance, they will send you a Student Finance Entitlement letter stating the amount of Tuition Fee Loan and money for living costs that you have been awarded. Keep this letter safe. If you will be getting a Tuition Fee Loan, you need to show this letter when you come to enrol.

The full breakdown of your entitlement and payment amounts will not be listed on your entitlement letter, it will just state the total amount of money that you are entitled to: you can see the full breakdown on your online SFE account.

When will I get paid my Student Finance?

SFE cannot pay you any money until you have enrolled. Once you have enrolled, Queen Mary will let SFE know you are in attendance and the first instalment of your Maintenance Loan will be paid into your bank account in 2 - 3 working days. 

Your Tuition Fee Loan will automatically be paid to Queen Mary in three instalments throughout the academic year.

Warning: If you applied online, your Student Finance Entitlement letter will include a declaration form which you must sign and return to SFE before you can receive any money. It is a good idea to use recorded or special delivery post to avoid any risk of delay in getting your money. You can also track delivery.

What if my Student Finance is delayed?

If your Student Finance application is delayed and you do not get any money by the start of the academic year, you can apply for a discretionary short term interest-free loan for living costs, once you are fully enrolled, from the Bursaries, Grants and Scholarships Office. Contact the Student Enquiry Centre, ground floor, Queens’ Building or email There is more information about what to do if your Student Finance is delayed on the Student Finance Delayed webpage

SFE have told me I’m not eligible for Student Finance

If SFE tell you that you are not eligible for Student Finance, please contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service, as eligibility for Student Finance can be complicated. You might also find it useful to read the later section of this advice guide ‘Eligibility Rules for Government Student Finance’ which explains the main eligibility criteria.

If you have been refused student finance on eligibility grounds, the Welfare Adviser will need to see a copy of any letters you have received from SFE so they can check whether SFE’s decision about your eligibility seems correct. If it doesn’t, the Welfare Adviser can advise you about appealing against it, and can usually write you a letter to send with your appeal. If you have not received a written decision, it is helpful to contact SFE on 0300 100 0607 to request one so you can appeal the decision if you need to.

You can download SFE’s guide 'How to Appeal’ [PDF 551KB]and an SFE appeal form. [PDF 528KB]

What happens if my circumstances change?

If your circumstances change, after you apply for Student Finance, you need to notify Student Finance England. 

You can use your online Student Finance account to make changes to:

  • your course details;
  • your university details;
  • the amount of Tuition Fee Loan or Maintenance Loan you’re asking for;
  • your personal details e.g. your address

After you have started your course, you won’t be able to notify SFE of a change of course details or the amount of tuition fee you are being charged: this is done by the Registry at Queen Mary. Contact the Student Enquiry Centre if you need to ask about this.

If you made a paper application for Student Finance you should still have been invited by SFE to set up an online account and notifying a change of personal circumstances this way can be quick and easy.

If your household income for the 2021/22 tax year drops by more than 15% compared to the 2019/20 tax year and you want to be financially reassessed, see the earlier section ‘The Student Finance income assessment.’

The maximum amount of Maintenance Loan you can get depends on your circumstances, students who live away from home can apply for a higher amount of Maintenance Loan this is to help cover the increased cost of living away from home. If your living arrangements change, after you have applied for Student Finance, you must notify SFE so that they can adjust your entitlement to the Maintenance Loan. Please see the Maintenance Loan section of this guide for more information. 

SLC have released guidance for students who have moved home for the January 2021 term:


Law, regulations and policies can change quickly. The information on our website is given in good faith and has been carefully checked but QMUL cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. QMUL is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites which are provided for further information.

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