Help Paying student loans back Belfast

August 13, 2015
Student who spent year

The University will charge Home and EU Students (excluding students from Great Britain (GB)) entering full-time higher education in the 2016/17 academic year, course tuition fees of £3925 for each year of a full-time undergraduate course.

GB Students will be charged £6, 000 for each year of a full-time undergraduate course.

All fees are subject to an annual increase. Exceptions to these fees are for certain health related courses where no fees are charged (details provided in this section).

For a placement year, that is, any year of the course spent away from the University gaining work-based experience, or any intercalary year that is, any year spent abroad as part of a language degree, the tuition fee for that year will be £1, 955.

However, the package of student finance allows you to ‘study now and pay later’.

What help is available?

While at the University you will have two main costs:

  • Tuition fees
  • Living costs

However, there is help towards both.

Student Loan for Tuition Fees

If you are eligible for a student loan for tuition fees, you will not have to pay fees before you start university or while you are studying.

Instead you will be able to apply to your local Student Finance NI office (or Student Finance England for students living in England, Student Awards Agency for Scotland for students in Scotland or Student Finance Wales for students in Wales) for a loan to cover the cost of fees.

This means that you will not have to find the money before you start your course or while you are studying, and the fees will be paid directly to the University, on your behalf.

You will repay these loans once you have left university and are earning over £17, 495. Repayments will be deducted from gross income at the rate of 9% of any income earned in excess of £17, 495 per year.

Interest on the loan is linked to inflation only, so what you repay will be worth what you borrowed.

You will NOT have to pay tuition fees for the following courses:

  • Dietetics
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Radiography
  • Speech and Language Therapy

Student Finance NI will provide you with a letter indicating that you are in receipt of a Student Loan for Fees. You should bring this letter with you at the time of enrolment to prove that you have taken out a tuition fee loan deferring payment of fees until after you have left the University.

You have until 15 November to provide evidence that you have taken out a student loan to pay your fees, otherwise you will be responsible for paying the tuition fees.

Maintenance Grant

Maintenance Grants of up to £3, 475 are available for full-time students from lower income households. Unlike loans, grants do not have to be paid back. How much you get will depend on household income. Your local Student Finance NI office will work this out when you make your application for help. The table below is a guide to how much you could get:

Household Income How much?
up to £19, 203 Full £3, 475 grant
Between £19, 204 and £41, 065 Partial grant
Over £41, 065 No grant

Student Loans for Maintenance

A student loan for maintenance/living costs (which is partly dependent upon parental income) is available to help pay for expenses such as accommodation, food, travel and course materials. For Academic Year 2016/17, the maximum amount of this Student Loan will be £4, 840 if you are living away from your parents’ home, and £3, 750 if you are living at home.

Broadly speaking, 75% of the loan is not means-tested and you are entitled to apply for this irrespective of the income of your parents or spouse.

Where you have applied by the deadlines specified by Student Finance NI the first instalment of your loan will be paid by direct electronic transfer via the Banks Automated Clearing System (BACS) into your bank or building society account approximately three to four days after you register.

If you decide to take out a student loan, make sure you provide your National Insurance number. If you do not provide your National Insurance number, or you provide an incorrect one, your first loan instalment may be delayed and further loan instalments may not be paid.

You should apply for financial support as early as possible. If you have not done so before you come to register in September then you should do so without delay as it can take up to eight weeks for your application to be processed. If you have already applied but enrol on a different course you must inform your local Student Finance office immediately.

Health Professional Courses

If you are taking a health professional course (Dietetics, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Radiography, Speech and Language Therapy) you are entitled to a means tested bursary and student loan:

Bursary rates for 2016/17 were not known at the time of publication.

If you are on a Nursing course you are not entitled to a loan as you will receive a bursary from the Central Services Agency.

Loans and Grants

Your Education and Library Board/LEA will not normally provide financial help (loans and grants) to repeat part of a course.

The normal practice would be for you to pay your own living expenses and fees for the period you are repeating.

The board will normally suspend support and later reinstate it when you have satisfactorily completed the repeat period.

If there are mitigating circumstances which contributed to failure (e.g. serious problems relating to health, family circumstances or other matters outside your control), your Board may be sympathetic to a request for financial help during the repeat period of study; but any such plea will need the strong support of your Studies Adviser or Course/Subject Director.

Be sure about what you are doing, and be clear about the consequences – you may, for example, be risking your future entitlement to support with your fees or to continuation of an NHS bursary if you receive one.

Share this Post