When you're starting uni, the last thing you want to worry about is your student loan, so follow these tips on what to do if you end up temporarily loan-less.
Missing or incorrect details can result in delayed payments, and your 1st step is to get on the phone to the (SLC) 1 and see if they can explain what's happening.
Wil Chivers, who studies Criminology and Sociology at Cardiff, had this very problem. Halfway through his 2nd year a missing form meant Wil received £1, 300 less than expected in his 2nd instalment. 'I had £300 to live on for 3 months and that barely covered 1 month's rent.'
If you’ve forgotten to send in your form, don't panic. 'Even students applying just before term can get the majority of their money when they enrol, ' says an SLC spokesperson. 'They must apply online, prove their eligibility with their passport number, return their signed declaration form, and then register and attend university.’
If you're applying for the 1st time, apply online at 1 as early as you can.
What to do next
After ringing the SLC, get in touch with family and see if they can help out short-term. If you're worried about borrowing from relatives, why not suggest a repayment plan?
Next, visit your bank manager and ask for an overdraft or an extension on it. It's worth taking these steps early, in case – like Wil – your loan takes a while to turn up.
'I had to wait until the summer for my back-payments. I never thought about getting further loans or credit cards, but I did start to use the interest-free credit card that came with my student account.'
Ask for help
There's nothing to be ashamed of. Talk to your landlord about a payment plan or, if you're in halls, speak to the university accommodation services and approach student support services.
Although financial worries can feel overwhelming, make a plan and stick to it. Cut down on costs, get help and make sure your lecturers know the problem.