How Much Should I Receive for my Student Loan?

1 min read • May 15 2024

Understanding Student Loans

A student loan is a type of financial loan geared towards helping students cover their expenses whilst studying in higher education (e.g. university). It is used for several different elements of student costs. They are generally much cheaper to pay back than traditional loans with a much lower interest rate and much more flexibility, making it easier for students to pay back. Student loans don’t have to cover your living expenses if you don’t need them too. They are split into two types, a tuition fee loan which is used to pay for your education, and a maintenance loan, which covers the rest of your costs.

Tuition Fees

The loan can be used to cover the cost of attending the course of choice. The yearly cost of further education in the UK is between £ 6,935 and £9,250 per year, and this can be paid back using the loan itself. The loan will directly be paid to the course provider, so you do not need to pay your university or college yourself.


If students are moving away from home for their university of choice, this accommodation must be paid for the same way any other type of accommodation is paid for. Things like rent, utilities, internet and other bills can be paid using your student loan if you don’t have any other form of income (e.g a part time job)


Educational materials such as books, pens, laptops and other study materials can be covered by your student loan.

Living Expenses

Groceries, gym memberships, entertainment and transport can all be paid for using your student loan, but it’s important to budget correctly so you don’t spend too much of your loan on unnecessary items or expenses.

Calculating Expenses

It’s important to the get the price of your student loan right. If you take too little out, you’re putting yourself at risk of running out of money before your course finishes. If you take out too much, you risk putting yourself into a larger, more unnecessary amount of debt for a longer time. Even if you’re left with money at the end of your course, there is still interest to pay on the loan, so it will cost you even if you end up not using your entire loan during your course.

The cost of your course will generally take up the biggest part of your loan, so it’s important to understand how much it costs and for how long the course is. The maximum yearly amount for a course is £9,250, so if your course is four years long, the tuition fee part of your loan will need to be at least £37,000. It’s then important to figure out what your monthly living costs are estimated to be. Although you can’t work this out exactly, it’s worth getting a rough idea of what four years of utilities, groceries, internet and entertainment expenses could be. It’s better to aim slightly higher than slightly lower, in case you’re left without enough money to cover your costs. As a rule. the more people sharing your accommodation, the less your individual costs will be as more people will be covering the expenses. This can be a better idea if you don’t want to take out too much of a maintenance loan.


Although slightly different through the UK, students taking out a student loan in England don’t need to begin paying back their loan until they earn more than £25,000 annually. The repayments are taken back at roughly 9% of your monthly salary until the loan is paid back. If you work for a company, the payment is automatic and comes out the same way your tax and national insurance is. If you’re self-employed, you must pay back the loan the same way you pay your tax and national insurance. If you finish the course early or decided to end your education, you must still repay the loan. In the UK, after 40 years has passed, the loan is written off and you do not need to pay it any longer, no matter the total still owed. If you meet the threshold for repayments, the earliest you will have to start repaying your loan is the first April after you either finish or leave your course.

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