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 by Mark Bennett
, posted on 14 May '19

7 Things to Sort for Your Postgrad Loan Application

Big news for prospective postgrads: applications for Masters loans are now open for English-resident students (and EU students studying at English universities).*

Applying early is the best way to make sure your loan is available in time for your course, so here's a short checklist of seven things to get ready before you start.

*Applications in Scotland opened last month; Wales and Northern Ireland should be ready in June.

#1 Get your course details ready

You don't actually need to be accepted before a Masters when you apply for a loan (you just need to nominate an eligible course). To be honest though, it's a lot simpler if you do pick the degree you intend to study, or one very like it. That way you've got one less thing to sort later and you definitely know your Masters is eligible.

You'll need to be able to find your course from within the application database, so be sure to jot down the details of its length, qualification type, subject, etc. Get one of these wrong and you could waste time struggling to work out why your degree won't appear.

#2 Make sure you apply for the right loan

There are actually four different UK Masters loan systems. The one you need to apply for will usually be:

  • From the same student finance provider as your first student loan

and / or:

  • From the country you studied in as an undergraduate

If you aren't sure, check our guides, or just ask.

#3 Sort your login

If you've previously applied for student finance from the same provider, you'll need to use the same login for your postgrad loan. This isn't optional: you can't have more than one account. If you haven't logged in to student finance in a while, now would be a good time to remind yourself of your password and other details.

#4 Find your passport - and your bank details

You're going to need details from your passport to prove your ID. So, if you haven't seen it since that time you went abroad in the summer before third year, well, now is a good time to have a rummage through that suitcase at the bottom of your wardrobe.

You'll also need a UK bank account for your loan payments to go to. You probably already have one of these but, if you don't, now's the time to get one sorted.

#5 Decide how much you want to borrow

This year's postgrad loans let you borrow anything up to £10,906*. You can change the amount you request later, but it's a good idea to try and work out how much funding you'll actually need ahead of time.

*The amounts are a bit different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

#6 Get your address history ready

Residency is a big part of the eligibility criteria for postgraduate loans (and for student loans in general). You'll need to have lived in the UK* for three years, most recently in the country you're applying for a loan from. The application system will ask for an appropriate address history and you can save yourself a lot of time if you have this information to hand. It's no good having to wait whilst you try to work out when you moved into your second-year flat.

*Or the EEA / Switzerland, if you're an EU student.

#7 Do some advance troubleshooting

Most postgraduate loan applications can be dealt with quite quickly, but there are a few things that might need checking:

  • Missing or unclear address history
  • Time spent abroad that wasn't obviously for work or study
  • Existing qualifications that look like (or are) a full Masters
  • Any missed payments or other ongoing issues with your student finance account

These things won't necessarily make you ineligible, but they will slow down your application if someone at student finance needs to ask for further info.

Basically, if there's anything you think might be an issue, it's better to check it in advance by asking student finance. You can also look through our guides or, if you've got a specific question, we'll be hosting a Facebook Live Q&A at 11am tomorrow.

Otherwise, all that's left to say is, good luck with the application!

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