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We've been helping students find the right postgraduate course for over a decade.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most postgraduate loan applications can be dealt with quite quickly, but there are a few things that might need checking:
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!
We've put together a roadmap for students getting started with postgrad fees and funding.
Postgraduate loans are a bit different to undergraduate loans. Avoid these common myths and misunderstandings.
Postgrad study isn't just for recent graduates. Here's what it's like to give up a full-time job and going back to university.
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