Student Loans Company Guide: All You Should Know (+ free tips)


The Student Loans Company (SLC) is a non-departmental public body company in the United Kingdom that is responsible for providing student loans. The SLC was established in 1989 to provide loans and grants to students studying in the UK. From 1990 to 1998 these were mortgage-style loans, which were aimed at helping students with the cost of living and repaid directly to the SLC. The Student Loans Company (SLC) is owned by the UK Government’s Department for Education (85%), the Scottish Government (5%), the Welsh Government (5%), and the Northern Ireland Executive (5%). This public body has accurately provided loan payments to students over the years, alongside collecting HM Revenue and Customs. And that’s not all. This article highlights all there is to know about the Student Loans Company (SLC), its types, and how you can apply for a loan. Let’s get started!

What is The Student Loans Company (SLC)?

Student loans company is a non-profit making government-owned organization that gives loans and grants to students in colleges and universities in the UK.

It is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Education in the UK.

Additionally, SLC seeks to enable individuals to invest in their futures through further and higher education by providing trusted, transparent, flexible, and accessible student finance services.

SLC aims to ensure that it is widely recognised as enabling student opportunity and delivering an outstanding customer experience in delivering the UK Government’s higher education finance policies.

What does Student Loan Company do?

Student Loans Company plays a major role in supporting individuals in the higher education (HE) and further education (FE) sectors.

They efficiently carry out accurate payments of Maintenance loans to learners and Tuition fee loans to HE and FE providers.

In general, Student loans company performs the following roles:

  • Manage the full end-to-end ‘apply, assess, pay and repay’ process for undergraduates in England and Wales and provide the payment and repayment parts of this service for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • Maintain the assessment systems and online portals used for applications and assessments in Northern Ireland.
  • Administer bursary payments on behalf of many UK HE providers
  • Work with HMRC to collect repayments through PAYE and self-assessment systems while directly collecting from borrowers outside the UK tax system or those nearing the end of their repayment term.
  • Manage a range of FE and Postgraduate products and services that are tailored to the differing requirements of Government Administrations, alongside various “targeted support” grants to enable people to overcome barriers to participation in FE and HE

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Responsibilities of Students Loans Company

Students Loan company has requirements to;

  • pay the right amount of support to the right people at the right time and ensure repayment of the right amount of Income Contingent Repayment loan balances at the right time
  • provide a service designed to meet the needs of the customer, so that high levels of satisfaction are achieved for all customers at every stage of the customer journey
  • provide an efficient and effective value for money service for funding
  • use technology and enhanced business processes to simplify the student finance system, make service advances, and improve the customer experience
  • put in place measures to effectively prevent, detect and deter fraud
  • implement policy and operational change smoothly
  • sustain and improve current business processes and systems to ensure that they remain fit for purpose

Student Loan Company Contact

#1. Student Loans Company
100 Bothwell Street
G2 7JD

General Enquiries0141 306 2000

#2. Student Loans Company Hillington
11 Carnegie Road
G52 4JT

#3. Student Finance England
The Memphis Building
Lingfield Point
McMullen Road
County Durham

#4. Student Finance Wales
Welsh Government Office
Sarn Mynach
Llandudno Junction
LL31 9RZ

General Contact details;

To get in touch with the Student Loans company regarding your loan repayment, use the details below;

England, Scotland and Northern Ireland: 0300 100 0611
Wales: 0300 100 0370
Overseas: +44 141 243 3660
Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (except bank holidays)

Click the button below for more information on how to contact the SLC.

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Before you apply for Student Finance

Before you apply for student finance at Student loans company, you should know that you start repaying your loan once you earn over a certain amount.

The size of your monthly repayments will depend on how much you earn, not how much you owe.

More so, your interest rates are set from the day you take out your loan. Hence, the need to know the terms and conditions surrounding your loan.

You can download the terms and conditions below.

Student Loans Company Application Requirement

Before you apply for student finance, it’s important you know that the requirements are different for everyone, as there are different types of students, based on location.

#1. For New Students From England

As a full-time or part-time student, you can apply online to Student Finance England. Below are the processes to apply for student finance in England, UK

  • Set up a student finance online account
  • Log in and complete the online application
  • Include your household income if requested. Your parent or partner will be asked to confirm the details.
  • Send in proof of identity if needed.

For further information, visit the Gov.UK website.

#2. For students from Scotland

To apply for student loan as a Scottish student, you can apply online at the SAAS website.

Below are the processes to apply for student finance in Scotland.

  • Set up a SAAS account
  • Log in and complete the online application to get your SAAS reference number
  • Include your household income if requested. Your parent or partner will have to confirm the details.
  • Also, include your National Insurance number

For further information, visit the SAAS website.

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#3. For students from Northern Ireland

To apply for student loan as a student from Northern Ireland, you can apply online at the Student finance Northern Ireland website.

Below are the processes to apply for student finance in Northern Ireland online..

  • Set up a student finance account, but undergraduate EU students need to download a form to apply.
  • Log in and complete the online application by answering any questions you’re asked. The questions include; personal details, course information, previous study, National insurance and bank or building society details, and lots more.
  • Include your household income if requested. Your parent or partner will be asked to confirm the details.
  • Also, send proof of identity.

Visit the student finance Northern Ireland website to get further information.

Student Loan Company Eligibility

To be eligible for the SLC loan, students must meet two requirements;

  • Personal eligibility
  • Course/Institution eligibility

Personal eligibility majorly concerns the student’s residency status. While for the course/institution eligibility, the student must be studying at a UK degree-awarding institution or other verified higher education institution (HEI).

Also, students on teacher, youth ad community worker courses are eligible for SLC loan. According to SLC, from the academic year 2016/17, students aged under 60 studying for a postgraduate taught Masters at a UK degree-awarding institution or other verified HEI became eligible for a £10,000 student loan.

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Student Loans Company Tips

While applying for student finance from SLC, you have to do a thorough check and be sure its something you need, and you have a plan to pay back.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to come up with a solid decision.

  • How much does a university or college cost?
  • What is the universal credit if you’re a student?
  • Am I eligible as an English student?
  • What is the process for Scottish, Wales, and Northern Ireland Students?

Let’s look at the context of each of these questions.

#1. How much does a university or college cost?

Public-funded universities and colleges in England have a tuition fee of £9,250 for the 2020/21 academic year. This applies to undergraduate students taking full-time courses at the university and universities that are recognised by the office for students.

On the other hand, students undergoing full-time undergraduate accelerated courses can have up to £11,100 as tuition fees.

If you live in Northern ireland, Scotland and Wales, you have different maximum fee limits, and in most cases, your nation’s student finance agency may cover some or all of your tuition.

For Scottish students, the tuition fees for full-time undergraduate courses at a publicly-funded Scottish Higher education Institutions as set by the Scottish Government is at £1,820.

Find out more on the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) Website

If you live in Wales and are studying at a Regulated University in Wales, the maximum tuition fee you can be charged is  £9,000.

Find out more on the Student Finance Wales Website.

While if you live in Northern Ireland studying a full-time course at a publicly funded university in Northern Ireland, the maximum tuition you can be charged is £4,395.

Find out more on the Student Finance NI Website.

So, if you belong to any of the category above, you can apply for a tuition fee loan to cover your undergraduate tuition fee at an approved publicly-funded university where you reside.

#2. What is the universal credit if you’re a student?

Universal credit is an advance payment of the student loan you requested for. And most times, scammers use this to cheat you off your money with a claim that it is free money from the government.

So ensure you contact your student finance agency yourself and be sure of how the processes are going.

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#3. Am I eligible as an English student?

There are two types of student loan available to students studying in England – Living costs and Maintenance costs.

Find out what makes you eligible as an English student on the Gov.UK website.

#4. What is the process for Scottish, Wales, and Northern Ireland Students?

The process for student loan application is entirely different for students from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For students in Scotland, the student can apply for tuition fee and maintenance cost to the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS).

While those in Wales and Northern Ireland can apply to Student Finance Wales, and Northern Ireland respectively.

Types of Student Loans

There are three main types of student loans. They are; federal, private, and refinance loans. The particular loan that is best for you depends on factors like your financial need, year in school and credit history.

In general, the key to this is taking on no more student loan debt that is necessary.

#1. Federal Student Loans

Federal loans are given by the government, and are the most flexible. This is because, they have the lowest interest rates when compared to other loans.

Additionally, they come with useful protections like the ability to repay when you graduate or get your loan forgiven if you work in a public service field.

To get federal loans, you’d have to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA.

Most federal loans don’t require a co-signer or good credit; nearly every student with a high school diploma is eligible to receive them.

Examples of federal loans include;

  • Direct subsidized loans
  • Direct unsubsidized loans
  • Perkins loans
  • PLUS loans

#2. Private Student loan

Banks, credit unions and states provide private student loans. However, this is seldomly preferred due to its rates.

When you apply for private loans, the lender will want to see proof that you have the ability to repay the loan. This is usually seen in the credit score.

Also, before you get a private loan, you’d need a co-signer. As the person will be held responsible for the loan if you can’t pay it back.

In general, private loans are available for specific circumstances if you need them.

Examples of private loans include;

  • Bar exam loans
  • International student loans
  • Medical school loans
  • Student loans for bad credit
  • Student loans without a co-signer
  • State loans
  • Credit union loans

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#3. Student refinance loans

Student loan refinancing happens after you graduate and show responsible payment history. That’s when a private lender pays off your loans and gives you a new repayment schedule with lower interest rate.

In general, you’d need a credit score of 690 or higher to refinance your loans. More so, you’d lose federal loan protections if you include federal loans in the package.

Examples of refinance loans include;

  • Parent PLUS refinance loans
  • Medical school refinance loans: During residency
  • Medical school refinance loans: After residency

Repaying your SLC Loan

Repaying your student loan and how much you repay depends on your repayment plan. Keep in mind that you can’t choose the repayment plan you’re on. If you have more than one loan, they could all be on different plans.

There are three repayment plans as stated by SLC;

  • Plan 1
  • Plan 2
  • Postgraduate Loan

#1. Plan 1

You’re on Plan 1 if you’re;

  • An English or Welsh student who started an undergraduate course anywhere in the UK before 1 September 2012.
  • An EU student who started an undergraduate course in England or Wales on or after 1 September 1998, but before 1 September 2012.
  • A Scottish or Northern Irish student who started an undergraduate or postgraduate course anywhere in the UK on or after 1 September 1998.
  • An EU student who started an undergraduate or postgraduate course in Scotland or Northern Ireland on or after 1 September 1998.

#2. Plan 2

You’re on Plan 2 if you’re;

  • An English or Welsh student who started an undergraduate course anywhere in the UK on or after 1 September 2012
  • Someone who took out an Advanced Learner Loan on or after 1 August 2013.
  • An EU student who started an undergraduate course in England or Wales on or after 1 September 2012


#3. Postgraduate Loan

You’re on a postgraduate Loan repayment plan if you’re:

  • an English or Welsh student who took out a Postgraduate Master’s Loan on or after 1 August 2016
  • an English or Welsh student who took out a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan on or after 1 August 2018
  • an EU student who started a postgraduate course on or after 1 August 2016

For more information, visit these websites according to your category.

Who is the largest provider of student loans?

The U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid division is the country’s biggest supplier of financial aid for students. Each year, more than 10 million students receive financial aid from the Office of Federal Student Aid because to the efforts of our more than 1,400 staff members.

Do student loans get forgiven after 25 years?

Depending on when you obtained your first loans, you have 20 or 25 years to repay any remaining balance on your loan before it is forgiven. Any amount that is forgiven may be subject to income tax.

Is SLC the same as SFE?

Student Loans Company vs. Student Finance England: Differences The distribution of loans and your application are handled by Student Finance England (SFE). When you graduate, the repayments are handled by the Student Loans Company (SLC).

Who is the best person to talk to about student loans?

If you have questions regarding your possibilities for federal student loans, you should speak with the financial assistance office at your school. You can also contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center of the U.S. Department of Education at 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) for information on student loans.

At what age will my student loans be forgiven?

Pay As You Earn and Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) function similarly. Your payments under this plan are restricted to a maximum of 10% of your discretionary income. Graduate school loans are discharged after 25 years, whereas undergraduate loans are discharged after 20 years.

Do parent’s savings affect student finance?

student loans Always report your own income to NI. This will include unearned earnings like interest from savings, but not part-time or informal employment during your degree. Depending on whether you are considered a “independent” or “dependent” student, they may additionally take into account the income from your parents or partner.

When does student finance ask if you live with your parents?

You don’t need the support of both of your parents if they are divorced because your student loan repayment is calculated depending on who you live with most frequently. You might be an independent student if you don’t live with either of your parents, but it’s not a given.

Bottom Line

Student loans company has been known to provide loan to students who are in need of it. As well as deliver an outstanding experience.

This post highlights all you need to know about SLC loans.

All the best!



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