Martin Lewis explains how to get more student finance after pandemic

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Martin Lewis has explained how you can apply for more student finance if your income has dropped because of coronavirus.

In his weekly email Martin told parents to speak to student finance, if Covid-19 had altered their finances.

Martin said that first-time UK undergraduates are automatically eligible for a full loan to cover their tuition fees.

But the amount of maintenance loan that a student gets is means-tested.

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Martin said: "The amount of the maintenance loan, which covers living costs, is means-tested depending on household income, and those income forms are being completed by many right now.

"How it works exactly depends on which UK country the student is from.

"In England those with higher incomes are given less loan, suggesting that parents should fill the gap.

"In Wales everyone gets the same amount but for those with higher incomes it's more of it's a repayable loan, rather than a non-repayable grant.

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"In Scotland and Northern Ireland it's a mix of grant, loan and implied parental contribution. Higher income, less grant, more loan & parental contribution."

For new and continuing students from September the funding is based on information in 2018/19 tax year.

But Martin said: "Clearly many people will have seen substantial income drops. If your income is at least 15% lower over this year, you can do a current year income assessment instead."

To apply you’ll need to follow the usual process to create an online account and provide information about a previous tax year.

Then you can request a CYI assessment.

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This is so Student Finance England can check that your income has gone down by 15% or more.

You need to fill in a current year income assessment form and send it to Student Finance England.

Then keep your income details up to date during the year and then confirm your actual income at the end of the tax year.

For more information see the government guide here

If you’re the parent of the student and your partner also lives in the household, you’ll both need to complete the form, even if only one income has changed.

This is because you’re assessed on household income from the same tax year.

When you’re estimating your income, include:

  • working overtime or extra hours
  • any maternity or paternity pay
  • any casual work, shift work or contract work
  • any pay rises, bonuses or redundancy pay
  • income changes from changing jobs or returning to work
  • income from self-employment