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Can You Get a Student Loan As An EU Citizen
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Can You Get a Student Loan As An EU Citizen

Written by Sam Temple-Baxter | June 2, 2020

Tuition Fees

Most EU citizens can get a government-funded Student Loan to cover the cost of their tuition fees while studying at a university in the UK. Please note that this is just for the tuition fee and not the living or maintenance allowance. This loan is paid directly to your university (so you don’t see it), and you pay it back in installments after you graduate. If you are worried about having a debt to pay off, read this article first to see why student loans aren’t all bad!

To get a Student Loan in the UK as an EU student, you need to meet these criteria:

  • You must be an EU national or the family member of an EU national
  • You must have been living permanently in the EEA or Switzerland for at least three years prior to the start of your course
  • You must be studying on an eligible course.

There are also some other points to note where you can receive a student loan as an EU student or citizen as well as the criteria above:

  • You’re an EEA or Swiss national who has been living and working in England for at least three years prior to starting your course (or you’re the family member of someone who has been)
  • You’re the child of a Turkish worker who has been living and working in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of your course
  • You’re a refugee or under humanitarian protection.

Living Allowance & Maintenance Loans For EU Students

Most EU students won’t be eligible for a Maintenance Loan or Living Allowance to cover their living costs while studying in the UK. Only EU students who have been permanently in the UK for at least five years prior to the start of their course will be able to apply for a Maintenance Loan or living allowance.

In this instance, you can apply for Student Finance (Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan) in the exact same way as UK students do which is via the Student Finance England Website. You will be essentially classed as a ‘UK Student’. If you leave the UK and still work within the EU, you will still be responsible for paying the student loan back.

How To Apply For Student Finance as an EU Student

To apply for a UK Student Loan, EU students have to complete a specific application form and send it off to the Student Loans Company before the deadline. Follow these steps to find the correct application form for your situation.

I recommend applying for Student Finance as early as possible to receive the money before the course starts.

You have up to nine months after the start of the academic year to apply, and this will either be the 1st of September, 1st January, 1st April or 1st July. Check with your university if you’re unsure, as the start of the academic year isn’t always the same day your course starts.

If you’re the child of a Turkish worker, or an EU student applying for additional support as well as help with your tuition fees. You need to apply for help the same way as a student from England does.

Documents Needed To Apply For a Student Loan as an EU Student

  • Passport
  • National ID Card

They must be photocopies of the original and signed by somebody other than a family member and preferably a doctor, solicitor or other of a professional job.

Repaying Your UK Student Loan

  • You don’t repay anything until April after your graduation and when you’re earning over £26,575 a year as of 2020. This figure is likely to go up with the cost of living or inflation and usually whichever is higher
  • You pay back 9% of anything you earn over £26,575 a year
  • Repayments start when you’re earning the equivalent of £26,575 in your country
  • As soon as you’re no longer earning over £26,525 or the equivalent in your country, your Student Loan repayments stop until you start earning that amount again
  • Your debt will be wiped after 30 years
  • It doesn’t affect your credit rating

Read our full breakdown of student loans and why you shouldn’t view them as a bad debt in this article where we take a deep dive into some of the specifics and in’ and outs! Read the article here

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