How to Apply
Once you've identified the qualification you want to study, you should:
- Check with the College that there are places available on the course and that the course qualifies
- Ask us for a ‘Learning and Funding Information’ letter - you need this to complete the application.
It contains the details about your course.
- Apply online - you’ll need to register first. You can apply by post if you can’t apply online.
- You’ll get a letter confirming your loan - usually within 2 weeks if you apply online (postal applications take longer).
Tel; 0800 612 6008 or click here to ask us a question.
Apply by Post
If you can’t apply online, apply by post - the address is on the form.
Download ‘Application form’ (PDF, 170KB)
Download ‘Guidance notes’ (PDF, 100KB)
Download ‘Terms and conditions’ (PDF, 769KB)
Data protection statement
Proof of identity
Include your UK passport details in your application as proof of identity. If you forget, use the ‘UK passport details form’. If you don’t have a UK passport (or it has expired), send your birth or adoption certificate using the ‘Birth or adoption certificate form’.
Download ‘UK passport details form’ (PDF, 46KB)
Download ‘Birth or adoption certificate form’ (PDF, 101KB)
Use the ‘Evidence return form’ if you need to send extra information to support your application, e.g. proof of residency status.
Download ‘Evidence return form’ (PDF, 568KB)
Change an Application
Once your application has been approved you can log in to your account to make a change online.
If you just want to change your loan amount you can use the loan request form instead.
Download ‘Loan request form’ (PDF, 88KB)
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get impartial advice about managing my finances?
If you’re unsure about taking out a loan and want to seek advice then you’ll have the opportunity to do so. If you want advice on managing your finances, the Money Advice Service, established by the UK government, can offer free, impartial money advice. Visit their website at moneyadviceservice.org.uk
Can I get independent careers advice?
If you’re unsure whether the course you’d like to take is right for you, then you can find support and advice on the National Careers Service website at nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk or call their helpline on 0800 100 900.
What information do I need to provide when applying for a loan?
You’ll need to provide details of the:
• course you wish to study;
• college or training organisation you wish to study at;
• fee you’re being charged; and
• amount of loan you want to take out.
Merrist Wood College will give you details about your course in your Learning and Funding Information Letter. You’ll need to decide how much loan you want to take out. You’ll also be required to provide your personal details (name, address, etc) and evidence to confirm your identity. For UK passport holders this will just be your valid UK passport details (not a physical passport).
If you’re a UK national but don’t have a passport you’ll be asked to provide another form of evidence such as a UK birth certificate, which will be returned to you. If you’re not a UK national you’ll need to provide physical identity evidence, as well as evidence that you’re a permanent resident inside the UK. You’ll also need to provide a valid National Insurance number so that the loan can be paid to the College on your behalf.
I don’t have a National Insurance number but I want to apply for a loan. What should I do?
A National Insurance number is required before the loan can be paid to the college or training organisation on your behalf. If you don’t have a National Insurance number you can still apply for a loan. Student Finance England will contact you if you need to do anything to obtain one. This may mean that you’ll need to arrange an appointment with your local Job Centre to have one assigned to you.
Can I apply for a loan after my course has started?
You should apply as early as possible to make sure Student Finance England can pay your college or training organisation at the start of your course. However, you can apply for a loan at any time during your course, but not after you’ve completed it. If you wish to apply for a loan during your course, you’ll need to agree this with your college or training organisation in advance, as you’ll already have discussed with them how you’re going to pay your fees. Deciding to take out a loan will change this arrangement. The College will also need to provide you with information so you can complete your application.
How long will it take me to hear the outcome of a loan application?
Applications submitted online that don’t require any further supporting evidence (because you’ve provided your valid UK passport details) will be processed quickly and you should hear from us within two weeks. If you don’t apply online or you don’t send us the evidence we ask for at the time of application it will take longer.
If my course lasts for more than one year do I need to reapply each year?
No. Your loan application will last for the duration of the course, even when that course lasts for more than one year.
What happens if I change my mind before I start my course?
If you decide before the start of your course you no longer want to undertake your course or you don’t want to take out a loan for the course, log onto your online student finance account and follow the instructions. Your loan application will be cancelled and you won’t have any loan to repay.
What happens if I change my mind once I’ve started my course?
No loan payments will be made to the College on your behalf until you’ve attended the course for at least two weeks. If you leave the course after more than two weeks then you’ll be liable to repay the loan payments that have been made to the provider on your behalf, for the time you have been on the course.