What is a new student loan?

Our loans are available for new students and those planning their dissertations alike, helping people to get out of a short-term financial hole.

We started Smart-Pig after our own bad experiences with payday lenders at uni. That’s why our new student loans are made differently.

You could get up to £350 in as little as an hour, so you can get back to familiarising yourself with the campus, halls, and all those new faces.

When it comes to paying the loan back, we can wait until your next finance instalment is due – or it may be to tide you over in the event of student finance arriving late at the start of term.

And we won’t use that stretch until the new term to build up interest and make your payments impossible to meet. You’ll never pay more than 50% of your loan amount in interest, with all fees and costs laid out in full beforehand.

How our freshers week loans work

Our loans for students in freshers week are designed to help you get back on your feet quickly and let you get on with adjusting to this big adventure you’ve just started on.

Before you apply, make sure you are:

  • Studying at a UK college or university and in receipt of government finance – this could be a Student Loan, NHS Bursary or SAAS Award
  • At least 18 years old
  • A UK resident
  • In possession of a UK bank account and debit card
  • Not in any insolvency arrangements such as bankruptcy or an IVA

If you’ve got five ticks there, you can go ahead and start your fast and simple application for a new student loan.

1. Apply

    Open the new student loans calculator on our homepage and enter the amount you wish to borrow and for how long. It might be until your next student finance instalment is due – you can find the date on your statement. If you can’t track it down, the first day of next term will be fine. If you know you’ll be able to repay earlier, enter that date and see if it can save you on interest.

    You’ll then need to create an account, using:

    • A valid email address
    • Your bank and debit card details
    • A working mobile phone

    Next, we’ll ask you to give us some details about your current expenditure and agree to a credit check. We also cross-reference your student finance at this stage. Check out these guides on how to get hold of the info we’ll need:

    2. Reply

    Using the information you give us and your credit report, we’ll make sure you can afford to repay the loan properly. On occasion we need to make a few extra enquiries, if this is the case with your application we’ll be in touch via email. Keep an eye on your inbox and reply sharpish to keep things progressing.

    3. Deposit

      As soon as your application is approved, we’ll transfer your money. It should be with you soon afterwards and it’s often in our customers’ accounts in just a few minutes.

      What can new student loans be used for?

      Between getting to know a new city to familiarising yourself with your course and putting all those names to new faces, you need to be able to rely on fast help if you need a loan in freshers week.

      There are all kinds of situations that might crop up, but here are some common events where people might need some help.

      • Unexpected costs if your possessions or accommodation need repairing in a hurry
      • If you’re already thinking way ahead, a deposit for next year’s flat
      • Getting reading materials and equipment to help with your course

      Even if your situation doesn’t sound like this exactly, we may still be able to help. However, it’s worth remembering that we take our status as a responsible lender very seriously. If we don’t think a freshers week loan is right for you, we won’t go through with it.

      If you’re struggling with other loans or can’t make ends meet, read our Student Money Advice guide or go to MoneyHelper. Your university may also be able to help with a hardship loan.

      We take the same human approach with every single application, so if you haven’t built up your credit profile yet, that doesn’t automatically exclude you. You might be able to get a new student loan even if you have bad credit.

      Why choose Smart-Pig’s loans for new students?

      We’re committed to helping students at all stages of their university journey. Here are some reasons why we’re a leading provider of new student loans.

      • Got your back: We know what it feels like to be messed around by dodgy lenders while at uni. We’ll never subject you to the same treatment.
      • Transparency: Hidden costs? Late payment fees? Not with us. You’ll know your terms – in full – before you confirm your loan.
      • Finance delays: It’s not your fault if student finance pay your instalment late. If this happens to you, we’ll give you a 10-day interest-free period to let them get their act together.
      • Interest cap: We set a rock-solid interest cap on our loans at 50% of the amount you borrow. Say you borrow £100, the most you will pay in interest is £50 – no matter what. You’ve almost certainly seen different percentages on the site (and maybe even this page!) so check out this Guide to APR for all the details.
      • Fast cash: Upon approval, we’ll transfer the money directly to your account. We call them quick loans for a reason and our customers typically get paid in minutes.
      • Completely flexible: You set the terms that work for you, whether that’s loan top-ups, movable repayment dates, or early repayments to save interest. Just give us a shout to let us know how we can help. See How it Works.

      New student loans made easy

      If you need a helping hand in freshers week, a loan with Smart-Pig means you don’t have to wait months until student finance comes in to get something fixed.

      We’re always around to answer your questions. Send us any queries using our online contact form, or email our support team directly on [email protected] with the subject box filled. If you’re a chatty soul, ring 0203 5071 930 9am-8pm Monday-Friday and 10am-6pm Saturday-Sunday.

      Once you have all the info you need, you can apply for a new student loan and get short-term help.