If you’re a first-time undergraduate from the UK and studying in the UK, you can get university student loans to help you with tuition fees and living costs.

There are some requirements that you and your course will need to meet, but most UK citizens on their first degree-level course at a recognised establishment will qualify.

Take a closer look at these requirements on the UK government website:

Student loans aren’t just available for university courses; they’re also for Foundation Degrees, teacher training, Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, plus a couple of other course types.

Uni Student Loan options

  • As long as you meet the requirements, there are a few different student loans that you can access (and you can have more than one).
  • You DO have to apply for most loans every year (the applications usually cover one academic year)
  • You DO have access to more funding, including bursaries and grants if you’re a medical, dental or other healthcare student
  • You DON’T start paying anything back until you’ve graduated and you’re earning above a certain amount (currently £21,000 a year, but this is meant to go up in 2018)
  • You DON’T have to be young - there isn’t an upper age limit for tuition fee loans or grants (as long as it’s your first higher education qualification)
  • You MIGHT need to think about a part-time job if you don’t have any savings at all or any help from family, as you may not be able to borrow enough to live comfortably

There are differences for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - some of these countries will pay for all or part of their citizens’ tuition fees depending on where they study.

This website goes into a bit more detail about how the loans work.

OK, so what loans can I get?

  • Tuition fees loan - automatically paid to your institution once your application for these is approved
  • Maintenance loan - to help with living costs. A bit of this is means-tested (everyone can borrow a certain amount but depending on your parents’ income you might be able to borrow a bit more)

There are differences for medical/healthcare/dental students and for students living in London (to allow for higher living costs)
The loans are usually paid in termly instalments, to help you manage your money across the academic year. This is where Smart-Pig can help - for those moments when you need next term’s money now. It’s a good idea to look at all the different student loan options (including bursaries, grants and scholarships that your university might offer).

So where does Smart-Pig fit into all of this?

Smart-Pig loans are designed to help you out in those unpredictable times when you suddenly need cash, and next term’s loan is just out of reach. They are:

  • Short term - they aren't for paying off other loans, and won't help with a long-term debt problem
  • With no late payment fees and a capped interest
  • Designed with students in mind - we want to offer a safer form of borrowing compared to other payday loan companies