UK, outside Wales
Funding available from Student Finance England (SFE) for starting a course in September 2021.
If you live in England then you can apply to Student Finance England for funding for the academic year 2021/22. The funding available from Student Finance England is made up of tuition fee funding and funding for living costs.
Tuition fee loan
Subject to terms and conditions, students who live in England and are studying towards their first degree will not have to pay their tuition fees upfront. Instead they could be eligible for a repayable tuition fee loan of up to £9,000 per year to meet the cost of their tuition fees (fees in Wales are capped at £9,000 rather than £9,250 in England). This funding would be paid directly to your University after you have enrolled.
You will only start to repay this loan when you have finished your studies and are earning more than £27,295* per year (subject to terms and conditions).
*2021/22 financial year threshold. This figure is reviewed annually.
Funding for living costs
All eligible students who apply to SFE can receive a maintenance loan to help them meet their living costs. This loan is expected to contribute towards the cost of accommodation, food, travel and general living expenses. The amount available will depend on your personal circumstances and where you are living while you study.
The following table demonstrates examples of funding available depending on household income and where a student is living while they study:
Maintenance support for a full-time undergraduate living away from home in 2021/22
Loan available – 2021/22 (figures pending parliamentary approval)
£25,000 and under
£62,249 and over
As can be seen above, the amount of maintenance loan available will be affected by household income details.
If you will be living within the parental home while you study the maximum maintenance loan available is £7,987 but this is still affected by household income details.
Please note that where the household income is higher, there is an expectation from the Government that parents will contribute towards the student’s cost of living.
The maintenance loan is paid directly to students, normally in three instalments; one at the start of each term. The first instalment is normally released to you within 3-5 working days after you have completed enrolment. Therefore it is important to arrive at University with funding for at least two weeks available to you.
Please note that if you change any details about your course or place of study after you have applied for funding, please inform SFE as soon as you know of a change otherwise payment of your funding could be delayed.
Additional funding from Student Finance England
Depending on your personal circumstances there may be additional funding available to you. For example, if you have a disability, or if you have children or an adult dependent. Please visit Student Finance England for more information.
Additional funding from Cardiff University
In addition to the above funding you may qualify for a Cardiff University Bursary.
Cost of living in Cardiff
Cardiff is considered to be one of the most affordable UK cities to live in while you study. See our living cost calculator for the average cost of living in Cardiff as a full time, undergraduate student.
Repaying the loans
If you take a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan, these are combined to form one amount that you repay after you have left your course. You become liable to repay any loans you have taken in the April after you leave your course.
You’ll only start making repayments when your income is over the repayment threshold, which is currently £27,295 a year, £2,274 a month or £524 a week in the UK. If your income falls below the repayment threshold, repayments will stop and only restart when your income is over the threshold again. You can also make additional voluntary repayments to the Student Loans Company at any time.
All students are liable for 30 years from the April after they have finished their course to repay any loans borrowed. If there is an outstanding balance at the end of 30 years, this will be written off.
Interest on your loans
You are charged interest on any loan taken from the time it is paid to you (maintenance loan) or on your behalf (tuition fee loan) until you pay your loan back in full, or any balance is written off.
The interest rate is currently RPI (Retail Price Index) + up to 3%. The amount you are charged also depends on whether you are studying or working, and if you are working, how much you are earning.
You can find more details about how interest is applied to your student loan from the Student Loans Company.
Cost of repayments
Currently repayments on undergraduate loans are set at a rate of 9% of your income over £27,295 per year. Repayments will normally be deducted from your salary through the tax system. You can also make voluntary repayments.
Your annual income (before tax)
Approximate monthly repayment
£0 - salary is below the threshold
How to apply for funding
Students who are ordinarily resident in England will apply to Student Finance England for their funding. The application process for students who intend to start a course in September 2021 is now open.
If you live in Scotland then you will be able to apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland for funding. Please check their website for information about the funding that will be available for 2021/22 and how to apply.
If you live in Northern Ireland then you will be able to apply to Student Finance Northern Ireland for funding. Please check their website for information about the funding that will be available for 2021/22 and how to apply.
If you have any questions please get in touch with the Student Funding and Advice Team.