Your Account – Student Finance Helpline
Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your operator’s access charge. This is a call forwarding service which will connect you directly to the official helpline, we are not in affiliation with Student Finance.
If you’ve already taken on a student loan, grant or other form of financial support from the Student Loans Company or SLC, you will likely need to keep a close eye on certain areas of your account should you wish to make amendments to your claim, if you need to make a complaint, or otherwise.
You may even wish to start making payments towards your loans – there are plenty of ways in which you can get in touch with your student finance body to ensure that all of your questions and concerns are addressed with efficiency and care.
While you can largely take control of much of your student finance online, it does sometimes help to have a direct number or two to hand should you wish to speak with someone directly. Don’t ever be afraid to speak to someone regarding any issues you may be having!
Your Online Account
When you apply for student finance through any of the various bodies that are available throughout the UK, you will be offered a unique login that you can use to access your existing finance profile and options with the SLC. This will be based around what is called your unique Customer Reference Number – this was previously known as the ART ID – and you’ll be able to create a password and a security answer should you lose access to your account. By logging in here, you’ll be able to gain access to all the main information available to you on your loans and grants – how much you’ve borrowed, when payments are due, and who you can contact if you need further help. Largely, the payments you make towards student loans will be deducted from your future income once your course has finished – do take a look at our various guides on what to expect from loan repayments for more details.
Forgotten Login Details
Forgetting your login details is never the end of the world, as there is a process in place to help you recover such data so that you can regain access as soon as possible. The SLC has an online service available where you can unlock access to your account with a security question and answer that you will already have provided during registration. This should always be something that you can remember, but never anything that is too simple for anyone to guess. If you can’t access your security question or if your account is locked, you can reset both your password and details to unlock access.
If you’re having difficulty using the login system or have never received instructions on how to set up your online account, you can either visit the SLC online or you can call the relevant customer service team to have details forwarded to you – or to register for the service outright.
Setting up your online account is quick and easy – and what’s more, logging in gives you complete access to everything you need to know about the loans or finance you are receiving – and when you will be expected to pay anything, if at all, back to the SLC.
It’s essential that the SLC stays up to date on any information that may be important to your ongoing account with them. This means that, should you move away, you will need to inform the company of your change of address in case they need to contact you. You will receive periodic – usually annual – reports and updates as to the status and balance of your finance account, and how much you will have repaid year on year (as well as any interest that may have been applied).
These missives will continue long after you have graduated or finished your course, and what’s more, you will also be able to access this information via your online account.
You will need to inform the student loans company of changes to your income if deductions are not being reported correctly via HMRC. This is a very rare problem as all data should be communicated via payroll if you work for an employer or via tax return if you work for yourself once you’ve graduated – but it never hurts to keep the SLC up to date and on your side! Either log into your online account or call the relevant team to speak with someone who can make the necessary amendments for you. Simple!
Complaints and Appeals
You may wish to get in touch with the SLC regarding your account if you have experienced poor quality service or care from the company, or if you wish to appeal against a decision made with regard to your request for finance. A complaint may be anything from you not having received relevant documentation to your loans not being processed properly – whereas an appeal will relate directly to a decision that has already been made by the SLC with regard to finance you have applied for. We have a dedicated guide on what to expect from the appeals process – it’s well worth reading up on what to expect and what to do should you need to get in touch with the company about an ongoing problem.
You will be able to address the vast majority of complaints and problems with the SLC frontline team directly initially – meaning that the best thing you can do right away is have as much detail as you can to hand before calling the relevant department for advice and support. You can also approach your college or university for advice, or you can make a formal statement in writing via the post or via email. Do be aware that if you are making an appeal, it will be held against regulations set by the SLC – so, ultimately, the company will determine whether or not a decision made by them will be classed as fair and just given the details you have provided. It is an excellent idea to have as much physical evidence as possible to back up any claims you make in case you do need to get in touch to appeal any decisions made. You can attach said documents via email or send photocopies via the post per your convenience.
Paying Back Loans
You can, if you wish, approach the SLC to pay back loans as you see fit – however, should you choose to overpay on any amounts expected from you, you will need to remember that the SLC will not pay you back anything you offer above the expected collection amounts.
This is because – essentially – you owe the money! While paying back this type of loan is admirable and may even be worthwhile depending upon your circumstances, it may not be the most financially advisable move to make – particularly as your loans may be written off before you get chance to pay them off completely!
One piece of information you may not know is that student loans won’t impact upon your credit score. While bank loans, mortgages, credit cards and other finance options may directly impact upon your score – as well as various bills such as for your mobile phone contract, for example – your student finance won’t.
It can, however, impact upon your affordability score, which mortgage lenders will also take into account should you put forward an application. This check is used to determine how feasible it may be for you to pay back mortgage loan amounts each month – as student loans may be getting deducted from your monthly wage, it will directly impact upon any decisions such lenders make. This is well worth bearing in mind – but whether or not it will warrant you clearing much of your loan ahead of time will remain to be seen!
Help is at Hand
The SLC are not just here to finance your education and to ask for money from you each month – they’re also here to help support you through the various nooks and crannies that are available throughout the student finance application process. Finding the right loans, grants and bursaries can be tricky depending upon your circumstances, and it’s therefore very good news indeed that there are a wide range of different numbers and avenues you can call should you be having any difficulty with processing your finance claim, or should you be struggling to manage your account.
You can either call the SLC directly on any of their frontline numbers, email them or login via your online account (more information available on how to do so is towards the head of this page) – alternatively, there are a number of student forums available which will help you navigate the finer points of student loans, grants and more besides.
You can also get help directly from your college, university or relevant institution – simply contact your student services team and they will be able to support you with various guides or avenues to call should you be in any difficulty. If you are having any account problems, however, always call the SLC or login first.