This page explains how a change in your circumstances can result in an overpayment of loan or grant (or both).
Applies to England
How this has happened
A change in your circumstances can trigger a reassessment to be made to your application, in turn this can affect the amount of student finance you’re entitled to.
A change in your term time living arrangements
There are different rates of Maintenance Loan available based on where you’re living during term time. The maximum amount available is different for each of the following:
- living away from your parents and studying at a university or college in London
- studying overseas
- living away from your parents and studying at a university or college outside London
- living with your parents
If your term time address changes, for example because you transfer to a different university, this could result in your entitlement being reassessed and possibly reduced. A reduction in your entitlement could result in a loan overpayment.
A change in your course
The amount of Maintenance Loan you’re assessed for is intended to help with living costs over the standard academic year which is 30 weeks.
However, the length of any course in the academic year can vary - some courses run longer than others and the same course can differ between universities and colleges. Where courses are longer than the standard 30 term weeks, you may be entitled to receive a higher amount of Maintenance Loan for each additional week. This is called a Long Courses Loan.
If you start a course which is longer than 30 weeks and then you transfer to a standard 30 week course, this will result your entitlement being reassessed and possibly reduced. A reduction in your entitlement could result in a loan overpayment.
As the extra weeks of Maintenance Loan is also based on household income, any change to this could also result in your entitlement being reassessed and possibly reduced.
A change in your household income
A change in your household income could also be the cause for a reassessment of your loan or grant (or both) if your application is based on household income.
For example, if a Current Year Income assessment was carried out based on your estimated household income, then your entitlement to student finance may be reassessed and possibly reduced once the actual household income for the relevant financial year have been confirmed. Find out more about a Current Year Income assessment.
What happens next
If you have a loan or grant overpayment as a result of a reassessment, we’ll write to you. This will confirm the overpaid amount and the intention to recover this from any remaining payments you’re due to receive within that and any subsequent academic years. This means your payments in future could be less than you were expecting.
Alternatively, you can contact us on the number provided in the letter to make arrangements to repay this directly.
Overpayments which are not recovered while you’re studying will remain overdue. You’ll be required to repay any outstanding amount when you finish your course. We understand you may not be able to repay in a lump sum, so we’ll consider other reasonable repayment proposals.
You will also be sent a new Notification of Entitlement letter after you’ve been reassessed. This will show your reduced entitlement.
There can be many reasons why an overpayment has happened. More detailed information based on your specific situation can be found on our other pages:
- Loan and grant overpayments
- A change in your household income has led to an overpayment
- Your Childcare Grant entitlement has reduced
- Suspending and withdrawing from your course
If you’re struggling financially because you’ve been overpaid and your student finance has been reduced, find out
If you have a query on your reassessment and why your entitlement has been reduced, contact us.
New links added to the page.