I am finding the array of funding options confusing.
If you are over 25, on benefits before your course and a lone parent as i am, do you still get housing benefit / income support?
Did you take out a loan for course fees or get a maintanence / special support grant & bursary?
What about living expenses if you cannot recieve IS or HB? How do you fund that?
First stop should be the student money advice office at your uni as they will be able to tell you everything you need to know.
I am single parent student. Cannot claim income support as they consider the maintenance loan an alternative source of income available to you. This loan is currently around £4, 500 pa. You are eligible for a parent learning allowance of about £1,500 pa. In Wales you can get a Welsh Assembly Grant that is worth up to almost £3,000 pa. You should be able to get tuition fee loans too. Most single parent FT students are eligible for housing benefit but it may not cover the rent fully. Some areas refuse this benefit but your uni finance office can fight for it for you and they will win. They know their stuff! You can continue to claim child tax credit and they told me my wages went down as nothing and student loans etc not counted tho you must inform them. You should get max amount. I'm told it's possible to get some help from income support but you have to declare loans and I don't know of any real person who has received such assistance - maybe if you have a lot of kids? I haven't been eligible for all of the loans etc and have managed to get by due to the help of the Uni Hardship Fund who have been fantastic. I'm only in my second year. It's not easy but it is possible. Hardship funds can't guarantee you money but you will be high priority as you have dependants. Some uni's offer grants too (often around £1,000 pa) and there are sometimes bursaries that can be applied for. It all helps. Good Luck! It's nerve racking but you have to keep your eye on the goal...
You CAN get income support for most (not all) of the summer break. You can still get child benefit. All students are exempt from paying council tax. They take into account any maintenance loan you are eligible to receive wether you apply for it or not so apply for full loans. Income support is only payable to people who have no other means of support and whilst it seems unfair to classify a loan as 'other means of support' that is how the law sees it. I tried fighting this to no avail.
It is possible to negotiate a slightly higher free student overdraft if you've been with the same bank a long time and have a good record but be very wary of their 'student loans' they might try and talk you into as they cost a lot in the end. My bank also upped my credit card limit to six times the amount it was when I was working!! Try to avoid using this credit and get as much assistance from your uni as you can.
Oh, you can get 80% of childcare costs paid too (county council - student child care grant) and the other 20% may well be covered by hardship fund. Make sure you list any outgoings and apply for hardship asap!
I am a loan parent and at university, when i started my course i had no idea about the financial side my support tutor put me in touch with a benefits advisor after a year at uni, i started in 2005 and they are still working my benefits out council tax you will get an exemption for and they will deduct money from your income support depending how much you get for your loan. Nothing is free. They are saying now that i may have to put some some money towards rent so be careful. I am worse off now than when i wasnt at uni and i have two children, the only option for me is to keep struggling til i graduate but it will be worth it in the long run and i will be off benefit. Also maybe this year income support is going to scrapped and it will be child tax credit instead. I got a maintence loan and a grant they are not ment to take into consideration your maintenece loan but they do theres not much you can unless you get a personal loan and dont tell i.s cos in a way you will be paying it back twice but not if you got it from the bank. It is unfair but theres nothing much that can be done. Request a telephone appointment with a benefit advisor at your university they will tell everything you need to know. It wasnt til this year that they printed additional letters when enrolling that you got this information.Hope this helps and good luck. P.s they will deduct your i.s and work it out for the year what you are legally entitled to live on and when you get your loans that is ment to last you three months till the next loan is due to be paid.
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