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AIBU to think that this should have been enough

(33 Posts)
headdesk Sat 20-Dec-14 18:13:06

I am separated from my husband, have been for just over a year. I am also a student. When I reapplied for my loan student finance cut it in half, going from £7k a year to just over £3k. This doesn't even cover my rent.
They said it was because I needed proof that we have separated with a solicitors letter. I'm a student, I can't afford that!! Everywhere I looked was in the hundreds for this letter. I do work but I'm on very very low income and can just about cover bills and rent.
On the phone The student loan helper said to send everything I had. So I sent wage slips, proof of change of address, proof that I live in a student house, tenenancu agreement, literally everything I could think of. Apparently this wasn't enough and they would only accept a solicitors letter. Aibu to think that all of that should have been enough proof?
I'm really stuck over what to do now, ex h won't help because it doesn't benefit him in any way.

headdesk Sat 20-Dec-14 18:14:22

Also I should add that I'm not out to get all I can, I'm really struggling to afford to live on my wages and student loan, the grant I should be getting would help a lot.

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Sat 20-Dec-14 18:16:49

Try Student Services at your University smile

You're right, it should be enough but there's more than a few jobsworth's out there to make life tough for others.

headdesk Sat 20-Dec-14 18:18:03

I've tried and they are really helpful but student loans are wont budge.

PumpkinsMummy Sat 20-Dec-14 18:21:58

Is there anyone who would lend you the money for a letter? A complete pain that you have to have one but if that couple of hundred is worth an extra few thousand its worth it. Otherwise call CAB and see if they know any solicitor s who offer small pro bono work?

ExtraVolume Sat 20-Dec-14 18:23:02

Citizens Advice.

If not try posting in the legal topic as there are solicitors on here who might be able to advise the cheapest way to get it.

JuanDirection Sat 20-Dec-14 18:23:40

Not sure I understand, but you have to pay a couple of hundred pounds for a letter, and then you will get another 3,500 pounds? And you don't want to because it's too much to pay? I would borrow it or put it on the credit card, you shouldn't miss out on 3,500 pounds just for the sake of a solicitor's letter being a bit pricey - it's more than worth it if they've told you that you will get the money if you provide the letter.

misskangaandroo2014 Sat 20-Dec-14 18:23:58

Student loans are being bollocks here. HMRC don't seek out proof of separation unless there is reasonable suspicious activity. Rather than solicitors letter can you get a sworn statement at your local court (i had to do something similar during my divorce)?

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Sat 20-Dec-14 18:24:19

They (the university) have an 'access to learning' fund which may give you some cash to your living costs or will help with the cost of a letter. There was a solicitor who used to go into my uni to do pro bono (so free) work too.

headdesk Sat 20-Dec-14 18:25:16

I have no one sad I already borrowed money for the deposit so I had somewhere to live when we broke up which I've just about nearly paid back. I have no family either. Ex h said 'well we'll see in the new year' which means he won't bother because it doesn't affect him in anyway.
It's so annoying because I don't get why I'd lie about it? Because I was getting more loan when we were still together.

headdesk Sat 20-Dec-14 18:27:51

'you don't want to because it's too much to pay?'

It's not that I don't want to, I cant. I have around £30 left after bills each month and my credit card is at its limit.

headdesk Sat 20-Dec-14 18:28:36

I can go to CAB about this? I didn't know that, I will definitely try that after Christmas.

JudgeJudyKicksAss Sat 20-Dec-14 18:30:03

Have you approached Student Services/ Union for help? My DS1 totally messed up his own loan/grant application which meant he started Uni with nothing except £50 that I could give him. Student Loans wanted us to jump through hoops to assist his application and because he had unwittingly given some wrong info at the time, and I worked this out immediately as I used to work as a benefits advisor, there was also an underlying fraud investigation with HMRC involved so nobody would give him/me/my husband any info when we tried to progress his application. It was an absolute mess and my son was on the bare knuckles of his bum money wise and my friend kindly paid for his student accommodation when she caught me crying over a letter from them saying he would be evicted and I would be persued for the money/rent until the end of the student year.
Eventually my son approached Student Services and they waved some kind of magic wand and the whole mess was resolved within a fortnight.

Parents of students please note: this all happened because I thought my son, at 18, was old enough to fill out his own grant/loan application and as he didn't have the info he needed to hand, on deadline day he decided to change our family dynamics without thought to the consequences. Fool.

Anyway, rant over. Have you tried Student Services for help?

headdesk Sat 20-Dec-14 18:32:00

I have spoken to them and they were helpful but when I spoke to student loans they said that I needed that letter. End of.
I will go back when term starts again and see what other advice they can give me.

JudgeJudyKicksAss Sat 20-Dec-14 19:00:37

Two long shots...

Student Union/Services may have a loan/hardship/bursary you may qualify for to get the £200 or so you need for the letter. Have you exhausted all possibities there?

Have you got Legal Cover on your home insurance? They may be able to produce a letter at reduced rates?

PeachyParisian Sat 20-Dec-14 19:08:32

Student loans company are anything but helpful.
I applied for the maintenance grant and they wouldn't process it because my husband couldn't provide a p60 for the 2012/13 tax year. DH is not british and has never lived in the UK. He cannot provide any of the UK documents they are asking for and the country he lived in at the time doesn't have an equivalent.
He sent a signed and witnessed statutory declaration done by a solicitor attesting to the fact he earned x amount but they havent responded yet.

I have an ongoing problem with them though and I still haven't seen my maintenance loan/ uni have no tuition fees yet.
Terrible customer service.

headdesk Sat 20-Dec-14 19:17:17

They are awful. In my first year I didn't get my loan until December and was about a week away from being kicked out of uni because they hadn't paid my tuition fee.

redexpat Sat 20-Dec-14 19:39:01

Student unions sometimes have a solicitor for a couple of hours a week. Does yours?

WhataMistakeaToMakea Sat 20-Dec-14 19:47:10

This happened to me - they were beyond unhelpful. In the end they accepted a letter that I had written and then signed in front of a solicitor and the solicitor signed it too. I'm sure someone will know the legal term for that but I think it's an affidavit?

The solicitor charged me £8 as I only took up 5 minutes of their time. I sent it along with all the other documents I had eg child tax credit and tenancy etc and it was accepted.

Maybe you could try that?

headdesk Sat 20-Dec-14 19:56:35

Thanks for all your advice, I will be trying it all until something works!

OodKingWenceslas Sat 20-Dec-14 19:58:20

MPs can help too.
Though my MPs assistant said SLC are worse to deal with than any of the others including CSA & DWP

zaracharlotte Sat 20-Dec-14 20:00:18

Can you borrow the money from somewhere? The money for the letter is cheaper than a loss of 4 grand.

zaracharlotte Sat 20-Dec-14 20:01:43

Or pick up some temp work to cover it? Do an off job - maybe look at Gumtree? Event waitressing?

headdesk Sat 20-Dec-14 20:02:53

I have no one to borrow from. All my friends are students and I have no family. I already work as much as I possibly can as well as going to uni.

AnnaFender Sat 20-Dec-14 20:04:00

Exactly this happened to me in my second year. I struggled to even find a solicitor willing to do the letter, it caused it two years of stress and anguish and I nearly had to drop out of uni. They also cut my childcare funding and I had to fund it myseld with loans from family ans the access to learning grant I got through university.
I eventually got the solicitors letter but it still was never sorted out. I have finished uni now, and there is nothing I can do about it.
I hope it works out better for you, it's really stressful and ridiculous of student finance sad

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