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Basing Student Finance application on parents' income in current tax year

(23 Posts)
PattyPenguin Tue 22-May-12 20:02:46

My daughter is going to university in the autumn and we've put in the application to Student Finance Wales for her loans.

It's a bit complicated as my husband was made redundant last June and has not been employed since (he's been doing various courses that he's paid for himself from the redundancy payment). So we've asked that the means test be based on our income in the 2012-13 tax year.

Does anyone have any experience of how that affects the application process? Does it take any / a lot longer, for instance?

mumeeee Tue 22-May-12 22:53:44

Didn't think you could do that. I always thought it had to be a whole year before. So if a student is going to uni on 2013 the patents income would be assessed for 2010 to 2011. We had our income assessed for DD2s 3rd year as I earned very little in the qualifying tax year. She started her 3rd year last September (2011) and the qualifying year was 2009 to 2010. I have always thought this was a bit silly especially in your case OP.

PattyPenguin Wed 23-May-12 08:04:28

If your income has decreased by 15% or more you can apply on the basis of the current tax year. I've checked, and the same thing is true in England. You still have to send in the evidence for the tax year they're basing this year's applications on (2010-11 for academic year 2012-13, in Wales anyway) but you also fill in a form estimating your income for the current tax year.

I'm just worried that any complications may mean it takes longer. Worst case scenario, my daughter won't get her loan in time for the start of term.

peteneras Wed 23-May-12 14:49:53

So sorry to hear your DH had been made redundant PattyPenguin. I assume Student Finance Wales is the same as Student Finance England which by the way is dealt by a Scottish office. All very confusing but it’s the government’s way to mess you up . . . grin

But seriously, it’s actually all very simple. You fill up the form the normal way (using the previous year’s income) and then write to them again after a little while (say a month later) informing them you want to opt for the current year’s figures because of your DH’s circumstances.

Student Finance will then (re)assess your entitlement basing on your new request and your DD will be paid the normal way. There’s plenty of time yet if you send in your application now and your DD will be paid in time when her course starts in September/October.

At the end of the current tax year (5th April, 2013) sometime next May, Student Finance will send you another form to fill in basically asking you what you or your DH’s actual income was in the 12 months just ended. They will then readjust your DD’s entitlement basing on what you tell them.

Squirrelface Wed 23-May-12 23:28:12

That information is useful for us too peteneras, and maybe you could help me with a further question: if our actual income for the current tax year turns out to be higher than we have estimated, how exactly is the adjustment to our daughter's finance made? I'm unclear as to the knock on effect this would have for the second year of her course. Would there ever be a situation where she would end up having to pay back money (ie over payment of maintenance grant) whilst still a student, or would any money owed be added to the student loan? We don't want her to end up worse off than if she had just taken the full loan to start with.

peteneras Thu 24-May-12 12:49:56

If you have been overpaid your entitlement Squirrelface, then I’m afraid you or your DD will have to repay the difference which can be quite substantial in some cases. Student Finance would dearly love to have the repayment made as soon and as quickly as possible, of course. But every case is different and if repayment results in hardship for the student in the second or subsequent years at university, then it’s up to you to strike a deal with Student Finance as to how the repayment is to be executed without causing much hardship to your child at college.

In order to avoid having to make hefty repayments in any one particular year (especially for people whose income is uncertain e.g. due to redundancy or the adverse economic situation) one can regularly update one’s financial situation with Student Finance. This may mean filling in the current year’s income form a few times in the course of the year so that correct adjustment(s) to the student’s entitlement can be made as it happens.

Squirrelface Thu 24-May-12 13:23:21

Thank you for clarifying that. Sorry to have more question! Is the student loan also adjusted during the academic year to take into account the fact that the entitlement to a maintenance grant can change during the year (if our circumstances change), or is the amount of the loan fixed at the beginning of the academic year for the whole year?

peteneras Thu 24-May-12 15:19:39

From what I understand, the student loan and/or maintenance grant (if any) is also adjusted one way or the other in the light of new and latest information provided by the parent(s) after re-assessment. This is done during the year!

The amount of the loan fixed at the beginning of the academic year, therefore, is not set in stone and is variable in light of new and latest information.

Squirrelface Thu 24-May-12 16:43:14

Thank you for your help peteneras, and sorry PattyPenguin for barging in on your thread.

Milliways Thu 24-May-12 22:30:45

We were in this situation when DD started Uni. DH was made redundant from previous highly paid job and had been out of work for months BUT even though his only income was JSA we could not get above minimum loan! We sent off change of circumstance forms but they kept losing everything, asked for more, etc etc and finally gave us nothing.

She also could not get EMA whilst still in 6th form - they said we would have to wait until the next year and reapply - when she would have left school so we could not, and nothing would be backdated. I had a big rant here about that too.

In year 2 they insisted we resent them everything they had already had for 1st year Uni application change of circumstance etc, because they didn't keep it / it went to a different dept.

Yr 3, DH has a contract, we pressed "do not wish to be assessed" and basic loan arrives instantly with no papers/forms required at all.

OP - if you have had no income this year you should be ok, DH received monies after the April in the year we applied which mucked us up. Best time to be made redundant is 31st March, they want to know what you have earned "THis tax year".

PattyPenguin Fri 25-May-12 21:21:34

That's OK, Squirrel, you asked a couple of questions I would have asked if I'd come back to the thread sooner, so thank you!

Milli, that's awful. I'd better start thinking about back-up in case the same happens to us.

BestIsWest Fri 25-May-12 23:38:14

Hi Patty, I was in exactly the same position last year when applying to Student Finance Wales.

I'm glad to say it made no difference at all to DD getting her student loan on time. Hope this helps. I had to supply this years P60 to them as soon as I got it in April to confirm my earnings were 15% less than the year I would normally have used.

PattyPenguin Sat 26-May-12 08:40:37

Thank you for the encouraging news, BesIsWest. If poor Milliways had to deal with SF England, here's hoping your experience suggests SF Wales is a tad more efficient.

PattyPenguin Sat 26-May-12 08:44:26

Just a quick update - "the local authority is responsible for determining student eligibility for student support", it says on the SF Wales website. I'm glad you say our LA returned the evidence we sent very quickly. I think that might be a hopeful sign.

BestIsWest Thu 31-May-12 21:29:40

Patty, My LA is Swansea if that helps, they were very eficient.

melodyangel Tue 05-Jun-12 22:37:09

Sorry can I ask a quick question?

We filled in DS1's finance form online and fill in our income as asked for for the tax year 2010-2011. This will mean DS will get a higher amount than if we put in income from the tax year just finish 2011-2012. What should we do to avoid having to pay back money from being over paid? It's really annoying as we have all the info here but they wanted the prvious years one- aaarrrrgh!

mumeeee Wed 06-Jun-12 00:26:00

2019 to 2011 is the right year for students starting in 2013 . Put what they asked for you or your DS won't have to pat it back. Student finances always base the loan on the tax year before the year you are applying for. Last year we helped DD2 apply for her loan for her final year and had our income assessed she got a slightly bugger Liam because I hadn't earned much in the qualifying tax year. She was applying for 2012 and the qualifying year was 2009 to 2010.

Jobforlife Fri 08-Jun-12 16:38:00

We are just filling in the financial information confirmation form 2011-12, as we said our income for last year would be substantially less than 2009-10. My son qualified for the full grant and bursary from Uni for his first year, but we actually ended up earning a bit more than we estimated, so I'll have to see what they do going forward... It was a battle getting the whole thing sorted last summer, and I'm bracing myself for a repeat performance this summer.
In our experience, the people on the end of the phones at Student Finance are not knowledgeable about these cases. They will give you information that ends up being completely wrong, and delays sorting the whole thing out. In the end we made a formal complaint and this did seem to get our case assessed properly in the end.

Rico1 Mon 11-Jun-12 20:28:56

I am just going through this at the moment. We are not entitled to any financial support as my earnings are above the set amount. So my daughter is taking her full tuition fee loan but no living allowance. Do we still need to provide supporting evidence? I work for my self and my wife does not work but is on disability allowance.

mumeeee Mon 11-Jun-12 22:45:34

Rico1 every student can get some loan bur nor the full amount. It's about 75 percent. You don't have to have your income tested.

funnyperson Sat 30-Jun-12 11:24:44

Does anyone know how to alter parental income details online? I filled in the wrong tax year by mistake and pressed submit before I realised and now cant seem to edit

gregor901 Mon 20-Nov-17 13:50:30

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

titchy Mon 20-Nov-17 17:46:52

Fuck me gregor that is a shit website! You should be asking people to do the same for you!

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