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Lone parent and studying

(5 Posts)
nannyj Wed 26-Aug-09 22:06:38

My DD is only 8 weeks old but i'm thinking of career options for the future. I don't want to be stuck in the benefit trap but i can either get minimum paid work or i was thinking of getting a degree and training to be a teacher.

It looks like i would be eligable to recieve help with college fees etc but will that affect my benefits. I get housing benefit too and won't be able to survive if thats cut. What are other peoples experiences who are in my situation.

Many thanks.

MANATEEequineOHARA Thu 27-Aug-09 21:45:43

Hi, I am a single parent, I have two children and am at uni full time. I have always kept a part time job too, but even without that I would be better off financially than on benefits. I do know how it works financially if you don't also work, I often consider it when life gets too much!!!
You will still get housing benefit, although students don't usually, student parents are eligible. You will lose IS/JSA and only get child tax credits, BUT you will get maximum student loans and grants and parents learning allowance that will work out at just under £9000 a year. That is in 3 installments though so you have to plan carefully. You may also be entitled to a bursary, I get £2000 a year from my uni. Also in the summer, when it seems like ages between student loans, once the uni year is officially over you can claim JSA or IS in the holidays. You can also get money from the access to learning fund. When I crashed my car they gave me £1000, covering the costs of my new one! You can also claim 80% of the childcare costs with a childcare grant from the student loans company, the uni I am at (and I guess others) will top up the remaining 20% if you apply for it.
All in all, I really recommend being a student parent!!!

OnlyWantsOneDoesntLikeDM Thu 27-Aug-09 21:51:58

^^ same here too - love it too.

Im in the 2nd year of an English degree, planning on becomming a teacher too.

good luck - go for it

nannyj Fri 28-Aug-09 14:11:38

Oh thanks so much for the encouragement was feeling so down thinking my plans may not happen. Can i ask another question? Do you have to pay back any of the loans or grants when you start work? Not that i mind it will be worth it in the end but it would be nice to be prepared.

MANATEEequineOHARA Fri 28-Aug-09 20:13:08

You only pay back the loans, (maintainance loan of about £3,500 a year and tuition fee loans)but not until you are earning over £15,000 a year, and the rates are low. I try and forget about the paying back part though!!!

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