The Student Loans Company (SLC) exists to enable students to invest in their futures through higher and further education by providing access to trusted, transparent, flexible and accessible student finance services.

We have been working hard to ensure that as many students as possible start the new term with funding in place. Monday was SLC’s biggest single payment date of the first term, meaning over £1.1 billion in Maintenance Loan funding has now been advanced to students.* This is an important milestone in a year when we are on track to process and pay a record number of student finance applications.

Not all students will have their applications fully processed at term start. Eligible applicants who applied late (after the deadlines) will be awarded the minimum Maintenance Loan amount first followed by a top-up payment if they are entitled to more funding. Students can find out more about how to get their first student finance payment if they have applied late online.

However, students should be aware that their funding can only be released once we have confirmation from their college or university that they have started on their course.

Students can track the status of their payment easily via their online account. Our short film explains what each of the payment statuses mean. Bank details and National Insurance numbers can also be updated simply via online accounts.

How to view your payment dates and status

The high demand for our services is reflected in the fact that our phonelines are exceptionally busy right now. To avoid waiting in a queue to speak to us, we strongly recommend that students try to get answers to any questions they may have online first. To help with this we have published an online payment guide, packed with information and resources covering the most common payment queries.

In addition to supporting students with payment, we have also been reminding them to be on their guard against scammers. Fraudsters can target students around payment dates and in the last two academic years alone SLC’s Customer Compliance Teams have prevented £850,000 from being phished from students’ loans.

Spotting this type of activity isn’t always easy but SLC has published some fraud facts to help:

  • Keep an eye out for any emails, phone calls or SMS messages you think are suspicious, especially around the time you’re expecting a payment.
  • Scam emails are often sent in bulk and are unlikely to contain both your first and last name; they commonly start, ‘Dear Student’ so be on guard if you see one like this.
  • Check the quality of the communication – misspelling, poor punctuation and bad grammar are often tell-tale signs of phishing.
  • ‘Failure to respond in 24 hours will result in your account being closed’ – these types of messages are designed to convey a sense of urgency to prompt a quick response.
  • Think before you click. If you receive an email or SMS that contains a link that you’re not sure of then try hovering over to check that it goes where it’s supposed to. If you’re still in any doubt don’t risk it, always go direct to the source rather than clicking on a potentially dangerous link.
  • Potential scammers can use a variety of methods to try get students to pay money or share their personal details, including the use of fraudulent phone calls, social posts and direct messaging on digital platforms. If you are suspicious of being contacted, always use official phone numbers, your online account and official communication channels to verify the contact you received is genuine.
  • Check out our guide to identifying a phishing scam at www.gov.uk/guidance/phishing-scams-how-you-can-avoid-them

*Please note these are provisional figures. Full year figures are published in our Student Support for Higher Education statistical release which will be published on 25 November.

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    Delivering payments and supporting students to stay safe online

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