Last updated: 04 May 2021
If your household income has gone down
We normally use the household income from the previous tax year to work out how much student finance your child or partner can get. For example, if the student is applying for student finance for the 2021 to 2022 academic year, we’d use the household income from the 2019 to-2020 tax year to calculate their funding.
If your household income has gone down by 15% or more since then, you can ask us to work out their student finance based on an estimate of your household income for the current tax year instead.
At the end of the tax year, we’ll ask for evidence of your actual income to check if the estimates you gave us were right. If they’re different, your child or partner could have been paid too much student finance and will need to pay some of it back. If you income turns out to be lower than expected, the student could be entitled to more student finance.
Check if you're eligible
You’ll qualify for a current year income assessment if you expect your household income to drop by 15% or more when compared to the income for the year we’d normally use.
If your total household income before the 15% decrease is less than £18,370 a year, you will not be able to get an assessment unless the student needs it to get:
- a bursary or scholarship from a university or college
- extra student finance for children or dependent adults
Otherwise, you should not apply for a current year income assessment if:
- your total household income before the 15% decrease is less than £18,370
- your total household income after the 15% decrease is more than £59,200
You can apply at any point until the last day of your child or partner’s academic year.
Keep your income estimates up to date
Once you’ve applied and we’ve done a current year income assessment, you must let us know if your income changes any point throughout the year. Do this by sending us a new current year income form.
If you do not keep your income estimates up to date, or if you underestimate your income, your child or partner could be paid too much student finance and will be asked to pay it back.
Confirm your income at the end of the tax year
After the tax year finishes, we’ll ask you to let us know what your actual household income was and provide evidence of this. We’ll usually ask you for this at the end of the tax year in April.
If you don’t do this, your child or partner’s student finance payments will be reduced and they’ll be asked to pay some of it back.
After you’ve confirmed your income
Once we know your actual household income at the end of the tax year, we’ll be able to check if the amount we gave your child or partner was correct.
If they’ve been paid too much loan or grant, we’ll ask them to pay some of it back.