Doing a postgraduate course like a master’s degree is a great way to enhance your knowledge on a subject you’re passionate about, and it looks great on your CV.
While you can expect a chunk of money to help cover your tuition fees, you won’t get anything for your living costs – and you’ll need to meet the specific eligibility criteria to get anything at all. Here, we’ll go through it all step-by-step so you know exactly what funding you can (and can’t) receive.
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Eligibility for Northern Ireland postgraduate finance loan
- You must have been living in the UK or islands for at least three years prior to your course’s start date and have ‘settled status’ (i.e. there are no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK).
- Your course needs to be a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma, taught master’s or research-based master’s
- If you’re from Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales you can apply for the postgraduate loan from the Student Finance NI no matter where in the UK you want to study.
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How to apply for postgraduate Student Finance in Northern Ireland
Below we have listed some basic information on how you can apply for a Postgraduate Loan from Student Finance Northern Ireland in 2022:
- Complete an application online on the Student Finance NI website, or download a paper form and post it. Whichever method you use, you’ll still need to apply each year (if your course lasts for more than one year).
- Submit the requested evidence to prove your identity and help them to check whether you’re eligible for Student Finance. If you’re using a passport, simply submitting the details will be enough. But if you don’t have a valid passport, you’ll need to send the original copy of your birth/adoption certificate (which will be returned).
- Student Finance NI will check your application and the evidence you provided to establish your eligibility.
- The Student Loans Company will let you know if you’re eligible. If you are, the money will be paid directly to your university or college.
The final deadline for applying for a loan is nine months after the first day of the first year of your course of study. And also note that you should apply for Student Finance before your course starts.
How To Repay your postgraduate Student Loan
To some people it is very scary repaying for there loan, but is is simple and always in line with your income.
Our guide given out to Student Loan repayments explains in detail more on how to repay your loan:
- You start repaying your loan the April after you’ve finished your course.
- You pay back 9% of anything you earn over the threshold – currently £20,195 a year, £1,682 per month or £388 per week (before tax).
- Your payments will come out of your salary automatically – unless you’re self-employed, in which case you’ll need to submit a self-assessment tax return.
- Your loan will start accruing interest before you’ve even left your course – the rate is currently 3.25%.
- You can make extra payments at any time in order to pay off the loan quicker, But, it’s seriously worth considering whether or not this is the best use of your spare cash, as chances are you won’t have to repay the loan in full anyway. This is because the loan will be written off after 25 years and any money you haven’t paid back will be wiped.