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Getting A Student Hardship Loan

Aug 17, 2007
Student loans are sometimes not enough to sustain you during university, especially during the tougher times. Even if you have a part-time job as well, there are times when some students need more than they have at the moment. If you are one of these students, then you should look at applying for a student hardship loan. If you want to know more, here are some tips about how to get a student hardship loan.

What is a hardship loan?

A student hardship loan is a loan to help students who are in real financial difficulty due to unforeseen circumstances. These loans were introduced in 1998, and you are eligible if you have applied for the maximum student loan available to you. You can apply to borrow between 100 and 500, which of course you need to pay back. You can only make one application for a hardship loan in an academic year, and it must be one month before the end of that year. You can apply for the loan through the student services department at your university.

Who is eligible?

Eligibility depends on how bad your financial situation is. Usually hardship loans are only given to those who have exhausted other means of finance, and without the loan they will be unable to carry on. You will need to show that there is no other option open to you, and that you are really in need of the loan. Your university or college make the decision on whether or not you can have the loan. If you are successful you can use the loan for books, travel or general living costs.

Repayment terms

Repayment of a hardship loan is the same as the way you repay your student loan. The Student Loans Company will pay the sum directly into your bank account, and you will repay the amount along with your student loan.

Hardship funds

There is an alternative to hardship loans, in the form of a hardship fund. These hardship funds are also for students who are in real financial trouble, but they are usually given as grants and therefore do not need to be paid back. Eligibility depends on both your financial circumstances as well as if your course qualifies or not for a hardship fund. If it does, you can apply for between 500 and 3500, which can be given as a lump sum or as instalments over time. Hardship funds are usually harder to get hold of, and are reserved only for the most needy students.

Alternatives

If you are refused a hardship loan or fund, then you might want to look at banking alternatives to get yourself out of trouble. If you can work more without letting your studies suffer, then this might be one answer. You could also get a credit card to help you in the short-term, or ask your bank for an overdraft extension. If none of these things work, then you might have to borrow off friends or family and save as much as you can until the situation gets better. However, if you are in genuine need of money, you are likely to be accepted for a hardship loan or fund by your university.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for creditcards-gb.co.uk Please visit us at Student Loans and Secured Loans
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