Since applying Student Finance have advised that I qualify for maintenance loan

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emilyb
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by emilyb » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:39 am
Hello,

Any help would be so appreciated.

I am currently at the back end of my IVA (9 months of payments left to go). I pay £368.00 per month in to an IVA. I am currently a single mum and have started University and applied for a student loan (with permission from my IP). Since applying Student Finance have advised that I qualify for maintenance loan of approx £9700.00 and grant of £2436.04. I have tried to speak with IP today, after much confusion and upset over whether I would have to pay all of this into the IVA. Given that it is a loan that will have to be paid back it is not technically income, but it does create a change in circumstances. I would understand them taking into consideration grants as that is money that is not considered a loan isn't it.

I will be working as well as receiving this income, however my outgoings/expenditure will adjust as I will no longer receive housing benefit, I will have extra travel costs and I will have childcare.

I am literally in tears with worry over whether all this money will be taken away from me for use during my studies and making my difficult situation even harder and having to pay this amount back in the long run in any event after the IVA ends to Student Finance.

So, can anyone help advise how much they would take into consideration, if any.

When I requested permission they did not advise the potential of the maintenance loan. But I had to take it because if I did not then Housing Benefit take that complete whole amount available in to consideration anyway.

I wish I had just deferred to starting in 2018-2019 instead and at least then I would feel settled that the money will be mine.

My IP is now on holiday for 2 weeks and I do not think I can cope feeling like I do for a further 2 weeks.

Please please help!
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Foggy
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by Foggy » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:47 pm
I am afraid that I do not know how your own IP will treat this grant. Hopefully an Industry Expert will see this and respond, but it might not be until next week when they return to their offices.
emilyb
Posts: 4
by emilyb » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:17 pm
Thank you for your reply. I completely understand them taking extra payments from the grants/bursaries (as these do not need to be paid back and are therefore given money/asset) but find it highly unfair to take from a maintenance loan that is a "loan" to be paid long after the IVA, so in effect I will be paying them with a loan (if that makes sense). Whilst I appreciate it is available credit, it is not a non-payable income, it has to be paid back, and wouldn't have thought an IVA would include it if all other institutes e.g. DWP do not.

There were redundancy fears at work which is why I applied for the full grant (as I was told this was not possible further down the academic year should I be unlucky to lose job), plus I was told to do this by so many as you never know what will happen during your course that may require funding, plus as mentioned in previous message, Housing Benefit take the full amount you have available to you into consideration in any event so I would need to replace the money I lose in rent payments.

I had thought I saw the silver lining at the end of this long 60 months. But I am 51 months in, 9 months to go, and I feel like life has taken yet another unfair turn (my debt was from an old relationship in the first place that ended up being responsible for).

I am hopeful they will only look at the grant and bursary rather than the maintenance loan/tuition loan.

Am I right in thinking this is all things the IP should have addressed with me when I suggested my desire to return to full time education to complete a degree?

Sorry for ranting, I just sit here with my young child worrying about my future and whether or not my goals of creating a better life for us are now snookered. I would have deferred doing the degree one more year had I known just to reassure myself.

Nothing worse than financial worries and illness is there!
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Michael Peoples
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by Michael Peoples » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:30 am
I would assume the best thing is to do an up to date I&E. Bear in mind that you will need to pay for books etc so this should be allowed in addition to the usual expenses. I would think that with the extra expenses and reduction in expenses you will not be better off.
emilyb
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by emilyb » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:35 am
Michael Peoples wrote:
I would assume the best thing is to do an up to date I&E. Bear in mind that you will need to pay for books etc so this should be allowed in addition to the usual expenses. I would think that with the extra expenses and reduction in expenses you will not be better off.


Hi Michael,

Not better off really esp as you rightly say I will be paying a lot during the course, but it is a considerable sum still. But my point is, with this being a 'loan' would it still be classed as income?

Still waiting for IP to contact me about it.
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Michael Peoples
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by Michael Peoples » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:03 pm
It is income but it also has a specific use. For example disability benefits are an income but excluded from the IVA as they are needed for expenses over and above that of a standard case. Your situation seems comparable to me.
emilyb
Posts: 4
by emilyb » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:45 pm
Michael Peoples wrote:
It is income but it also has a specific use. For example disability benefits are an income but excluded from the IVA as they are needed for expenses over and above that of a standard case. Your situation seems comparable to me.


Thank you,

Hoping it will be disregarded esp the fact it is to be paid back eg disability benefits are not to be paid back, but a student loan is when earning income above 21k.

Wish my IP would just get back to me about it so I can get on with my academic year. Pretty pointless taking the option of a loan if it is going to have to be put into IVA. I feel they should have told me all this when advising of my plans to return to study! Grrr
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