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What is SLC disbursement?

Written by, Marija Petkova

Updated September, 7, 2022

If you’re a student in the UK who’s planning to take out a financial loan, you may have heard of SLC disbursement.

But, what is SLC disbursement exactly, and how does it work?

In this guide, we answer these questions, look at the different types of loans available to UK students, and explain how to repay them when the time comes.

SLC Disbursement Meaning

Simply put, SLC disbursement is the process of receiving your Student Loans Company (SLC) payment. 

The Student Loans Company is responsible for handling loans for students that need financial assistance. Mainly, students can get two different loans: tuition fee loans and maintenance loans

Tuition fee loans pay tuition fees, while maintenance loans help students cover living expenses, such as rent, food, books, and transport.

When Are SLC Disbursements Paid?

The timing of the disbursement depends on a variety of factors, including what type of loan you have. 

If your application for student finance was approved, you’d receive your SLC disbursement payments in three instalments, the first one of which you’ll get at the beginning of the academic year. 

You might receive it later if you apply after the deadline. In most cases, the Student Loan Company will send you the minimum amount of loan when they’ve confirmed that your application meets the requirements for a student loan and send more later if you qualify for a bigger loan.

How Are SLC Disbursements in the UK Paid?

The tuition fee loans are paid directly to the school or university you’re attending at regular intervals. The maintenance loan amount, on the other hand, is sent to your bank account to help you cover living expenses during your studies. 

How much are tuition fees and how much will you get?

The cost of tuition varies based on where you live and where you plan to study. However, tuition fees for all students in the UK are capped at £9,250. 

The amount students receive in loans depends on their living conditions. They can receive a maximum amount of £8,171-£11,116.

How to apply for a loan?

The process of applying varies by region. In England, for instance, you must apply to Student Finance England, while in Scotland, you must apply to the Student Awards Agency. There are separate Student Finance bodies for students in Wales and Northern Ireland.

You will be asked to provide information about your or your family’s average earnings if you apply for a means-tested maintenance loan.

How do Loan Repayments Work?

Students have to repay every SLC disbursement payment, and they can start paying them back once they reach a particular income level. 

The current repayment threshold is £27,295. Once your salary exceeds this threshold, you will be required to refund 9% of your pre-tax earnings. Interest is calculated on a sliding scale, with a maximum rate of 3% over the Retail Price Index.

If you don’t earn enough to meet the income requirement, you won’t have to make any loan payments, but you will still be charged interest

The majority of people never pay off their loans in full.

SLC Disbursements Payment Refunds

There are several situations where you can ask for a refund, including in cases where:

  • Your income was below the threshold (your bonuses and overtime included) 
  • You started making payments before you needed to
  • You’ve overpaid by mistake or because you were placed on the wrong repayment plan by your employer

If you’ve paid too much, the Student Loans Company will either automatically send you the money to your bank account or contact you to tell you how to get a refund. If you’ve overpaid and the Student Loans Company hasn’t contacted you, you can reach out to them and ask for a refund.

If your employer had you on the wrong plan, you could only get a refund if you’re supposed to be on plan 2 or plan 4. 

Bottom Line

What is SLC disbursement? It’s the payments you get from the Student Loans Company which help students cover tuition fees and living expenses during their studies. If you’ve applied for it, you should keep an eye on your bank account to make sure you get your money on time. 

My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.