Change of Circumstances: What To Do

Change of Circumstances

Change of Circumstances?

Once you have applied to uni successfully and you’ve started your course at your chosen university, you will probably give out a huge sigh of relief. But for some students, the first few weeks or months can be a little bumpy.

You may decide to change course, or you might have a 'change of circumstances' due to your family life or financial matters. It’s important that you keep Student Finance up-to-date with these changes, so that your student loan payments are not affected.

If you don’t, you may end up with a hefty bill to pay back money that you weren’t entitled to, or you could lose out on money that you should have been getting.

What counts as a change of circumstances?

Changes of circumstances due to minor things

  • Your parents may move so your home address changes.
  • You change your bank or bank account into which your student loan payments are made.

  • You want to change your password.

Changes of circumstances related to your studies

  • You hate your course and ask to switch, moving to a different course in the same faculty or a different department altogether. Not all courses have the same tuition fees, so you need to inform Student Finance as soon as your change is finalised.
  • You realise that you have chosen the wrong university, so you change institution. This can be possible in your first year if you make the decision early enough. Usually, your student loan for maintenance and tuition fees can be transferred to your new institution.
  • You decide to break from your studies for a year.
  • You decide to take a longer break.
  • You come back to studying after a break
  • You decide not to continue with your course and leave university early. Depending on the timing, you could still be left with a loan to pay back.
  • You decide to repeat one of the years of study. You may not qualify for full support for the extra year.

Changes of circumstances related to your home life

  • You get married or divorced.
  • You enter into a civil partnership or have one dissolved.
  • Your parent’s income goes up or down substantially.
  • Your parents have another child.
  • You have a child.
  • You become chronically ill or disabled.

Telling student finance about a change of circumstances

Handling changes of circumstancesYou should do this as soon as possible and some changes can be reported online. You need to contact the student finance department relevant to your home address:

For changes that you can’t make online, you can report your change of circumstances and ask for a ‘Change of circumstances’ form. The relevant student finance office will then contact you and let you know the next steps you need to take.