Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 13:26 UK

Student loans: Your comments

Up to 175,000 students in the UK may still be waiting to receive their student loans and grants, a week after most courses started.

Of the record one million students who applied for funding this year, 16% have not yet received any loans or grants.

BBC News website readers have been telling us their experiences.

YOUR COMMENTS

I've been really worried about this, I applied back in May and I've heard nothing back other than the website telling me my loan was approved. I've not had any letters or anything, and I'm really starting to get stressed-out as my landlord is pressuring me for rent that I just don't have the money for. I'm living away from home and my parents can't afford to help me out, and I really don't want to have to drop out. This is making the start to university so much more stressful than it already is.
Gemma, Portsmouth

I am a parent rather than a student. My daughter completed everything in plenty of time. She has still not received her loan. The loans company seem to have lost some information and misinformed her of other things she needed to do. They seem to be a complete muddle and their reassurance that a lot have been dealt with successfully is not much comfort to the 30% of first year students that do not have any money yet! How much longer are they going to take?
David Stock, Newbury

My loan is now late. I already have had to wait a while to get my student loan registration letter, which I got processed on Friday. That means by the latest I should expect my loans today, although I'm afraid I have no money now and have already applied for any extra funding that is available to help keep me alive. I am now on my last legs, waiting desperately for my loans!
Ryan Shefras, Plymouth University

SLC need to come up with a better system. I am a third year now and they still have not processed my loan. Why can they not go through the university to see if we are returning instead of getting more paper work to be filled in delaying the loans even more? Not having the loan is risking me loosing my house because I cannot pay my rent and understandably the landlord is not happy.
Alex Smith, Loughborough, UK

I have just found out (October 2009) my maintenance grant will not be paid because of missing documents. I sent all documents in June after many failed attempts to register online. I sent documents to Glasgow the first time, as requested online, only to have them sent back a few weeks later as being sent to wrong address. I am now in a position of not being able to pay next months rent and have to try to arrange an overdraft.
Nicholas Mead, Shaftesbury, Dorset

I started university eight weeks ago now, and I'm still waiting for my funding. I don't have anyone who can help me out without this money, so it's been tough trying to survive with little money to begin with, and no income. I've have to try and save money by not using transport to get to and from uni so I've been walking, but it's quite a distance away and I'm also just skipping lunch whilst at uni because I know if I do buy lunch then my money would run out within a week and I would have nothing. I've phoned up asking about my application a few times but each time the workers have been unable to help, just being very vague and not being very helpful to me at all. I have tried to get a hardship fund to help me whilst I have nothing but I was told you can't apply to that until November.
Kerry, Glasgow

The SLC has to be one of the most incompetent, inefficient and, ineffective organisations I have ever dealt with. Their uncaring attitude is beyond belief, their electronic system broke down in June and best advice was to send in the documentation which they cannot seem to find, even though they have information that could only be obtained through having that documentation. Calls are never answered, or you are passed from pillar to post. To expect students who have no funds to call expensive 0845 numbers (and wait for an average of 30+ minutes) is not acceptable. The whole shambolic mess should be thoroughly investigated and reviewed, clearly important lessons to be learnt and, huge improvements made to a flawed system.
Duncan King, Kent

The Students Loan Company is a sham, this is my fourth and final year at university and every year there has been problems. One year the students loan company told me they were not giving me my loan because they had not received my adoption papers....I am NOT adopted! So you can imagine the conversation with parents after that phone call.
Krystelle Harries, Llanelli, Wales

I applied in June. The most frustrating thing has been the student helpline. It is so difficult to get through and the staff often seem lacking in knowledge and have given conflicting reasons why my application had been delayed. On two occasions I have been told that someone would ring me back to confirm progress with my application but no one has. The service is so unprofessional and not being able to speak to anyone who is reliable and competent makes my situation very stressful.
Rebecca Brown, Woking

My daughter has returned to University to complete her PGCE teacher training course. Her course started at the beginning of September and she is still awaiting her student finance. Her application was in well before the deadline. We have experienced total chaos when dealing with Student Finance England. My daughter was sent a financial statement with the wrong university, course and year. Although it was their error she had to complete and send to them a Change of Information form, this took four weeks to input onto their system. There are constant requests for further information from me for means testing. They could have asked for all the information in one go at the beginning and when that information was received by them it still took two weeks to be put on their system. After all that they still lose information and all this time I am having to support my daughter financially so she can continue her course, not easy for a working class mum. I have spoken with people at Student Finance England who haven't a clue about what they are doing but have also spoken to very caring personnel who are clearly swamped with the task. I am not sure how much longer I can support my daughter and it is heartbreaking for her to have this worry when she has worked so hard to get where she is today.
Liz Swann, Canvey Island

I am still waiting for my disability funding - I applied in June 2009 - you cannot get through to them via the telephone - they have not replied to any of the letters I have sent recorded delivery and have only replied to one of my emails. My course has started and I feel disadvantaged - I need my grant to help towards the cost of the support I require.
Adam Turner-Giddings, Wolverhampton

I applied many months ago and I am still waiting. About a quarter of people on my course have been paid and I am feeling very stressed as I am having to pay out for petrol to get to uni. I am also having to pay for childcare as the providers cannot wait for their money. Student finance still have both mine and my daughter's birth certificates and I am praying they have not lost them as they were both originals.
Rachel, Taunton, Somerset

I applied to student finance on 1 August and gave them all the correct information required. I was due to receive my loan on 21 September but still am yet to receive it. I have contacted student finance and they say it's due to confirmation of my National Insurance number, but why does that take over two months?
Chris Barrett, Fareham



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