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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Student Finance England: customer promise

If you apply for student loans or grants, there is a level of service you can expect from Student Finance England. In return, there are some things you can do to ensure you get the best service from Student Finance England.

What is Student Finance England's 'customer promise'?

One:

To deliver an efficient and effective student finance service to all customers.

Two:

To process your correctly completed student finance application quickly and let you know how much student finance you will get.

  1. For Tuition Fee Loans, Maintenance Loans and Maintenance Grants, Student Finance England will process your application within six weeks.
  2. If you are applying for Disabled Students’ Allowances, Student Finance England will assess your eligibility within two weeks. If you are eligible, Student Finance England will then assess your ‘Needs Assessment Report’ within two weeks.

Three:

To pay you the right amount of student finance once your university or college has confirmed your attendance (if you apply correctly and on time).

Four:

To pay you at least the basic Maintenance Loan once your university or college has confirmed your attendance (if you apply late or don’t supply all the necessary evidence).

Student Finance England will pay any additional funds that are due to you once they’ve received all the information and evidence they need from you - and they’ve completed your assessment.

Five:

To reply to your enquiries quickly and efficiently by:

  • answering all written correspondence within four weeks
  • aiming to answer 90 per cent of customer calls

How Student Finance England will achieve their customer promise

Student Finance England will do this by:

  • ensuring staff are well informed, efficient, friendly and helpful
  • providing specialist support staff to work with you, if your circumstances are complex
  • providing clear and easy-to-understand information, advice and guidance
  • publishing clear deadlines
  • providing a reliable, secure and simple application service:
    - online for Tuition Fee Loans, Maintenance Loans and Maintenance Grants
    - on paper for all ‘targeted support’ such as Disabled Students’ Allowances and the Childcare Grant
  • telling you of any action you need to take in good time – this will help Student Finance England process your payment accurately and on time
  • listening to your feedback to improve Student Finance England services
  • working in partnership with other organisations you may deal with - such as UCAS and your university or college - to ensure that together they provide the best service possible
  • telling you where you can find other organisations or information that can help you

How you can help get the best service from Student Finance England

You can do this by:

  • making sure you find out about student finance and are well informed before you make your application
  • asking Student Finance England if you don’t understand something
  • having all your details and information to hand if you need to phone Student Finance England, so your call can be dealt with quickly and efficiently
  • being patient - calls can take longer to answer during peak processing times (mid August to mid October)
  • letting Student Finance England know if you need someone to act on your behalf
  • applying by the deadline
  • providing all the supporting evidence that Student Finance England ask for
  • signing and returning your ‘Online Declaration Form’ – you are sent this when you complete your application online
  • responding quickly to any extra requests for information
  • ensuring your parents or partner, or anyone who is supporting your application, also provide all the information and evidence that they are asked for
  • making sure you give Student Finance England the correct bank details for your payments
  • letting Student Finance England know if any of your circumstances change
  • registering on your course – you won’t get your money until you do

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