The Students’ Union is introducing a brand new, interest free, short-term loan scheme to help students with short-term cash flow issues.
This is in response to students telling us that their finances were a big worry for them, and partially in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Where practical the loan would be in the form of the Union buying what you need, rather than giving you money directly. This could be for many things, including vouchers for food or for books.
How much can I borrow?
The loan can up to a maximum value of £200. The maximum amount cannot be exceeded.
What can the loan be used for?
The loans are intended to help you in an emergency. We are likely to approve loans where you are clearly struggling and where a loan would make a clear difference to you financially.
We hope that a small loan can help address short-term needs, but our loans are not designed to address long term or general financial hardship. If we think you could benefit from other sources of support, we will help put you in touch with other organisations that can help.
We cannot approve loans to help you make payments toward large existing debts or anticipated expenses such as rent. If you are in this scenario we’re likely to help you seek other sources of support.
I am Muslim or of another faith that forbids usury, I’m not sure if this loan would be accessible to me?
Our loan is totally interest free, so we hope that it is accessible to students of all faiths.
If you could benefit from the loan but you’re concerned it isn’t accessible for you due to your faith then please get in touch with us at email@example.com and we can have a chat about your worries.
Am I eligible?
To apply, applicants must meet one of the following Eligibility criteria:
- be a registered and current City student;
- be facing a resit attempt or in some other way remaining a continuing student (such as pending appeal). Applicants must not be simply waiting for graduation.
- be a withdrawn student or graduate and have an active or ongoing case with the Union Advice service which has not been closed, and was started within 12 months of withdrawal/graduation. Loans will be granted at the discretion of Union Advice based upon the facts of the case.
International students must have enough time left on their student visa to repay the loan.
How can I apply for a loan, what is the process?
You must fill in our Application Form in full and send this to firstname.lastname@example.org
The form will ask you to provide information about your finances, your situation, how much you would like to borrow and how this will be used.
You will then need to see an Advisor (via Microsoft Teams) for an appointment to run through your application and talk through your financial circumstances. Based on our discussion, will agree the amount that you need to address your needs and your repayment plan.
After your appointment, the Advisor will decide on your loan.
How long does an application take?
We hope that the whole process can be completed within around one week. If you are in emergency need then please make this clear in your application.
- We will check your application to make sure everything is complete within one working day.
- We will also book an appointment with you within one working day. Your appointment will normally be held within the next week.
- A decision on the loan will be made within two working days, with payment processed shortly thereafter.
What evidence do I need?
For requests up to £100
We will look through your income and expenditure, but generally we will not request evidence from you for these applications.
For requests up to £200
These requests must include some evidence of your current financial situation. This must be brought to the appointment.
If evidence is not brought to the appointment then this will delay your application.
Evidence can be provided via a combination of the following:
- The Advice Manager witnessing you logging in and showing your online bank accounts during an appointment.
- Credit or debit transactions which are not self-explanatory and larger than £50 must be annotated or clarified.
- Print-out or mini-statement from an ATM machine showing the state of bank accounts on the day of the application.
- Evidence of all income and expenditure
- Evidence of financial hardship – bills, rent, or other debts.
- Evidence of any state benefits received
You should only have to provide one of the above forms of evidence.
International students will need to show a copy of their passport.
How can I repay?
The loan is interest free and can be repaid over up to six months. We would work with you on what a realistic repayment schedule would look like based on your budget.
Why might you reject an application?
There are a few reasons we might reject an application, and it depends on the circumstances of your request:
- There is no demonstrable emergency need
- The loan is to buy non-essential items or for non-essential bills
- Where the request is to ‘tide you over’ between one student loan payment and another, and where the loan repayments would further reduce your income
- Where there’s clear evidence that the loan cannot be repaid, or will push you into further debt
- Loans cannot be used for anticipated expenses such as rent or deposits
- Where there is evidence of poor financial choices which have directly caused you to run out of money
- Recent money transfers that cannot be accounted for
- You have an outstanding Short-Term Loan with us. If you have partially repaid, then we would only be able to issue another loan up to an amount that matches what you have already repaid
There is no appeal against a rejected application.