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Guidance for students from Scotland


Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) assesses student finance applications and pays bursaries for students from Scotland. They do not pay student loans.

Student Loans Company (SLC) pays loans to students from across the UK and collects their loan repayments.

When will I get my first payment?

We cannot pay your loan until your course has started and you’ve registered with your university or college. If you’re not sure when your course starts, you should check with your university or college.

You can check the payment status of your loan by looking at your loan payment letter.

Your loan payment date will change too. This is because we cannot pay your loan until your course has started and you’ve registered with your university or college.

If you’re eligible for a bursary, SAAS can still pay that on your original course start date. This means it’s likely you’ll get paid your bursary and your loan on different days.

Why does my loan payment letter say ‘awaiting NI’?

This means we’re waiting for your National Insurance (NI) number to be checked with the Department for Work and Pensions. This can take a few weeks from when you applied for funding. We can’t pay your loan until we’ve checked and confirmed your NI number.

If you haven’t given us an NI number yet or you need to change the one you have given us, call us on 0300 100 0609.

How do I change my bank details?

You’ll need to call us on 0300 100 0609. You’ll need to do this even if you’ve already changed your bank details with SAAS because they only pay your bursary.

I work for the NHS in Scotland and got paid a £500 bonus in February, how will this affect my student loan repayments?

If you’re earning over the repayment threshold, the Scottish Government confirmed in December that the £500 payments for health and social care staff would be liable for student loan repayments, as well as tax and National Insurance contributions. So you may find that your student loan repayment in February is higher than usual, as a result of the £500 bonus. Find out more on the Scottish Government website.

If you normally earn under the repayment threshold but your £500 NHS bonus has taken your February salary over the monthly repayment threshold, you could be due a refund at the end of the tax year. You’ll have to wait until 6 April before you can request the refund so we can confirm your annual income was below the repayment threshold.

If you’re not due to start repaying your student loan until April 2021, but you’ve noticed student loan repayments being deducted from your salary, you can contact us to request a refund.

How do I check the progress of my SAAS application?

SAAS do not pay student loans. SAAS assesses loan applications and pays bursaries for students from Scotland.

You should sign in to your SAAS account to check if your application has been assessed.

The Scottish Government has announced they’ll be issuing a one-off payment for further education (FE) and higher education (HE) students to allow them to complete their studies. You might qualify for this if you’ve had to extend or repeat your studies due to COVID-19.

If you think you’re eligible there’s no need to do anything as Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) are working closely with colleges and universities to identify which students are affected. The one-off payment will be provided by SAAS, who’ll be in contact with you if you qualify. If you have any further questions you should speak to your college or university. For more info on the one-off payment visit

For questions about loan payments, phone us on 0300 100 0609.
Open Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturday from 9am to 4pm

For questions about repaying your loan, phone us on 0300 100 0611 or message us on Facebook or Twitter.
SLC can only answer questions about loan payments and repayments. For any other questions, you should contact SAAS.

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