Normally, if you are an undergraduate degree student from the UK, the application and payment process is as follows:
- You make an application for funding to Student Finance, usually online at www.gov.uk/student-finance
- Student Finance process and assess your application. This can take 4 to 6 weeks.
- Student Finance confirm in writing that your application has been approved, and confirm the amounts of funding that they will pay.
- You sign and return your 'Online Declaration Form', which is your signature agreeing to the Terms & Conditions of your borrowing from the Student Loans Company.
- For new students only, Student Loans Company check your National Insurance Number with the Department of Works and Pensions. This can take a week to process.
- Once you have started your course, the University confirms this electronically with Student Finance, and your first payment is released into your bank account. This can take a further 3 to 5 working days.
Therefore, as long as you have applied for funding in plenty of time, once you have registered at University and started your course, your student finance should be in your bank account within the first few days of your course.
However, if you have made a late student finance application, or there is any delay in any of the above steps e.g. Student Finance ask for more documents/evidence etc, then the result may be that your first payment is delayed.
The first step here is for you to contact Student Finance England and ask them how long they estimate your application will take to get processed and your money paid to you. This will help you plan ahead.