Parental income question
in Student MoneySaving
4 replies 634 views
I have been a single mum for 14 years and have one son (20) at uni and another (18) going in September. My eldest son gets the maximum maintenance loan because of my income. Last year I met a lovely man who has since moved in with me and now I believe we will be jointly responsible for topping up my 2 boys loans? He has 3 kids of his own who live with their mother 75% of the time and us the rest of the time but for whom he (rightly) contributes a great deal. My boys dad gives me nothing and never has. This seems so unfair. They won't pursue my boys dad so he gets away scot free and yet my new man is now expected to be responsible for 5 kids! Although we share household bills we each take responsibility for our own childrens additional costs, but this will now mean that I will have to ask him to contribute as I'll be unable to on my own. I've told both of the boys they will need to pay something towards it too. Has anyone had a similar experience and do they have any advice? Thanks Sarah
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In reality a lot of people who know how the financing works would postpone formally living together for a few years.
I moved out at 18 to live in my uni city permanently and then dropped out of my course. A few years later my mum's boyfriend moved in with her, and her household income went from about £15k to £60k. When I went back to uni at 23, despite living with my partner, owning our own house and having supported myself financially for 5 years, student finance still took my mum's household income into account, meaning my finance went from around £12k per year between loans, grants and scholarships, to the minimum of £3.8k.
It's absolute rubbish, but unfortunately the way they see things and there isn't any legal way around it. Declaring your partner a lodger or not declaring him living with you would also be counted as fraud and invalidate the entire loan if they ever found out, so really not worth considering either.
ETA: It's worth looking at the student finance calculators online for an idea of how much your boys will be entitled to. For a 40k household income, they would still get a loan of £7,225 - which is more than they would have got under the old system of loans and grants.
There are also some well-paid student jobs advertised in the unions and through the universities, and many students do manage to work alongside uni. Although it would definitely be nice to not have to work, it is manageable!
I understood three years of being financially independent were now sufficient.
Marriage also moves the assessment from parent to spouse.