Skip links

How to Apply for a Hardship Loan/Fund by International Students in UK?

UK educational study can be fulfilling. Nonetheless, you may find yourself lacking in finances in the process. The financial hardships may not allow you to fully discover who you are and have the opportunity to live life to the fullest. This is where the hardship fund or loan would come in handy. This blog is a comprehensive resource for international students seeking to understand and access hardship funding in the UK.

Keep reading to learn more about…

What is Hardship Funding?

Hardship funding is a financial support system universities provide to students facing financial struggles. The fund is aimed at students who simply cannot afford their living expenses due to unforeseen events. 

To qualify, the hardship grants UK must be genuine, significantly hindering the student’s ability to continue their studies. Students in these circumstances may apply for the hardship funds provided by their university. 

These funds can be delivered through one-time payments or periodic instalments, depending on the financial situation of such students.

How Does Hardship Funding Work For International Students in the UK?

Hardship funding offers financial considerations to students who experience financial burdens during their studies. Some of these students are confronted with financial issues. 

Nevertheless, difficulties are often seen as a consequence of unavoidable conditions gradually resulting in monetary struggles. The situations listed below are considered hardships for receiving a hardship allowance.

  • Students with disabilities
  • Homeless students or those living in temporary housing
  • Single parents or students with children
  • Students from low-income families
  • Care leavers or those previously in care
  • Mature students with many financial responsibilities

Where To Find Student Hardship Funds?

Information about your university’s hardship fund is accessible through your university’s website or by contacting your course director or student union. To simplify your search, we’ve gathered a list of several universities providing hardship funds for international students in UK.

UK Universities Providing Hardship Supports

    University Name             Fund Name   Amount Granted
University of London University of London Hardship Grant Up to £3,000/ INR 3.01 lakh
University of Bristol University Hardship Fund (Digital support fund and financial assistance fund) Non-UK Students- Hardship Fund
Oxford University Oxford Hardship Fund Up to £3,000/INR 3.01 lakh
The University of Cambridge Hardship Funding for Postgraduate Students Up to £2,000/INR 2.01 lakh
The University of Liverpool University Hardship Fund NA
Northumbria University NewCastle Hardship Fund NA
Loughborough University Hardship Funds Up to £250/INR 25,128
The University of Arts London Hardship fund-International students £250- £2,000/INR 25,128- INR 2.01 lakh
The University of Essex Hardship fund Up to £1,500/INR 1.50 lakh

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for hardship grants UK are essential to understand before applying. Here are the general requirements:

  • International students, UK students, and pre-settled EU students without funds from a UK funding body are eligible.
  • Students who are estranged from both parents or have been victims of fraud can apply.
  • Eligible for financial hardship loan UK or grants, in case your financial hardship arises due to declaring funds to cover tuition and living expenses to UKVI for sponsorship, you qualify.
  • The grant is open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • If on-time stipend payment is problematic, indicate it in your Statement of Purpose for the grants board’s attention.
  • Some universities require you to maintain under £500 in all your bank accounts.
  • Additionally, some universities may need proof that tuition fees have been arranged to prevent the grant from being used for tuition payments.

Non-Eligible Candidates

Not every student is eligible to receive hardship funding in the UK. The following categories of students are not considered for hardship grants UK or loans:

  • Students who have shown multiple repeat years in their academic performance may not qualify for financial hardship grant UK or loans.
  • Students who have temporarily suspended their studies for an agreed duration will not be eligible for hardship funding, including emergency hardship loans.

It’s vital to understand the eligibility criteria before applying hardship loans for students or funds, ensuring they meet the requirements to receive financial support during challenging times.

Step-By-Step Application Process

Hardship funds for international students in UK offer financial assistance to those encountering unforeseen obstacles. When you need to apply for hardship loan or grant, below outlines the application process necessary for students to be eligible for a financial hardship grant UK.

  • Start by visiting the official website of the university you attend.
  • Look for a section on “hardship fund” or “financial assistance.” This will explain the application process in detail.
  • Find and download the application form for the hardship grant. Carefully fill out all the information they ask for.
  • You’ll need documents to prove your hardship. This might include bills, bank statements, or a letter explaining your situation.
  • Clearly explain why you’re facing financial hardship and how it’s due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Double-check everything, then submit the completed form and your documents to the department you downloaded from (usually by email). 

Essential Document Checklist

International students applying for a hardship fund UK must provide specific documents and evidence to support their application. Below is a checklist of the evidence required for the application process:

  • Proof of expenses incurred due to the bereavement of a parent/guardian/sibling, if applicable.
  • Debt collection letters are proof of outstanding debts.
  • Doctor’s note as proof of disability.
  • Confirmation of being under 25 years old and not in contact with either/both parents for at least a year if applying for the grant under the estrangement from parents’ category.
  • At least three months of recent bank statements.
  • Household income evidence includes parents/guardian/partner’s pay slips.
  • Copy of the tenancy agreement, if applicable.
  • Crime reference number if the applicant has been a victim of fraud.
  • Caring responsibility evidence, including a birth certificate of children or proof of dependency for adults.
  • Redundancy letters impact parental/guardian income if earnings are lost.
  • Care leaver proof – Documentation from an official authority confirming previous looked-after status.

Note: Ensure all documentation is accurate, up-to-date, and relevant to your financial circumstances when submitting your hardship fund UK application.


Accessing hardship funds or loans can provide crucial financial support for international students in the UK facing unexpected challenges. For assistance navigating the application process, turn to Global Edu Care.


How much can I get for the student hardship fund?

Depending on the university, hardship funds for international students in UK will range from £250 to £2,000. No university grants a hardship fund of less than £250.

What should I do if my application is declined?

If your hardship fund application is denied, you can appeal the decision at certain universities. Alternatively, if your initial application or appeal is unsuccessful, explore alternative sources of financial assistance.

 How long does it take for student hardship fund payments to be processed?

Generally, payments are processed within 20 working days. However, processing times may vary depending on the university administering the funds.