HMRC issues new warnings to students to avoid delays in university funding

HMRC has issued a new warning to students about sorting out their finances ahead of the new academic year. The tax authorities advise young people to use the app to solve any problems, instead of calling the helpline, as they prepare for higher education courses in September.

Prospective university students are encouraged to ‘tap the app’ for all the information needed to complete their funding applications. HMRC is urging those who need a student loan for the 2024/25 academic year to start their applications without delay.

According to HMRC figures, more than 112,000 customers contacted the National Insurance Helpline to retrieve a lost or forgotten NI number in the year leading up to March 2024, with almost half of these callers aged between 16 and 20 was old. The data also shows that May is the peak month for inquiries, which aligns with the time when students typically apply for their loans.

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Suzanne Newton, HMRC’s Director General for Change Delivery, highlighted the ease of use of the app, saying: “Getting your NI number is easy with a tap on HMRC’s app and young people should make use of it. Download the HMRC app today directly from your phone’s app store to get all the information you need quickly and easily.”

In addition to their NI number, those applying for university funding will also need a working email address. a bank account in your own name. a valid British passport and their course details. Students can also apply for money to help with living expenses. How much they get depends on their family income and where they live while they study. Parents and partners of students must also have their own Citizen Service Number to hand.

Missing details on an application may mean a delay in receiving loan payments on time for the start of the course. So it is important to keep essential details available, HMRC said.

Bill Watkin, CEO of the Sixth Form Colleges Association, said: “Downloading details from the HMRC app will speed up the process of applying for a student loan. Preparing for higher education can be a time-consuming process for sixth form students , so we are I am happy that this will help reduce the administrative burden on young people.”

Searching for NI information is one of the most popular searches on the HMRC app with almost 900,000 views in the last year and more than 430,000 downloads of national insurance cards to customers’ digital wallets. It is available and easily accessible when they need it.

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