How to Apply for ESTA

Why Apply for ESTA

Esta is an electronic system used to for authorization of travelling in the United States for the British people and other international travellers who wish to visit the US under the VISA Waiver Program. To apply for an ESTA authorization you need to be a British citizen or an eligible national of a country member of the Visa Waiver Program. You need also to not have a visitor’s visa for the United States, your travel has to be no more than 90 days and your travelling in the US to be for business or pleasure.
ESTA ApplicationYou can apply for an ESTA authorization for just one person or for a group of applicants. ESTA is an electronic system and it take just a few seconds to receive an answer because is automated and there is no need for human approval. It is recommended to apply for at least 72 hours before travelling to the United States, but you can do it earlier if you want. ESTA is not a VISA and if you already have a valid VISA to travel in the United States, then there is no need to apply for ESTA. An approved ESTA will not guarantee you the admission to the United States, as well as it doesn’t an approved VISA.

What you need to Apply for ESTA

When you want to apply for ESTA you will need a valid British passport or a valid passport from a country member of the Visa Waiver Program, you will need also a valid credit card such as VISA, Mastercard, Discover or American express to pay for the ESTA application; you can also pay with PayPal if you have an account with them. You will need also to provide your contact information such as name and address and also your last employment information if this is available. The contact details are necessary to see if your travel poses a law enforcement or security risk.

ESTA Application Fees

When you apply for ESTA authorization you will have to pay a processing fee required by the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 of the United States and it has two parts:

– a processing charge of $4.00
– an authorization charge of $10.00 if your application is approved and you will receive the right to travel to the US under the VISA Waiver Program;

The fee of$10.00 is charged only when the authorization for your travel is approved, if denied you will be charged only the processing charge of $4.00.

How to Apply for ESTA

ESTA New Application

Step 1 – Enter the main ESTA website

To apply for this authorization you need first to visit the ESTA website and start the application. You will see there as you can see in the picture above two buttons, the New Application button and the Check existing application. Click the New Application button and you will be taken down below on the page to the Apply for a new ESTA section. You will see there another two buttons, the Individual Application and Group of applications as you can see in the picture below.

Step 2 – Start the ESTA Application

ESTA Individual Application
On this step of your ESTA application you have two choices: click the Individual Application or the Group of Application button, depending on what you need to apply for. If you are applying only for yourself, click Individual Application. When you click the Individual Application a popup window will open and you are informed that you will access a secure page of Department of Homeland Security and that there is no expectation of privacy taking in consideration you will need to provide personal details such name and address. If you accept the terms, just click Confirm & Continue button.
ESTA Disclaimer
On the next page you will see a Disclaimer and The Travel Promotion Act of 2009. Read them carefully and click Yes if you have read and understand the terms or No if you can’t accept the terms. If you click No, another popup window will open with further clarification regarding the terms and conditions. When you click Yes, you are able to click the Next button and you will be take to the next page where you will have to enter the Applicant information.

Step 3 – Enter ESTA Application Information

ESTA Application Information
On this page you will have to fill the Applicant information; first you need to enter the passport information such as:
-Family Name
-First Name

If you are known by any other names or aliases, please enter them here. You need to enter then the personal details:

-Date of Birth of the applicant
-City of Birth
-Country of Birth
-Passport Number
-Country of Citizenship
-Personal Identification Number
-National Identification Number

There is also a Social Media section which is optional and Employment information where you have to enter the:
-Job Title
-Employer name

When everything is filled, please click the Next button and you will be taken to the next step.

Step 4 – Enter your Travel information

On this section please fill the city of departure before arriving in the United States, also the airline you will be travelling with, flight number or the vessel name if you come from the sea, the address where you will be staying while in the US and if you will stay in multiple location, enter the first one; you need also the city where you will be staying in the United States and also the itineraries that you will be taking on your trip.

Step 5 – Answer the Eligibility Questions

On this page you need to provide information about your health; if you have a transmissible disease such as HIV, Syphilis infectious stage, Leprosy, Tuberculosis active, Granuloma inguinale, Chancroid or any Mental health and Physical disorders. If you don’t have any of these diseases, tick the No and go further; tick no also if you are not a drug addict or drug abuse. If you have been arrested or convicted for an offence relating to a controlled substance you need to write that on the application. If you are or you have been involved in espionage or sabotage you need also to write it down. Fill also the field where you need to answer if you have been detained, withheld or retained custody of a child from a United States citizen. If you have been denied for a US Visa in the past you should also tell them or if your VISA has been canceled.

Step 6 – Review ESTA Application

On this step you need to verify if all the filled information is correct and if not you have to modify it.

Step 7 – Pay the ESTA Processing Fee

Prepare a credit card to pay for the Processing Fee and also for the ESTA Authorization if your application is accepted.

ESTA Group Application

ESTA Gropup application
If you need to start an application for a group, please click the Group Application instead of Individual Application. When you apply for a group up to a maximum of 50 persons you will pay in a single payment. First you need to enter the Group Contact Person details and then details for each individual. Follow the steps on the ESTA website presented in this article for the individual application and you should do just fine.

ESTA Availability

When your application is approved you can travel multiple times to the US in the two years period of time or until your passport will expire. There is a possibility of your ESTA authorization to be revoked at any time for different reasons. If the ESTA is about to expire and you are still in the US, this will not affect your travel. Even if ESTA is valid for two years, you can not stay more than 90 days in the US, for a longer period you need to apply for a VISA.

ESTA Application Overview

To apply online for ESTA is not a difficult thing to do, you just need to fill your information like name and address, your last employment details and if you are a honest citizen you shouldn’t have any problems in getting your application approved. You need to know though that if your application is approved, this will not guarantee your entrance in the United States of America.

Apply for Employment and Support Allowance in the UK (ESA)

Employment and Support Allowance in the UK

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a social benefit that helps ill or disabled workers to finance their cost of living. However, for those workers who have the possibility to return to work in near future, the scheme has additional provision for personalised assistance.

Regular employees, self-employed persons, students as well as unemployed citizens are all covered under this support program. A transition to ESA from other social benefits is also possible.

However, your application for ESA benefit claim is accepted and processed only when you submit a Work Capability Assessment report. If the report finds you enough capable of working, your application is going to be cancelled. You’ll be then accommodated in a support group or in an activity group.

What are the different types of ESA?

  1. Contribution-based ESA is a support allowance for those who have already made sizeable National Insurance contributions.
  2. Income-based ESA, on the other hand, is independent of the contribution, if any, that you have made. It is added to your contribution-based ESA if your income is below a certain level.
  3. New Style ESA. This ESA is for single persons living in Scotland, Wales and England. Families too can claim this ESA if they are located anywhere in the Universal Credit area.

Workers Applying for ESA

  • Your age is under state pension age. That means, you must not be born before 6th April 1953 (for female applicants) or 6th April 1951 (for male applicants).
  • You are not receiving social benefits like jobseekers’ allowance.
  • You are not enjoying on-the-job benefits like Statutory Maternity Pay and Statutory Sick Pay.
  • You are not under immigration control and your visa doesn’t say No Recourse to Public Funds. If your visa doesn’t permit you but you still want to apply for ESA benefit claim, first talk to your nearest local Citizens Advice.
  • Students can also apply for ESA claim if they are currently on Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance.
  • English or Irish citizens who are living and working abroad are also entitled to the benefits subject to certain restrictions.

Use this Benefits Calculator to further check your eligibility.

What are the ESA benefit rates?

When you apply for Employment and Support Allowance, you don’t know how much you are going to get or whether you are getting it at all. ESA benefit rates vary from one beneficiary to another. Many factors are taken into consideration like age, financial condition, the degree of disability or illness etc.

Employment and Support Allowances

  • Maximum £57.90 weekly if your age is below 25 years.
  • Maximum £73.10 weekly if your age is 25 years or more.

Only after 13 such weeks, the real ESA benefit rates apply. Depending on the group in which you’re included, you’re going to get either:

  • Maximum £109.30 weekly (Support Group) or
  • Maximum £102.15 weekly (Activity Group)

An extra weekly premium of £15.75 is paid to people who are in the support group and are getting income-related benefits. For complex disabilities, the rate is £61.85 weekly.  In the case of extreme financial hardships, there is also the provision of hardship payment.

For receiving the benefits, provide either your bank account number, your credit union number or your building society account number. The payment is going to come twice a month.

However, don’t take these payments as granted. Your ESA benefit rates can be significantly reduced if you don’t adhere to the agreed terms. In case this happens to you, immediately get in touch with your local council for advice.

How to apply for Employment and Support Allowance?

There are, in fact, two very easy processes to apply for ESA benefit claim. One is by calling the concerned authority and the other is by filling the appropriate form. It is eventually not possible to apply for ESA online. If you are filling up the form you must submit it manually to the concerned authority.

Apply for ESA by Phone

This is the easiest and quickest option to get your ESA benefit claim reviewed. However, depending on the type of ESA you are applying, you have to choose the relevant contact details.

  • For income-related and contribution-based ESA, use the ESA free number 0800 055 6688.
  • For the Welsh ESA free number, use 0800 012 1888.
  • Those applying for new style ESA must choose from the two more alternative phone numbers, 0345 600 0723 and 0345 600 4272.

If your area is not included in these two categories and if you are living with your family, try applying for a different type of ESA. If you are single, seek guidance calling the live service number.

You can also call these numbers to ask for an application form in large print, audio cd or in Braille.

Apply for ESA Filling in the Form

This is the mandatory step to apply for Employment and Support Allowance. You find the ESA1 from on the website of Department of Work and Pension. You can download it, fill in the soft copy and then print it out. Alternatively, you can print it first and then fill it with a pen. In any case, you have to submit it to your nearest Jobcentre Plus Office.

In addition to this form, some people need to submit the ESA50 form, which is a questionnaire about applicant’s health condition or disability. In some cases, a medical certificate must also be submitted. You need to submit these documents only if Department for Work and Pensions asks you to do so.

Before starting to fill in the form, read the instructions carefully.

The form contains information on how to and where to send the application.It also includes a full guide on ESA benefits and eligibility criteria. Read this and start filling in the form.The subsequent pages ask for information on yourself and your partner and also on your disability or illness.

Employment and Support Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance

You must also give the specifics about your claim, about your past working life etc.Don’t forget to fill the relevant section if you are currently working and living in any other country.

Employment and Support Allowance

If you’re an immigrant, please fill the required section.

Employment and Support Allowance

The department also wants to know if you’re receiving any other type of special or job-related benefits.While deciding on your claim, the department is also going to review your educational background and skills, your residential and family conditions etc.Lastly,  furnish details of your bank or any other money transaction account, so that the payouts reach you.

Employment and Support Allowance

Other than submitting the form to the job centre, you can also post it directly to Department for Work and Pensions. However, the evaluation of the application is a lengthy process, sometimes taking even a year to complete.

Note: Those applying for both types of ESA benefits, must fill in both the relevant sections of the form for him/herself and also for the partner.

After starting to receive ESA benefit claim, if you, at any point of time, relocate to Northern Ireland, make sure you inform the ESA centre. They are going to change and update your location. If you fail to do this, your benefits are going to be stopped.

Apply for ESA in Northern Ireland

Are you currently in Northern Ireland? Find out the procedure to apply for ESA claim in Northern Ireland.

The procedure is pretty similar to that in the UK. You can either call the ESA center or send them a text message. Alternatively, fill the ESA form and send it to the following address:

Mail Opening Unit

PO Box 42


BT49 4AN

For telephone or text message, the relevant numbers are:

Telephone: 0800 085 6318

Text phone: 0800 328 3419

General enquiry: 0845 602 7301 and 0300 123 3012

ESA benefit rates and everything else regarding the application procedure remain same also in Northern Ireland.

What documents are needed to apply for ESA claim?

To apply for ESA claim, you must have the following information and copies of documents ready to submit:

  • Your mobile number and your home contact number
  • Address of the GP and also its phone number
  • Your unique National Insurance number
  • Your bank details
  • Information on any other financial benefit that you are receiving
  • Medical certificate describing and proving your illness or disability
  • Your employer’s address and contact number along with the first and last date of employment
  • Mortgage or rent details, if any and
  • Council tax bill

What to do if the application is declined?

You can request the Department for Work and Pensions to reconsider your application. However, you must do this within a month from receiving the first cancellation letter. If such reconsideration doesn’t bring about favourable results, you can make an appeal to The Social Security and Child Support Tribunal.

Apply for a Credit Card

credit cards
Why Apply for a Credit Card

A credit card is a payment card, whose name comes from the physical object used a rectangular plastic card. It is one of the most fashionable and most used banking products. A credit card is different from a debit card in that it does not transfer money from the user’s account for each transaction. By using the credit card, the card issuer lends the holder some money. Using the credit card holder is not obliged to pay the accumulated debt immediately, it may delay the payment of debts later, the cost of payment of interest on the money owed.

How Credit Cards Work

how credit cards workThe credit card is funded by the bank providing the cardholder’s credit limit. For the use of the credit limit, the card holder is obliged to repay at the term’s minimum amount, representing a percentage of the amount used and the interest under the conditions stipulated in the credit card contract. A credit card is limitless because the amounts repaid can be reused after reimbursement.

Types of Credit Cards

There are many types of credit cards you can apply for: cards with no interest but with balance transfer fees, credit cards for a bad credit score or even reward credit cards or airline credit cards where you receive reward points or flying miles.

  • 0% balance transfer credit cards – you don’t have to pay interest but you have to pay balance transfer fees
  • 0% purchase credit cards – use these cards for large purchases or for regularly good and services without any interest
  • Low fee balance transfer credit cards – you can transfer a hefty balance from another credit card to this card for a more attractive interest rate
  • Credit cards for bad credit – if you have a bad credit score you should go for this credit card
  • Credit builder credit cards – build up your credit score if you had problems with debt in the past
  • Balance transfers and purchases – save money on retail purchases and balance transfers
  • Reward credit cards – receive rewards for paying the balance every month
  • Overseas spending credit cards – save money when spending abroad
  • Low rate credit cards – save money on retails purchases and balance transfers with low-interest rates
  • Money transfer credit cards – pay cash into your account
  • Airline credit cards – perfect for people who travel a lot, you can receive reward points or flying miles

How To Apply For a Credit Card

To apply for a credit card you need to understand first what is best for you. There are on the UK market a lot of credit card providers, usually, the banks or the building societies and you have to read and understand all the conditions before applying for a credit card.

Find the right credit card for you

find the best credit card
It is important to know why you need a credit card. Maybe you want to clear a debt that you currently have or want to get something in return for spending. If you do not know what kind of card you need, you should consult several types of cards, these cards are offered by banks and the offer is very variate.

Check your credit score

check credit score
When you apply for a credit card, the bank that provides this card will make a check in your past to see if you are creditworthy and if you have a bad history in relation to other loans.

f your credit score is good, so you more likely to get the desired credit card. To see how’s your credit score you should go to specialised sites in checking credit score. This will help you eliminate any surprises in being rejected and even you will be able to correct your credit score.

Check the offers and choose the credit card

credit card offersIt is important to check all credit card offers that may seem best and choose the one that suits you best. On the market, there are plenty of banks offering credit cards, but read carefully the terms and interest that banks charge. In the example from the picture above you can see that Santander is offering three cards you can choose from. No matter if you want to transfer a balance, to earn cashback, to travel abroad or to save on interest repayments, they got all covered. You can also find credit card comparison tables.

Complete the credit card application form

credit card application formIf you are determined and ready to apply for a credit card, go to the site of the bank that offers that credit card, select the desired card and complete the application form. As you can see from the picture above which is taken from the Sainsbury’s Credit Card application page, you have to enter details about yourself. You can complete this application online and also by mail or by telephone. Below you can see an example of how to apply for a credit card from Barclays Bank.

EX: How to Apply for a Barclaycard

Step 1 – Enter the main site of the bank

Barclays credit cards siteLet’s say you heard or saw an advertising on the internet or on the tv about Barclays Credit Cards. Go to the Barclays Bank homepage and find the credit cards section. Click Credit Cards link and you will see opening three other subsections: Choose a Barclaycard, Learn about credit cards and Barclaycard benefits. If you click the Choose a Barclaycard button you will see other buttons opening: Compare all credit cards, Balance transfer calculator, Balance transfer credit cards, Purchase credit cards, Rewards credit cards, Credit building credit card and Check if you’re eligible. Click then Compare all credit cards and go to step number 2.

Step 2 – Compare all Credit Cards

compare Barcays credit cards
On the credit cards comparison page, you will understand that a credit card can be a very good way of borrowing money and you can be in control of your finances spreading the cost of all goods you need to buy today and even earn rewards for purchases you make. Normally the banks are charging you interest on the money you borrow unless the balance is cleared every month or the offer you took was an interest-free offer.

Step 3 – Choose the best credit card for you

choose the best credit card
On this page you will see different types of credit cards you can apply for:

Balance transfer credit cards

Let’s say you are interested in balance transfer credit cards. You will see that below there are a few credit cards you can choose from. On the balance transfer credit cards, you will have 0% interest if you are a new customer with no other credit cards provided by Barclays. There is interest, just a fee for the balance transfer.

  • All-Rounder Platinum Card

all rounder platinum card

– a flexible card used for balance transfers and purchases;
– you have 0% interest on purchases for 25 months;
– 0% interest for 25 months on balance transfers within 60 days
– representative 18.9% APR
– purchase rate 18.9% p.a.
– assumed credit limit £1,200
– no annual fee

  • 37 Months Balance Transfer Platinum card

37 month balance transfer platinum card

– a credit card with maximum flexibility if you pay quickly your balance
– representative APR 18.9%
– purchase rate 18.9% p.a.
– assumed credit limit £1,200
– no annual fee

  • 32 Months balance transfer Platinum card

platinum card

– a perfect credit card with a lower fee and less time to pay the balance
– 0% interest for 32 months on balance transfers
– 0.6% balance transfer fee
– representative APR 18.9%
– purchase rate p.a. 18.9%
– assumed credit limit £1,200
– no annual fee

  • No fee 24 months balance transfer Platinum card

platinum card

– perfect card if you transfer the balance but don’t want to pay fees
– 0% interest for 24 months on balance transfers
– 0% balance transfer fee
– representative APR 18.9%
– purchase rate p.a. 18.9%
– assumed credit limit £1,200
– no annual fee

  • 18 months balance transfer Platinum card

platinum card

– perfect for an average credit history and you want a balance transfer
– 0% interest for 18 months on balance transfers (2.99% fee applies)
– representative APR 24.9%
– purchase rate p.a. 24.9%
– assumed credit limit £1,200
– no annual fee

  • Freedom Rewards card with purchase offer and balance transfer

freedom rewards credit card

– you earn Freedom points to redeem for rewards
– 0% interest on purchases for a year
– 0% interest for a year on balance transfers(0.15% fee applies)
– representative APR 21.9%
– purchase rate p.a. 21.9%
– assumed credit limit £1,200
– no annual fee

Step 4 – Credit Card Eligibility

credit card eligibility

Before applying for a Barclays card you need to check your eligibility for a credit card because it is easy to use; it is free; it will not affect your credit rating and you will get your eligibility answer in just a few minutes. You have to answer some easy questions like your name, employment status; if you have currently other accounts with Barclays and some other questions. If you are eligible to apply for a credit card, go to the next step and start the application process.

Step 5 – Apply for the Credit Card

barclays credit card application

If you found yourself eligible to apply for a credit card, it’s time to start the application process. First click the Apply now button that will take you to the Barclaycard Platinum credit card application page. You will need to enter your personal details like the Name and address, home telephone, your address, and employment details as long as your Bank details. You will also have to answer why and how you want to use your credit card. A decision about your credit card will take no more than 1 minute.

Apply for Barclaycard by Phone

If you find difficult the process of applying online for a Barclaycard, then you can apply by phone. To do that simply call the Barclaycard applications and new customers phone number 0800 731 0200 from Monday to Sunday, 8am – 11pm.

Apply for a Loan

A loan is borrowing money from one entity, organisation or individual; a debt given by a bank or another entity for a certain interest rate that is stipulated in a contract between the two parties. This contract may include details about the interest rate and the date and time that will repay the borrowed money. In a loan, a borrower receives a certain amount of money from the bank and is required to return at a certain date. This loan has a cost and this cost is interest on the borrowed money and all these details are stipulated in the loan agreement.

Why Apply for a Loan?


There are a few reasons why you should apply for a loan. Borrowing money from a bank to buy a car could be cheaper than the car dealer finance, for example. You can also apply for a loan to consolidate your debts together and could help you to keep them under control. If you want to improve your home you could also apply for a loan and make your like better. Of course, there are many other reasons you could get a loan for but this is different from individual to individual.

Personal Loans

personal loans

If you think to buy yourself a car or you need some items in your house, like a sofa or a tv or maybe you just want to go on a vacation. For many people, this cost can not be covered by the regular income. To cover these expenses you need to borrow money from a financial institution. The personal loan is different from a credit card because it can get you a fixed amount of money for which you pay an interest and you know how much you have to pay each month. With a personal loan you can borrow up to £25,000 and if you want more you will need to put up a property as a security measure.

If you borrow more money, the interest will be smaller and so it is maybe better sometimes to borrow more to have a lower interest. Normally the banks and the financial institutions borrow money for one, three or five years. The higher the repayment period, the interest rate will be lower. Very important for the rate you pay is your credit score. When applying for a personal loan, most of the financial institutions will check your credit score and if you have a poor credit history you could get a refusal from the bank. You will see below an example of how to apply for a personal loan from Santander Bank.

EX: How to Apply for a Santander Personal Loan

Apply By Phone

Apply in Person

Apply Online

santander home improvements personal loan

Step 1 – Go to Santander Main Website

Let’s say you want to get a Personal Loan for your home improvement and you have decided to borrow the money from the Santander Bank. The first step you need to do is go to the main Santander Bank website, then go to Personal, Loans and Home Improvement.

Step 2 – Read the Eligibility Conditions

To apply for a personal loan from Santander so you can improve your home you need to meet some conditions:

  • you need to be at least 21 years old
  • you must be a UK permanent resident
  • you need to have a gross income of at least £6,000
  • you must have a bank account with the Direct Debit facility
  • you need to not have been declared bankrupt in the past 6 years

Step 3 – Prepare the Loan Documents

To apply for a personal loan from Santander Bank regarding a home improvement you will need:

  • your address in the last 3 years
  • your employer’s address
  • your monthly income
  • your bank details

Step 4 – Review the Loan Rates

santander loan rates

Before applying for the personal loan you need first to be informed of what your monthly repayments will be. If for example, you are a new or existing customer of Santander, for a loan between £15,001 – £20,000 your APR will be 3.6%. If you borrow from £1,000 to £2,999, your APR will be 20.6% and so on as you can see from the picture above. With a personal loan from Santander you will get fixed repayments for life on the loan you get, an annual loan statement, the possibility to check your loan online, you will have the opportunity to overpay at no extra cost and even to borrow more.

Step 5 – Personal Loan Terms and Conditions

Personal Loan Terms

When you apply for a Santander personal loan you need to know some terms and conditions. You will have to pay each month a fixed amount that will be deducted by Direct Debit. You will see how on the credit agreement how much you will have to pay monthly. If you missed a monthly payment you need to know that this could damage your future credit history. If you’ll miss multiple repayments, the debt could be secured against your house and to avoid this situation you need to contact the bank as soon as possible. If you change your mind the 14 days cooling period, you can cancel your contract.

Step 6 – Apply for the Personal Loan

apply for personal loan

When you are ready to start the application for your Personal Loan with Santander just click the Apply Button and you will be taken to the application page. On the first page, you are reminded once again that you need to be at least 21 years old to apply to meet the other requirements such as to have a permanent address in the United Kingdom. You need to complete the information about you such as First and Last name, Date of birth, mobile and home phone number and employment status. On the employment section, you need to fill information about where you work and what is your job title, your employer’s phone number, and other details.

Examples of Other Loans

Borrow Money for a Car Loan

car loans

The maximum amount allocated for the purchase of a car is the first step in choosing a car. The maximum amount a person can borrow is directly proportional to the monthly income (individual or family level, as appropriate). Banks can set their individual thresholds of indebtedness. They accept that people with higher income, to have a higher monthly rate. The income taken into account by banks to extend credit is determined by deducting living expenses from total income earned by the customer.

The level of these costs is determined on a case by case basis for each client, depending on the number of family members. In assessing the repayment capacity, most financial institutions also take account of the salary and other income, such as those from independent activities, or rent. Unlike other loans, car loans bring with them a number of additional costs. The customer must also consider that a car requires fuel costs, maintenance, and insurances.

Loans for Young People

young people loan

When you are young it’s harder to borrow money from banks. If you are a student, then it will be very suitable for you to apply for a student loan. It is important not to heavily indebted so you can pay the monthly rate, so be careful how much money you borrow. Being young, you don’t have a credit history so it will be difficult to get a loan. That does not mean that the bank will not give you the loan you need, but it will be much harder to get it. As a young man will have to improve your credit score in order to make it easier for a bank loan later. One of these possibilities for the improvements of the credit score is to register to the electoral roll.

Debt Consolidation Loan

debt consolidation loan

If you have already balanced your credit cards or overdrafts, you could apply for a loan to consolidate all your debts in a single repayment at a fixed rate. You will be able to save money if your new personal loan rate will be lower than your existing rates and you will simplify your repayments in just a single amount. To apply for such a loan you should meet some requirements: to be at least 21 years old, to be a UK resident, to have a bank account with a Direct Debit facility and to have an annual income of at least £6,000 and to not have been declared bankrupt in the last 6 years. This is just an example, conditions may be different from bank to bank.

Special Occasion Loan

special occasion loan

If you have an important event coming in your life like a dream wedding, or a special occasion or the holiday of your lifetime, you could apply for this type of personal loan. With this type of loan, you will know what you will pay over a period of 12 to 60 months and normally your first repayment will be after 30 days from the moment the loan is agreed. For example, if you borrow let’s say £10,000 you will have a monthly repayment of £180 over a loan term of 5 years at a fixed rate of 3.1% so you will repay £10,806. This is just an example and the rates may be different with each financial institution. Most of the banks require for this type of loan to be a UK resident, to be at least 21 years old and to have a good credit history.

Apply for Santander Loan by Phone

If you don’t want to apply online you can do it by the phone. To get in contact with a customer service person regarding a loan, please call Santander Loan Telephone Number 0800 028 4055 and a person from the support team will guide you through the whole loan application process.

Apply In a Santander Branch

Santander branch locator

You have also the possibility of applying for a personal loan in a Santander Branch. To do that click the Branch locator and enter one of the following details: your address, postcode, town and county.

How to Apply for Personal Independence Payment UK (PIP)

What is a Personal Independence Payment (PIP)?

Personal Independence Payment is a relief to those suffering from long-term physical or mental disability or illness. The payment comes to ease your everyday financial hardship. However, to make a PIP claim, your age must be within 16 to 64 years.

If you’re currently on Disability Living Allowance, use this PIP checker to know when it is the time to apply for Personal Independence Payment. The same tool tells you if your immediate family member or someone under your care is going to be affected by this transition. No need to bother if you don’t belong to the PIP age group.

Personal Independence Payment

What is the PIP benefit rate?

It is the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) that decides the rate of your PIP benefit and its duration. However, people with terminal illness are sure to get minimum £82.30 weekly at least for three consecutive years.

The rate of benefit is not dependent on the severity of illness rather on the degree of sufferings that you experience due to this illness. The benefit is also not affected by your income or by any other financial assistance you are receiving.

You are likely to get a weekly rate between £21.80 and £139.75. This rate, however, can vary during the course of your illness. Your working ability will be regularly assessed and the rate will be accordingly adjusted to ensure that you are getting the right amount of assistance.

The benefit amount consists of two parts: one to meet the daily living requirements and the other is to ensure mobility. The department is going to assess whether you’ll get the regular or enhanced rate of these payments. Irrespective of the rate you get, be happy that it is not going to be taxed.

The frequency of payment is usually every 4 weeks. However, people with terminal disability or illness can ask for more frequent payouts.

In your PIP confirmation letter, it will be clearly written how much and how long you are going to get the benefits. The department informs you well ahead when it is the time to stop the payment. If you’re planning to make another PIP claim, do it at least 6 months before the last payment. It takes some time to process a new PIP claim.

Note: After the assessment, if it is found that you need a regular carer, the carer will also receive Carer’s Allowance.

The payments come directly into your account, be it a bank account or any type of other money transaction account.

Personal Independence Payment

Who are eligible to make a PIP claim?

Those who are terminally ill are the best suitable persons to apply for PIP claim. In addition, a long-term illness or disability that have started at least 3 months earlier and is going to last for another 9 months makes you eligible to apply for PIP payment.

You can apply for PIP payment if

  • You suffer from any type of long-term disability or illness that interferes with your daily living and mobility.
  • You are aged between 16 to 64 years.
  • You currently live in Great Britain. Servicemen in armed forces and their families are exempted from this rule.
  • In the past 3 years, you lived in Great Britain for at least 2 years in total.
  • You are a habitual resident of Ireland, UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
  • You are not under immigration control (exception: sponsored immigrants).

People relocating from an EEA country or from Switzerland are also covered by this program.

By daily living difficulties, the department indicates:

  • Difficulty in preparing one’s own food and in eating it.
  • Difficulty in using the toilet, in bathing, washing etc.
  • Inability to dress or undress without help.
  • Difficulty in managing own medicines and keeping track of the treatment.
  • Problems in reading and communication.
  • Inability to handle money.
  • Difficulty in going along with other people.

According to DWP, you have mobility difficulties if you cannot move or go outside without help.

PIP Payments

How to apply for PIP benefit?

It is eventually not possible to apply for PIP online. Your available options are

  • Calling directly the department and filling the PIP1 form over the phone.
  • Calling the department, requesting for the form, filling the form at home and sending it back through the post.
  • Applying in British Sign Language.


Apply for PIP by Phone

You can call the PIP free number 0800 917 2222 to apply for a PIP form. One of the department representatives there is going to take the call. He/she will fill in the form for you asking you to provide required details. The entire process ends in around 20 minutes.

If you have a problem speaking in the English language, send a textphone message at 0800 917 7777. Alternatively, you can ask somebody else to talk to the representative on your behalf. However, such inability may have influence on department’s decision.

Apply for PIP by Post

You can also write to the department asking for the form. Once the form is in place, fill it carefully providing exact information. Along with the form, there will also be a guide telling you how to fill in the form.

For this postal communication, the address is:

Personal Independence Payment New Claims
Post Handling Site B
WV99 1AH

Apply for PIP with British Sign Language

You can also avail the British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service. However, at first, make sure you are eligible to do this. If yes, click on this link to use the service.

In this procedure, you are going to be connected to a sign language expert using the video link. He then communicates all that you are saying to a DWP representative.

You can also request to send you the form in rather less common formats like large print, Braille, audio CD etc.

No matter which procedure you choose to apply for Personal Independence Payment, have the following information ready to fill in the form:

  • Your name, residential address, contact number
  • Your date of birth
  • Details of your bank account or any other money transaction account
  • Information on your doctor or medical assistance provider
  • Information on your stay, if any, in any hospital or nursing home
  • Your unique National Insurance Number
  • Information on your stay abroad, if any

Tip: There is eventually a two weeks delay between the time you request for the form and the form actually reaches you. Make use of the time to arrange all the above-listed information. Otherwise, you are going to experience unnecessary delay. In worst case, your application can be declined.

Once the application procedure is complete, the department starts assessing your PIP claim. You will be asked to meet a medical practitioner whom DWP appoints to examine your health condition. Depending on the results of your medical examination, your claim will either be accepted or declined.

If you’re terminally ill, make the department know that. For that, you have to send the department a DS1500 form duly filled in. This form is available with any registered medical practitioner in your locality.

If PIP Declines Your Application

The decision letter comes usually after 3 weeks from the date of medical examination. If the decision is not in your favor, you can make an appeal for an additional review. This must be done within one month from the date of receiving the decision letter.

Go step-by-step:

  1. Contact the department to discuss their decision. The letter you’ll receive will clearly state the reason behind such unfavorable decision. On the basis of this, try to arrange a meeting with the department and provide additional document to influence the decision.
  2. If such discussion doesn’t produce any fruitful result, ask for mandatory reconsideration. Send a letter to the department supporting your case and wait for their reply. They are going to send you a mandatory reconsideration notice. This is nothing but a form where you get the chance to defend your case once more. Where to send the form? The address is given in the form itself.

Local Contacts

To get a better understanding of the scheme, you can anytime contact your local support centre. All the relevant Personal Independence Payment contact numbers will be supplied by your support center.

You must immediately intimate the department if there are any changes in your personal circumstances.

  • Change in name, residential address, phone number etc.
  • Change of doctor.
  • Changes in the severity of illness and disability.
  • An admission in a hospital or nursing home for more than 4 weeks.
  • A visit to a foreign country for more than 13 weeks.
  • A temporary or permanent judicial custody.

For doing this, use these Personal Independence Payment contact numbers:

For any type of inquiry, call the PIP customer service number 0345 850 3322 or send a text message to 0345 601 6677. All these services are available to you on weekdays between 8 AM to 6 PM

Apply For CSCS Card

CSCS or the Construction Skills Certification Scheme is a certification system in the United Kingdom construction industry. Having a CSCS card is a proof that you are certified to work on construction sites with the required training and qualification for the work you carry out. The Construction Skills Certification Scheme keeps a database of people working in the construction industry, people that achieved a qualification related to construction. Major contractors and the principal house builder require this CSCS card to prove your qualification for the job you are applying.

CSCS Card Pricing

The price for a CSCS Card is £30 and the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test will cost you £19.50. You need to know that you may find different prices for a CSCS card if you apply through other organisations that are offering card application services.

Applying for a CSCS Card

apply for cscs card
In order to apply for the correct CSCS card, you need to be ready to prove that you have the necessary training and qualification for the job you want to get later. You can see if you meet the requirements by using the online card finder tool which will tell you also what kind of CITB Health, Safety and Environment test you need to pass. To apply for a CSCS card you need to follow the steps below:

Step 1 – Pass CITB Health, Safety, Environment Test

The first step you need to take is to pass the CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test for your occupation. To find out which test you need to take you have to use the card finder tool online.

Step 2 – Send your Qualification to CSCS

Send your qualification to if you need to apply for a CSCS card. To find out exactly which qualification you need for your occupation, just use the card finder online tool.

Step 3 – Call CSCS Customer Service

You have to call the CSCS customer service phone number 0344 994 4777 and be prepared to pay £30 with your credit or debit card over the phone. This telephone number is available from Monday to Friday, from 8 AM to 6 PM. The process of getting ready your CSCS card is very fast, you will receive your CSCS card as soon as possible because it will be posted out to you on the next working day.

Apply for CSCS Card by Post

If you want to apply for a CSCS card by post you need first to download the application form, fill all the fields and send it to CSCS along with the payment. Normally the postal application will take more than the online application, usually 15 days and you should expect the arrival of your CSCA card within 20 days of application. If you haven’t received your card within five weeks you should contact CSCS.

The address for sending your application:

PO Box 114
Bircham Newton
King’s Lynn
PE31 6XD
United Kingdom

CSCS Cards Employer application

employer application formTo apply for CSCS cards as an Employer is very simple. You need to download first the CSCS Employer Application form and send it by email to As an employer, you can manage multiple applications and you can pay for all of them at once. You need to check carefully some conditions before submitting your employer application:

– read the guidance page and the rejection conditions for your employees
– ensure all applicants have passed the CITB, Health and Safety test
– submit all the required documents

CSCS Card Types

cscs card types
There are several types of cards you can apply for, including:

  • Labourer card
  • Apprentice card
  • Experienced Technical
  • Supervisor or Manager
  • Experienced Worker
  • Trainee Card
  • Supervisory
  • Manager
  • Academically Qualified Person
  • Construction Related Occupation (CRO)
  • Construction Site Visitor
  • Professionally Qualified Person
  • Provisional
  • Trainee (craft and operative)
  • Trainee (technical, supervisory and management)
  • Construction Site Operative (CSO)
  • Construction Related Occupation (CRO)

Labourer Card

apply for labourer cardTo apply for a Labourer Card you need certain courses or qualifications such as:

– the QFC Level 1 or SCQF Level 4 award in Health and Safety in a construction environment. To get this qualification you have to contact the Jobcentre Plus training centre or the local college for further education. Find Training centres approved by Cskills Awards City & Guilds and also Pearson

The CITB Health Safety and Environment test must be passed by all applicants. You need to know this card is available for five years and when you apply for a renewal you can not use the same alternate qualification certificate.

Apprentice Card

apprentice cardTo apply for this type of card you need to be registered on a recognised apprenticeship framework and it is valid or four years and six months and there is no possibility of a renewal. To confirm you are registered for an apprenticeship you need:

  • a letter from Managing Agency to confirm your qualifications
  • a letter from the apprenticeship training provider confirming your qualifications
  • the CITB Health, Safety & Environment test

You are exempt from the CITB Health, Safety & Environment test if you have a letter from Managing Agency of your apprenticeship to confirm that you pass the test; a certificate from the Health and Safety Awareness course; a health and safety unit in your initial qualification.

Experienced Technical, Supervisor or Manager Card

experienced technical supervisor managerTo apply for the Experienced Technical, Supervisor or Manager card you need to have at least one year experience from the last three or you need to have the NVQ or SVQ level 3, 4 or 5 and you have to be not a member of the Professional Body.

The Experienced Technical, Supervisor or Manager Card is available three years and it is not renewable, it is issued on a temporary basis and you need of course the CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test to have passed in the last two years.

Experienced Worker Card

experienced worker cardTo apply for the Experienced Worker Card you need to prove experience in the last three years for at least one year. This card is available only for one year and it is nor renewable and it is issued on a temporary basis. The next level card may be a skilled five-year card when achieving of a Construction Related NVQ or SVQ Level 2.

You can not replace an Experienced Worker Card with a Provisional Card. To apply for this card you need the have passed the CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test in the last two years and you also need to be registered for the Construction Related NVQ or SVQ.

Trainee Card

trainee cardIf you want to apply for a trainee card you need to be a trainee and to be registered for a qualification leading to a skilled CSCS card that could be NVQ/SVQ. The Trainee Card is available for five years and is not renewable. To apply for this card you should have passed the CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test.

Skilled Worker Card

skilled worker cardTo apply for this type of card you need to have achieved a construction related NVQ or SVQ level 2 or to have completed an employer-sponsored apprenticeship. You also need to have passed the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test. The Skilled Worker Card is available five years and you may apply even if you don’t have those qualifications but you are experienced in your job and you are registered for any qualification applicable to the occupation you have.

Advanced Craft Card

advanced craft card

If you want to apply for this Advanced Craft CSCS Card you need to have achieved a Construction Related NVQ or SVQ level 3; to have completed an approved indentured apprenticeship and to completed an employer-sponsored apprenticeship. The Advanced Craft CSCS Card is available for five years and you need to have the CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test passed.

Supervisory Card

supervisory CSCS cardThe Supervisory CSCS Card is available five years and to apply you need to have passed the Supervisors CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test and it is available for supervisor occupations if you have achieved a Construction Related Supervisory NVQ or SVQ level 3 or 4.

Manager Card

cscs manager cardThe Manager CSCS Card is available for five years and you need to have passed a CITB Managers and Professionals Health, Safety and Environment Test and also this card is available for managers holding a pre-existing NVQ level 4 in construction management and of a Construction related NVQ/SVQ levels 5, 6 or 7.

Academically Qualified Person Card

academically qualified person cardTo apply for this card you need to have an HNDs, HNCs, CIOB Certificates and NEBOSH diploma. To find a complete list of accepted qualification for the Academically Qualified Person Card you have to click here. The card is available for five years and you need to have passed the CITB Managers and Professionals Health, Safety and Environment Test.

Construction Site Visitor Card

construction site visitor cardThis card is available for people that are frequently visiting construction sites without any specific skills. This Construction Site Visitor CSCS card is available five years and you need to pass the CITB Operatives Health, Safety, and Environment Test to apply for this card.

Professionally Qualified Person Card

professional qualified person cardIf you want to apply for a Professionally Qualified Person CSCS Card you need to have passed the CITB Managers and Professionals Health, Safety and Environment Test and you also need to supply proof that you are a member of a professional body such as a membership certificate or card, an up-to-date letter from the professional body.

There is a possibility to apply for the Professionally Qualified Person CSCS Card by calling 0344 994 4777. Prior to calling you need to email to the evidence of your professional membership.

Provisional Card

provisional cscs cardIf you want to apply for Provisional CSCS Card you need to be:

– working through probationary periods
– undergoing supervised work experience(16plus)
– working as a labourer and not previously applied for CSCS card

To apply for this card you need to have passed the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test in the last two years. The card id available for six months and it is not renewable.

Applying For Probate

Probate is a grant of representation for a person to deal with the goods and assets of a person who passed away. You are able to apply alone if you find yourself in that position or you can use a solicitor or another licensed person. There are different situations you need to deal with, for example after a person dies, it may be a will or it may not be a will. In most of the cases, there are basic steps you need to take in order to apply for a probate.

  • check the existence of a will, if it’s not, you can apply
  • apply for a grant of representation to access the bank account
  • pay the due inheritance tax
  • start collecting the estate’s assets
  • pay all the remain debts and unpaid bills for utilities
  • share the estate to any people entitled: money or other possessions

If you can not handle this process by yourself you just have to contact the Probate and Inheritance Tax helpline 0300 123 1072 or call +44 300 123 1072 from outside the UK and you will receive help to fill this form. You will get help to understand Inheritance Tax responsibilities, to get help about the forms that you need, to get paper copies of forms and complete Inheritance Tax forms. You can get help from this line from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday.

Probate: Will

probate with a will
If the person who passed away left a will you can apply for a probate only if you are the executor of the will. It is possible for there to be more than one executor over the will. In this case, you will learn what to do next from the probate application form and guidance notes. If no executor is named in the will of the deceased person or none of the named executors are able to apply, then you have to contact the local Probate Registry and follow the instructions.

Probate: No Will

probate without a will
If there is no will left an administrator will take care of the estate. If you wish to apply for the grant of representation as an administrator of that person’s estate you have to be their spouse, civil partner or child. If you were still married when the person died but you had separated before, you can still apply. If you were the partner of the person but you were not their husband you will not be able to apply for a grant of representation known as probate and also you will not be entitled automatically to your partner’s estate. If there is no will the law will decide who inherits the estate.

How to Apply For Probate

apply for probate
To apply for a probate or for a grant of representation there are four steps you need to take, steps that will be explained to you below:

Step 1 – Complete the Probate Application Form

complete the probate application form
On this step, you have to complete a probate application form that you can find it here and it is called probate application form PA1. To download this form click here.

Step 2 – Complete the Inheritance Tax form

complete inheritance tax form
You need to find out how much values the estate of the person who died. There may be Inheritance tax to pay depending on its value. If for example, that value of the estate is less than £325,000 no Inheritance Tax has to be paid. But still, you need to fill the Inheritance Tax Form even if no tax is owed. There is a possibility of a penalty if wrong information is sent to Inheritance tax.

Step 3 – Send the Probate Application

The application must be sent to the local Probate Registry and it should include the probate application form PA1, the inheritance Tax form, the official copy of the death certificate, the will in original and three copies along with other amendments and the application fee of £215 sent as a cheque payable to HM Courts and Tribunal Service as long as the value of the estate is equal or more than £5,000.

Step 4 – Swear an Oath

On this step, you will receive details for arranging an appointment for an oath. You will have to swear the oath at a local probate office or at the office of a commissioner for oaths. Giving an oath means that all the information you provide is a promise that you tell the truth and normally you will get an answer in 10 working days.

Download Probate Application Form

To find the Probate Application Form PA1 you have to go to the Court and tribunal form finder page and download the Probate forms that you need. For example, you can download the PA1 form from here; you can also read more information about How to obtain probate, which is a guide for people acting without a solicitor; you can also read more information about what is a probate.

Complete Probate Application Form

probate application form

You have to complete the Probate Application Form with Block Capitals and place a tick in the box where is the case. Complete the following sections with the required data and choose your option if that’s the case:

Step 1 – Swearing the Oath Options

  • A Solicitor’s office
  • The Probate office

Step 2 – Details Needed About the Deceased

  • Forename
  • Surname
  • Permanent address
  • Dates of birth and death
  • Assets remaining upon the deceased
  • Other details for the person who has died
  • Marital status, date of the divorce if that was the case

Step 3 – The Will and Codicils

  • Confirm or inform the existence of a will
  • Confirm any codicils
  • Marital status after the will
  • Witnesses of the will
  • Other details about executors not applying the will

Step 4 – Foreign Domicile

  • The country where the person who has died lived
  • Estate in the UK
  • Any wills made outside of the UK
  • All foreign assets

Step 5 – Relatives of Deceased

  • If there is a surviving spouse or civil partner, yes or no
  • Blood and adoptive relatives left after the death

Step 6 – Applicant Information

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Telephone numbers
  • Email address
  • Relationship to the deceased

Step 7 – Inheritance Tax Summary

  • Details about the Inheritance tax forms

Step 8 – Applying as an Attorney

  • Choose if you are applying as an attorney or not
  • The name of the person or people for whom you are applying
  • Address
  • Other details about those relatives

Step 9 – Checklist

  • Verify that you have enclosed all the relevant documents and fees

When a Probate Issues

Once the probate has been issued you have to inform the organisations holding the dead person’s assets. This could be for example a bank. Once they receive this grant the assets must be released to you so you can transfer them to that executorship account.

When the assets have been transferred properly you can start paying any debts of the dead person including any outstanding bills or any tax owed.

You need to place a note in the local news Gazette to give a chance to creditors to claim any debts. You are legally responsible paying these debts before distributing the remain of the estate. The estate can be distributed as it is written in the will or if there is no will, by the law.

Stopping a Probate

stopping a probateIf you want you can stop the probate also know as a grant of representation. This procedure is called a caveat and it will stop the probate to go further. This caveat may appear in case there is a dispute between two or more persons about who to apply for a probate or if there is a will. The caveat will last six months. To stop the probate and enter a caveat you need to be at least 18 years old and you can do it by yourself or you can use a solicitor. To stop a probate visit any Probate Registry. To apply for a caveat you will need:

  • A signed application for a caveat also known as form PA8
  • The details of the deceased
  • Your home address in England or Wales
  • £20 to pay for the caveat fees

How to Search Online for a Probate

Search Online for a probateYou can search online for a probate record in England or Wales. When you search a will online you will be able to access a database of the people who died after the year 1858. You can even order copies of such probate records online by paying a fee of £10 each and you can pay with your credit or debit card. Normally it will take approximately 10 days to receive the probate records. You should also know that a new probate will enter the database after 14 days after the grant of representation will be valid.

Search Probate by Post

To apply by post for a search of a probate record you need first to download the PA1S form also known as an Application for a search. This search will cost you £10 for each copy of that grant of representation record. The response will get back to you in approximately 4 weeks. The address where you send your form is The Postal Copies and Searches Department District Probate Registry, York House, 31 York Place, Leeds, LS1 2BA.

How to Apply for Student Finance

Student finance is a package of loans provided by the Student Loans Company also known as SLC which is a non-departmental public service. This student finance can be given to most of the university students that are studying in the United Kingdom.

Student Finance EligibilityStudent Finance Eligibility

For a Student Finance benefit, one may apply as new students, continuing students, new EU students and continuing EU students. For students in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland there is a different process.

New Students

If you are a new student from England first you need to setup a student finance account online, then log in completing the application, include details of your household income and if is needed you have to ask your parents to support your application. When this is done you have to send a proof of identity, then sign and return the loan declaration.

Continuing Students from the UK

You are a continuing student from England if you received finance for the previous school year. To apply online for a student finance you have to log in to your account. You will see later in the article the process of completing the application online. If you became a part-time student before September 2012 there will be a different process to apply.

Students From Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales

For students in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland there is a different process. Click the appropriate link to go the student finance application website.

New EU Students

You can apply for a student finance if you are a new student from a European Union country. To apply you have to download an application pack using the form finder, then you need to send proof of identity and you will later get a confirming letter, normally withing six weeks, of how much you will get.

Continuing EU students

You are considered a continuing student from a European Union country if you received student finance help from the previous school year. In this case, you will receive the application forms.

How to Apply for Student Finance Benefits – Online and Post

student finance how to apply
If you want to apply for a Student Finance there are two ways of doing it, you can apply online or you can apply by post. You need to apply up to nine months after starting the academic year for your course as you can see in the picture below.

when to apply student finance

Apply Online

If you are a student from England you can apply for the current year and for the last year for a student finance. You may apply for Tuition Fee Loans, Maintenance Loans, Maintenance Grants, Advanced Learner Loans. In case you are a part time student you can apply only for the last year. If you want to apply online for a Student Finance follow the steps below.

apply online student finance

Step 1 – Enter the Student Finance website

student finance website

Enter the Student Finance website as you can see in the picture above. Click the student finance link, read the eligibility conditions and then find the apply online link.

Step 2 – Start now; Apply Online for Student Finance

apply online student finance step 2

On this step, you need to find the Start Now button on the Student Finance England website and then go to the next step.

Step 3 – Student Finance Login

slc login and create account student finance

On the Student Loans Company website, you need to create an account if this is the first time visiting this website or log in if you are already a user.

When you sign in to your student finance online account you will be able to view your letter and statements from Student Finance England. You will be able to track existing applications to check any due payments, to update some personal information or to reset the password. This is how you apply for finance as a continuing student or as a new student.

Step 4 – Student Finance Create Account

create account student finance

On step 4 you need to enter your personal details like First name, Last name, gender, Date of Birth, Town of Birth and the National Insurance number, then click next and move to the next step. Moving to the next page you will have to enter your postcode and click Search for address button. When your address is found, click Continue button.

Step 5 – Enter Phone Number and Email address

student finance phone number
On step 5 you need to enter your Home phone number, Mobile phone number and Email address and click Next.

Step 6 – Student Finance Password/Secret Answer

student finance account password
On the next page choose a password for your Student Finance account and a Secret answer and click Next.

Step 7 – Finish Your Student Finance Account Registration

student account customer reference

On the last step of the registration of your Student Finance account, you will receive a Customer Reference Number also known as CRN. You will have to use it when you log in to your account again. You can use this account to apply for student finance or support an application, you can also track the progress of a student finance application, view payments and letter and see any outstanding information.

Step 8 – Apply for Student Finance from Account

apply for student finance

On your Student Finance account locate the section where you can Apply for student finance and click that button as you can see in the image above.

Step 9 – Student Finance Type

choose type of student finance

As you can see in the picture you have to choose between a Higher education or Further education:

  • Higher education means you will be studying for a degree a foundation degree, an HNC or HND, a master’s degree or another higher education course.
  • Further education means you will be studying a programme of GCE A levels or AS levels, a QAA Access to HE Diploma, a further education certificate, a Subsidiary Diploma, 90 Credit Diploma, Diploma or Extended diploma or an NVQ level 3-6.

Step 10 – 6 Important Things about Student Finance

6 important things about student finance

  1. You will be charged interest on your loan as soon as the first payment is made to your account
  2. While you are studying you will be charged an interest rate of 4.6% but this rate may be variable
  3. If you have repaid your loan in full you will be charged interest
  4. You will have to start repaying your loans the April after finishing or leaving the course
  5. You will be able to repay when your income is at least £21,000 per year
  6. You will have to repay 9% of your own income when you will get at least £21,000 per year

Step 11 – Review Information to Apply for Student Finance

review information student finance

In step 11 you will have to review the information needed for new students to apply. You will need information about your chosen university or college and also the course, then for UK applicants, you need a valid UK passport. You will also need your National Insurance Number and 30 minutes of your time to fill in all the information.

Click Continue and you will have to answer other questions like if you are a UK national, if you can give your passport details, if you have lived outside of the UK in the last 3 years, if your parents or other relatives lived or worked outside of the UK in the last three years, you will also have to respond the question about your relationship status, if you have care of a person under the age of 18 years old, if an adult depends on you financially or if you can get any disability related benefits.

Step 12 – Previous and Current Study

student finance previous and current study
On step 12 you have to enter details about your previous and current study. You have to tell if you have attended any higher education courses.

Step 13 – Course and Fees

student finance course and fees

On this step about course and fees, you will learn what is a tuition fee loan and that you will have to pay a Tuition fee of £9,250. If you will pay interest and when you will repay it, you will learn how to pay and how much does your university or college charge.

Step 14 – Review Course and Fees Information

review course and fees

Review all the information you wrote about Course and Fees and change something if needed. You will review information about where you plan to study, what course you will study, which year is the application for, where you will spend your academic year, if you will be living at your home address, your term-time address if it’s not your home address, information about tuition fees, if you want to apply for a Tuition fee loan, how much Tuition fee loan would you like to borrow and information about bursaries and scholarships. If everything is correct click save and continue.

Step 15 – Student Finance Living Costs

student finance living cost

On this step, you will learn important things about living costs. You will be able to get for example a Maintenance Loan of up to £3,928. You will understand that Maintenance Loan will be paid directly to your bank account and you will have to register at your university before the first payment will be made. You will also learn that on your Maintenance Loan you will be charged interest and you will have to repay it after you left University and your income is over £21,000 per year. On the next page review the Living costs and if everything is right click Save and Continue.

Step 16 – Financial and Additional Information

student finance - financial information

On this step, you have to provide information about your UK bank or building society account. You have to be very careful, otherwise, your payments may be paid to a wrong account and you will not be able to recover any payments made in error and you will have to repay those payments also.

Step 17 – Student Finance Check and Submit

student finance check and submit

This is the final step where you check the Terms and Conditions and submit your Student Finance application online.

Apply by Post

Student Finance Forms

student finance forms

Use the form finder to download the forms you need. You will be able to download the following forms: forms PN1, PR1, PTL1, PFF2, and CYI; form for parents; forms for EU students studying in England; forms for Disabled Students Allowances. To do that click the Start Now button.

Student Finance Phone Number

Student Finance Phone Number

  • Student Finance England – Call the Student Finance customer service phone number 0300 100 0607 from Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 8 PM, Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM to 4 PM. You can also contact them on the Student Finance textphone 0300 100 0622 from Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM.
  • For EU students you should contact Student Finance services Non-UK Team 0141 243 3570 or if you call from outside of the UK +44 (0)141 243 3570, from Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5:30 PM.
  • For a Postgraduate Loan, call the Student Finance Postgraduate number 0300 100 0031 from Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.
  • For Advanced Learner Loan you should call the Student Finance phone number 0300 100 0619, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 8 pm and Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm.

Student Finance Address

If you want to write a letter to Student Finance England you can do that to this address: Student Finance England, PO Box 210, Darlington DL1 9HJ.

Student Finance Calculator

student finance calculator
The Student Finance calculator is available for students from England and also for students from European Union countries starting a new course in the current year or in the past year. To use this finance calculator just click the Start now button.

Renew a Blue Badge in the UK

What is a Blue Badge?

Blue badge allows people with a disability to park their vehicle near to their destination. If you are disabled, you can request for a blue badge. Blue badge even helps you to travel independently to any places either as a driver or as a passenger. Normally, blue badges are given to passengers, children, and blinds and even for those having severe mobility problems. A blue badge holder gets a lot of benefit on travelling.

When to Renew a Blue Badge

Blue Badges are normally issued for a time period of three years. After that, the validity of blue badge expires and you have to renew your badge by submitting an application form. To renew a disabled Blue Badge, you will need to reapply for one and you will have to complete an application on behalf of another person and this should be with the details of the person on whose behalf you are applying for.

Eligibility for a Blue Badge

You can apply if:

• You are blind or having sight problems
• You get a Personal Independence Payment
• You get higher rate of Disability Living Allowance
• You get the War Pensions
• You receive a benefit from the Armed Forces

You cannot apply if:

• You are in a temporary condition of disability, for example, a broken hand.
• You are in a situation from which you will improve your condition or you are recovering from recent surgery or treatment.
• You have a condition that is considered to be changed.
• You have a disability, but that will not cause your ability to walk, or very considerable difficulty in walking.
• Children under two are not eligible to have a blue badge.

How to renew a Blue Badge?


You can apply for a blue badge through online or call the Blue Badge government customer service number 0300 111 8000. The process will take 4 to 8 weeks and after that, you will receive your blue badge with a one-year validity.


For disabled blue badge renewal, you need to keep some documents before applying online. At the time of filling the online application, you need to provide your name, date of birth, contact number, place of birth and national insurance number. And, you will need to upload the digital copy of the following things
• Proof of eligibility
• Proof of identification
• Proof of address
• Photograph of person in the badge
• National security number
• Proof of age

Step-by-Step Blue Badge Renewal Process

Step 1 – Click on “Start Now” in order to check your eligibility before completing the online application form.

Blue Badge Renewal

Step 2 – Enter your postcode to select the local authorities responsible for issuing the blue badge in your area

Blue Badge Renewal

Step – 3 Once you have identified the local authority in charge of issuing the blue badge, select one of the options below and proceed to the next screen.
Step 4 – Apply for the renewal process online. No need to pay the fees or submit proof of documents at this point.

Step 5 – Fill in your personal details in the fields shown below.

Blue Badge Renewal

Step 6 – Your address in the “Address Details” section.

Step 7 – Followed by your contact details and vehicle details.

Step 8 – In this section, you enter the details of the existing badge that you are renewing.
Step 9 – If your application is approved, then you can pay the fees of £10.

Step 10 – If the authority decided to check your eligibility, they will call you for a direct interview.

Step 11 – If your application got rejected, then you can apply for an appeal

Step 12 – If you change your address, you need to inform the details immediately to the authority.

Blue Badge Renewal

  • In order to apply for a Blue Badge, you need to get the appropriate Blue Badge form from KMBC website or from One Stop Shops.
  • If you need to receive a qualifying benefit, you need to complete the 7-page form and provide a valid ID and photograph and submit them to the One Stop Shop along with the admin fee. The One Stop Shop will make the arrangement for your Blue Badge and it will be sent to your home address on file
  • If you do not need to receive a qualifying benefit, your mobility needs to be examined at the Center for Independent Living (CIL) along with completing a 17-page form. You also need to attend a small Mobility Assessment at the CIL and you will be gauged based on the outcome. If the outcome is positive, then you need to submit the proof of ID along with your photograph and admin fee to the One Stop Shop. Your Blue Badge will be mailed to your home address.

Payment Options

Normally Blue Badge renewal cost is £10. You can either pay the fees online or offline:

  • Visa credit card
  • Visa debit card
  • Visa electron card
  • MasterCard credit card
  • MasterCard debit card
  • Maestro/solo card

How long it takes to receive the badge?

You will receive your badge within 4 to 8 weeks after submitting your application or blue badge renewal form. It may take longer if there is any unexpected things happen in between with regards to eligibility or proof of the applicant. The delay in getting blue badge also depends on when the authorities received the request and the evidence.

Every Blue Badge application, whether it is a new applicant or a renewal applicant, is assessed on an individual basis against the Department for Transport criteria.

After completing the basic eligibility testing, you may be asked to attend a walking assessment for face to face interaction. For the renewal of Blue Badge, you should make a brief record of the expiry date of your badge and should apply five to six weeks before the badge expires.

Normally the renewal applications are submitted before the old badge expires. If the current badge contains a serial number ending in ‘R’, it shows that the badge is renewable and can apply for the card. But in both cases, the eligibility criteria need a reassessment. For that, the applicant should undergo a series of checking and finally, he will get approval from the concerned authorities. Once after you file your application, these authorities will process the application after submitting documents and payment and will contact you for any clarification.

What to do if my application got rejected?

Blue badge Applications are rejected usually because the applicant does not qualify for a badge under the strict criteria. However, if the applicant is not admitting the decision, he can write a letter to the officials within one or two months from the date on the refusal letter to request for reconsideration. In that, you must include the reasons about your eligibility, and also it should be a signed one. Applicants are responsible for providing any further evidence if required.

What If my Blue Badge is misused?

The Blue badge is only to be used by the badge holder. It is not transferable. It is a crime to allow other people to use the Blue Badge under various circumstances like:
• Keep something on your behalf such as shopping whilst you stay at home;
• If you are allowing friends or family to park for free even if they are visiting you;
• Let non-disabled people take advantage of the benefits
The maximum penalty for convicted who misused blue badge is £1,000, which includes any additional fine charges for parking offence.
If you notice anybody misusing a blue badge, you can inform through email or telephone to the concerned authorities. You can email at or contact directly to the Customer Access Service on 0300 123 6736. At the time of the complaint, you should clearly give the details of the location, description of the driver or user and the badge number. All the details of the informer will be kept confidential. It will not make any problem to the informer. Blue badge holder is not supposed to transmit his badge under any circumstances as it is an offence and the person will be punished.

What will I do if my blue badge destroyed or stolen?

The authorities will issue a replacement badge if anybody lost or destroyed or damaged their blue badge. A replacement fee of £1000 and a new photograph is to be submitted at the time of application.
If the old badge is only six months valid, then you will have to submit a new application form. Otherwise, you can replace the old badge with fewer formalities.
If your badge is lost or stolen, the applicant needs to file a report with the police in order to prove that his blue badge has been lost or stolen and then provide the police crime report number to the authorities.
If your badge is faded or damaged, you can simply return it to officials and you will receive your replacement badge.

What is the procedure if a blue badge holder dies?

The blue badge must be returned to the concerned authorities with a report and the validity of the badge will get cancelled.

How to Apply for UK Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is a social security benefit given by the United Kingdom government in order to help people who can’t pay the housing costs for rented accommodation. After the pension department, this social security benefit is the second as a budget with a total of £23.8 billion in the year 2013-2014. You can ask for Housing Benefit if you can’t pay your rent when you are on a low income. It is possible to request it when you are not working, but even if you have a job. Housing Benefit is paid only for paying the rent, not for covering the heating costs, or of the hot water, energy or even food.

Housing Benefit Advantages

When you get a Housing Benefit you can receive help from the government to pay your rent or a part of it. While there is no fixed amount on how much Housing Benefit you will receive, you can still us a benefits calculator to find out how much money can you get from this social security benefit. If you wonder how you are paid, you need to know that Housing Benefit will be paid by your council into your rent account for council tenants; into your bank account or building society account, for private tenants.

Housing Benefit for Social and Council Housing Rent

If you apply for this type of housing benefit you need to know that the amount you will be receiving will depend on your eligible rent, on your household income(savings, benefits, pensions) more than £6,000; on other circumstances like a disability of a person on your house or depend on the age of the people living with you; spare bedrooms.

  • Eligible rent means that you can get an amount of money to help you pay your rent in the area you are living including the service charges like communal laundry or lift maintenance, but not including heating costs.
  • Spare bedrooms mean that if you live in a social housing and there is a spare room, your housing benefit will be reduced to 14% of the rent for 1 spare bedroom and 25% for 2 or more bedrooms.
  • Sharing bedrooms – it means that bedrooms are expected to be shared by an adult couple and 2 children under 16 of the same sex or 2 children under 10 years old regardless of sex. A single adult can have his own bedroom, also a child that has no bedroom, children with disabilities or other medical conditions, or a resident that is taking care of you or your partner.

Housing Benefit Private Rent

Housing Benefit Rent for Bedrooms
Private Rent is given depending on the area where you live, on your household size, on your income and circumstances. For 1 bedroom you can get up to £260.64, for 2 bedrooms you can get up to £302.33, for 3 bedrooms you can get up to £354.46 and for 4 bedrooms you can get up to £417.02.

If you live in a houseboat or mooring, a caravan site, a room with meals included in the rent, a hostel or a Rent Act protected property you have to Contact your local council to see if you can get a Housing Benefit.

Housing Benefit Eligibility

Housing Benefit Eligibility

You can get House Benefit if you pay rent, if you are on low income, or if your savings are below £16,000. If you are employed or unemployed you can apply for Housing Benefit, but if you live with a partner, only one of you can apply. If you are under 35 years of age and you are single, you can apply only for a single room in shared accommodation. You can not get Housing Benefit if you live in a relative’s home, if you are a student in full-time or if you are looking for an asylum, if you are staying in the United Kingdom and you are a citizen from EU looking for a job, or if you are subject to immigration control.

How to Claim Housing Benefit

How to Claim Housing Benefit
Housing Benefit can be claimed along with other benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance. You can also claim housing benefits when claiming Universal Credit or Pension Credit. A House Benefit claim can be made in advance by up to 13 weeks or even 17 weeks if you are 60 years old.

Claiming with other benefits

When claiming with other benefits like ESA, JSA or Income Support you need to contact your local Jobcentre Plus and they will send your claim to your council. To contact Jobcentre Plus just use the telephone number 0800 055 6688 or textphone 0800 023 4888, from Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM.

Claiming Housing Benefit with Universal Credit

When claiming Universal Credit you can not claim Housing Benefit at the same time, but your rent will be paid from the Universal Credit to your landlord directly.

Claim Housing Benefit with Pension Credit

When you claim Housing Benefit with Pension Credit you need to contact the Pension Service to claim it along with Housing Benefit and your claim will be sent to your council. Contact the Pension Service at the telephone number 0800 99 1234 or textphone 0800 169 0133, from Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM.

Claiming the Housing Benefit itself

When you claim just the Housing Benefit itself you have to apply through your local council.

Housing Benefit claim form

Housing Benefit Claim Form
You can find the Housing Benefit claim form the government website. You can download Housing Benefit claim form that you can fill in on screen and then print it(click here), or you can download Housing Benefit claim form you can print and then fill in with a pen(click here) and send it by post. These forms are PDF files and you can get them if you click the links above.

Housing Benefits PDF Forms

Apply for Housing Benefit Online

If you want to apply for Housing Benefit online you have to take some steps. First, you need to the Housing Benefit section on the government website and read all the information that you can get, learn what you will receive and how to claim this benefit and how to be eligible to apply. When you are ready to apply click Apply through your local council and follow the steps below:

Step 1 – Enter Your Postcode

Housing Benefit Apply Online step 1

To start your online application through your local council you have to enter your postcode and click Find button as you can see in the picture above.

Step 2 – Go to your Local Council Website

Housing Benefit online step 2

If you enter for example the postcode SW1A 2AA you will receive the information that this postcode match to the City of Westminster. You have to click the “Go to their website” button and you will be taken to your local council website, the council of City of Westminster in this case.

Step 3 – Read the information on your Local Council website

Housing Benefit City of Westminster

When you get on your Local council website you can read all the information that you need to apply for a Housing Benefit. You can find the Housing Benefit eligibility conditions, you can log in to your account and apply for housing benefit or other support. Click Log into your housing benefit account and go further.

Step 4 – Log in or Register your Housing Benefit account

housing benefit login register City of Westminster

If you have already and account click sign in, but if you don’t have an account with your local council, click register and go to the next step. When you register you will have the possibility to access information about Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support or even make payments for local authority services.

Step 5 – Register your Housing Benefit Account

Register Housing Benefit account

In this example, you are on the website of City of Westminster local council and you have to register your Housing Benefit account. As you can see in the picture above you have to enter your personal details like the First and Last name, your address, your email address which will be also your username if you want, then choose a password and go further. On the next page you have to select the Housing Benefit and add it to your account and then you are ready.

Step 6 – Apply for Housing Benefit

housing benefit online account apply

On this step, you have to log in to your account and locate your services. You will see Housing Benefits active because you have selected that option when you registered. To apply for Housing Benefit you have to click the Quick action button – apply and pay.

Step 7 – Start New Housing Benefits Claim Form

housing benefit new claim form

As you can see in the picture above, after you have clicked the “Quick action button, apply and pay”,  you will be taken to another page into your account where you can see a section for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support. Click the New Claim Form link and you are ready to start your Housing Benefits application. On this example, for City of Westminster local council, when you click New Claim Form, at the time or writing this article the application form was not working, but normally you should see a web page where you have to enter your details for a Housing Benefits application.

Apply for Housing Benefits By Post

When you want to apply for Housing Benefits by post you have to first locate the forms and then download them, fill all the information and send them by post to your local council. To see these forms go to this link and fill them online or offline and then send them to the right address of your local council.