Complaints and appeals
We understand that sometimes you might feel that you're less than satisfied with the service we've provided. If you've tried speaking to us and still feel that we haven't been able to resolve your issue you may wish to register your dissatisfaction as an official complaint or appeal a decision made about your entitlement to student finance.
Complaints and appeals, what's the difference?
We consider a complaint to be where you're not satisfied with our products or services, and you want us to solve the problem.
An appeal is considered to be a request to re-evaluate a decision made about your entitlement to financial help.
Making a complaint
We ask that you don't raise a complaint if you have a general account query or if you're having trouble with the online application. These can often be cleared up or confirmed by contacting us.
You can register or update a formal complaint by:
Student Loans Company
100 Bothwell Street
However you chose to register your complaint remember to include your Customer Reference Number, you'll find this on any letter we've sent you, and a day-time contact telephone number.
What happens next
We’ll acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days and our dedicated team will investigate your complaint and provide a response within 15 working days.
What if my complaint isn’t resolved?
If you’re not satisfied with the response you can ask for a senior manager to review your complaint. They’ll respond in writing within 15 working days of this request.
If you’re still unhappy you can ask for your complaint to be referred to our Independent Assessors. Independent Assessors are independent of Student Finance NI and the Student Loans Company and conduct impartial investigations into cases which haven’t been resolved by our internal complaints review process. Review by an Independent Assessor is the final stage of the our complaints process.
What if I'm still not satisfied with the outcome?
You may wish to seek legal advice on what options are available to you. This may include referring your concerns to the relevant Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will normally expect you to have gone through our full complaints process before they’ll consider your case.
The Northern Ireland Ombudsman contact informationNorthern Ireland Ombudsman
Appealing a decision against financial entitlement
An appeal is a formal request to review our decision on whether you are entitled to financial support. An appeal should relate to decisions or actions based on how we interpret the law or regulations (for example, on whether you are entitled to financial support or how much finance you are entitled to).
How to appeal a decision
If you chose to appeal a decision you would need to contact either Student Finance NI or your local Education Authority, depending on which body processed your original application. If you're unsure where you sent your form you can check our return addresses page.