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:

Telephone 0300 100 0601
Customer Relations Unit
Student Loans Company
100 Bothwell Street
G2 7JD

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 information

Northern Ireland Ombudsman
BEL 1478

Telephone: 0800 343 424

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.