NSFAS Payment: What To Do If You’ve Not Received Your Allowance

By Tevait Feanle •  Updated: 01/23/24 •  5 min read

If you are a student funded by NSFAS, you likely rely on your monthly allowance to help you meet your needs as you study. Any delay in the payment process can be painful to deal with and cause a lot of worry. Here’s what you should do if your NSFAS allowance hasn’t been received.

What To Do If You Haven’t Received Your NSFAS Allowance

If you don’t receive your NSFAS allowance, the first thing you should do is log on to myNSFAS portal. Here you can check the exact status of your bursary on a month-by-month basis and see if there is a status or communication explaining why your payment wasn’t processed. While you are there, take a moment to check your contact and banking details and make sure they are correct.

If everything seems to be in order, you should then contact their customer service channels to try to resolve the issue or approach your institution’s financial aid office for help. It is also worth searching online to see if there are other students having issues or if it is unique to you. NSFAS often has system glitches that affect many students, and you may not be alone. Check their social media accounts for announcements, too, as well as your institution’s.

What Causes NSFAS To Delay?

There are several common reasons that NSFAS delays the processing of applications and payments. Often it is related to the sheer volume of applications they receive or slowdowns in the verification process. As this is sometimes caused by third-parties (the Department of Home Affairs being notorious one, although banks can also be slow), they are not always responsible for the delay. Accounting for these checks and verifications is a reason it is smart to apply for NSFAS as early as possible. 

Don’t forget that the funds are sent to your institution as well, and delays can occur in their own system, especially if there are administrative issues or backlogs within the financial aid office. Your bank may also be a source of delay, especially regarding clearance times.

It can also be due to inaccurate or incomplete information from you. NSFAS may need to request additional documentation or clarification, and until they receive the required information, the processing of your application will be put on hold. If your details have changed and you haven’t updated them with NSFAS (especially bank details), this will cause issues with payments, too.

However, NSFAS has also had ‘system hiccoughs’ and delayed payments due to simple bureaucratic inefficiencies- many South Africans are sadly used to this sort of error. Again, it can be worth a quick Google search to see if there are other people who haven’t received payments.

If you are experiencing a delay in receiving your NSFAS funds, it is recommended that you contact the financial aid office at your institution or reach out to NSFAS directly. They will be able to provide you with specific information about your bursary and any delays in payment.  It is important to stay in touch with all parties, follow up on your application status, and ensure that you have provided all the necessary information in a timely manner to try and avoid snags as much as possible. You can use the myNSFAS portal to help with most of this.

How Long Does It Take For NSFAS To Pay Allowance?

Once your application for NSFAS is approved, you should begin to receive your allowance during the first week of every month. The exact dates for payment are available on the NSFAS website. You will receive your first allowance on the next payment date, so the precise length of time will depend on when you are approved in relation to this date.

How Do You Know If NSFAS Has Stopped Funding You?

If you believe that NSFAS has stopped funding you, the first thing you should do is look at your myNSFAS portal. Head to ‘track funding process’, which should give you all the information you need on whether NSFAS is still actively funding you. If you spot a status that needs resolution, you can either address it online, chat with their helpline, or head to your institution’s financial aid office to resolve the matter. You might also be able to appeal if they have stopped funding you for a reason you don’t believe is fair.

How Long Does It Take For NSFAS Money To Reflect In My Bank Account?

NSFAS allowances are processed during the first week of every month over a 10-month cycle. The payment should reflect in your bank account up to 48 hours after the payment is processed on the NSFAS side, especially once your first few payments have been successfully processed and you are ‘in the system’. If you notice a long delay between seeing the ‘approved’ and ‘payment processed’ statuses on your application and your myNSFAS portal and receiving the funds, you might want to get in touch with your institution’s financial aid office or NSFAS directly to see what the issue may be. Remember you can always get near real-time information on the status of your NSFAS payments through the myNSFAS portal.

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