Interest Free Loans


Applications for Interest Free Loans for the Purchase of Bus/Train/Ferry Season Tickets

The University now offers interest free loans for members of University staff to purchase bus, train or ferry season tickets. The following page explains how staff can take advantage of this initiative.

If you have any specific questions please contact Payroll Services, Building 37, telephone number 24717 or email: payroll@soton.ac.uk


How the Scheme operates

A member of staff can apply for a bus, train or ferry season ticket through the University of Southampton. The University will purchase the ticket on their behalf and arrange for payment. Qualifying season tickets may be bought for travel to the member of staff's normal place of work and must be six months or twelve months in duration. The member of staff then repays the cost of the ticket in 5 or 10 monthly instalments respectively, directly from their salary. By purchasing a season ticket in this way, staff have to make no initial outlay themselves and benefit from an interest-free loan.


How to apply for a bus, train or ferry season ticket & interest free loan

1. Obtain the necessary application forms (all electronic copies of forms are in Word 6 format), taking care to read the conditions of loans


2. To determine the cost of any season ticket, telephone:

  • For train season tickets - any rail station or National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50
  • For bus season tickets - Uni-link services on internal tel 25974 
  • Ferry tickets - Red Funnel offer six-month tickets at £1155 or annual tickets at £2015.


3. Complete Section One of the relevant UoS interest free loan application form - please note that;

  • Applicants must be salaried members of University of Southampton staff with a Payroll number. 
  • Season tickets must be for 26 or 52 weeks. 
  • The maximum interest free loan that can be applied for is £2000.
  • Applications are received and processed in accordance with the terms and conditions of the travel operator and the University's scheme. In signing up to the scheme, applicants agree to comply with all such terms and conditions.


4. Complete the relevant season ticket application form - please note : photos are required for the SWT train season ticket


5. Send application forms to the Payroll Services Section, Building 37.


6. If the loan application is successful and the applicant has correctly filled in the forms the Payroll Services Section will complete Section Two of the interest free loan application form and send the season ticket application form to First Bus/SWT to be processed.


7. Once the Payroll Services Section has received the processed season ticket, the applicant will be contacted.


8. In the case of Red Funnel, the applicant will receive a payment made directly to their bank account to enable them to purchase their own ticket.


9. Direct deductions from salary will then commence for either 5 or 10 consecutive months



Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does an application take to process?

Once the Payroll Services Section have received the completed form you must allow 15 working days for the ticket, in the case of SW Trains, to be processed and be ready for your collection. In most instances it should be quicker than this.


2. What happens if I leave the University before the whole loan has been repaid?

The balance of the loan will immediately become repayable and will be recovered from the employee's final salary. Please note that if the balance of the outstanding loan is larger than the employee's final pay, the individual will be required to repay the total outstanding balance before their last date of employment at the University of Southampton. If the season ticket is returned to the Payroll Services Section before the member of staff has left the employment of the University, a refund of the outstanding balance of the season ticket will be sought from the relevant transport operator. When the University of Southampton has received the outstanding balance of the ticket from the company, it will be repaid to the member of staff in the form of a cheque. It should be noted that refunds are calculated by transport operator and are not made pro rata.


3. What happens if I no longer want or need the season ticket?

The season ticket must be returned to the Payroll Services Section and the balance of the loan will immediately become repayable and will be recovered from the employee's next pay. If the balance of the outstanding loan is greater than the employee's next pay, individual arrangements will be made for recovering the balance. The University of Southampton will request a refund of the outstanding balance of the season ticket from the relevant transport operator. When the University of Southampton has received the outstanding balance of the ticket from the operator, it will be repaid to the member of staff through the Payroll.


4. What happens if I lose my season ticket?

For uni-link bus season tickets - contact Uni-link services on internal tel 25974 for instructions on dealing with non-fraudulently lost, defaced, illegible or mutilated season tickets.

For train season tickets - In case of non-fraudulently lost, defaced, illegible or mutilated season tickets, apply to SW Trains, who may replace. A fee may be payable.

For Red Funnel, lost or stolen tickets must be reported immediately to Red Funnel on 0844 844 9988.

There is a Card Protection Scheme. For further details, please see Red Funnel website.


5. If I am going on holiday for 4 weeks, can I therefore extend the validity of my ticket to take account of this?

Yes, but you must send the relevant operator your season ticket before you go on holiday, it cannot be done retrospectively! This service will NOT be dealt with by the Payroll Services Section, so the employee would need to arrange this themselves.


6. What happens if I am ill and am not able to use my ticket?

Generally speaking unless the operator is sent the season ticket before the illness, days lost through illness cannot be claimed back retrospectively. This service will NOT be dealt with by the Payroll Services Section, so the employee would need to arrange this themselves.