Advanced Learner Loan
The Government's Advanced Learner Loan could help you study now and pay later! You can apply for a loan to help with the costs of a further education course at college. Loan eligibility doesn't depend on your income and there are no credit checks.
To qualify for a loan you need to be:
- Aged 19 or over at the start of the course and not entitled to receive full funding for a first full Level 3 qualification.
- Enrolling on a qualification course at Level 3, 4 or 5. (Including AS/A-levels, Access to Higher Education Diplomas, vocational and professional qualifications)
- * Living in the UK on the first day of your course and have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for three years immediately before this.
- * Be a UK national or have 'settled status' (this means there are no restrictions on how long you can stay).
* Please note that there are exceptions to this. We advise you to check your eligibility before you apply by calling the Student Loans Company on 0300 100 0619
Key facts about loan repayments
- Repayment only starts once you have completed your qualification and are earning over £26,575 per year. Repayments start the April following completion of your course.
- Repayment of loans is through the tax system.
- Your annual repayments amount will be at the rate of inflations plus up to 3% of any income you earn above this threshold – irrespective of the value of the loan taken out.
- You can make voluntary repayments if you want to pay off your loan more quickly.
- Outstanding loan balances will be written off after 30 years.
These repayments will be linked to earnings rather than the loan amount, so regardless of how much a student owes, the payments will be the same. If annual earnings fall below £26,575 repayments will stop and only re-start when earnings increase to more £26,575 per year.
Frequently asked questions
Does the loan only cover tuition fees?
Yes, the Advanced Learner Loan is for tuition fees only and the costs/charges for items required to complete the course. You may be eligible for money from the Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Fund if you need help with some costs while studying, for example childcare, travel or trips related to your course.
How much can I take out?
The minimum loan amount you can take out is £300. You can either take the full cost of the tuition fee or you can pay all or part of the fee yourself.
Do I get the money in full?
No. Student Finance England pay the agreed tuition fee direct to the College in equal instalments – the money does not come to you.
Do I have to pay the loan back if I progress onto Higher Education?
If you successfully complete the Access to Higher Education Diploma, then progress on to and complete a Higher Education course, the loan taken out for the Access course will not have to be paid back. The higher education course must be eligible for student finance.
Do I have to have a good credit history?
There is no credit testing and your household income is not taken into account.
Where can I get financial advice?
The College is not allowed to provide you with financial advice. You need to consider all options and work out which is best for your own circumstances. Independent financial advice is available from the Money Advice Service.
How do I apply?
If the course qualifies for a loan we will give you a Learning and Funding information letter in order to apply. This will contain all the information you need, including the amount of tuition fee and the course learning aim reference. (Once your learning is completed repayment of the loan will fall due and be collected through the tax system once you are earning £26,575+). For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
When do I apply for my loan?
You can apply for your loan as soon as you receive your Learning and Funding information letter. Do this as soon as possible to ensure your application is processed before your course starts. You can apply for the Advanced Learner Loan from 1 June 2020. for courses starting on or after the following August. If your loan has not been approved by the time the course starts, then it will be your responsibility to pay the fees in full. If you decide to withdraw from the course you will still be required to pay cancellation charges as detailed in our cancellation and refunds policy.
Can I access any additional support?
You can also apply for bursary support from our Learner Support Fund if you have funded your course through the 19+ Advanced Learning Loan.
Where can I find out more about the Advanced Learner Loan?
Further information about the loan is available at GOV.UK - Advanced Learner Loan.