You can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to pay for your tuition fees. These advanced learning loans are available for learners wanting to study a Level 3 to 6 course or Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships providing you meet the eligibility criteria.
The Advanced Learner Loans are similar to Higher Education loans but will be introduced for Further Education students.
To qualify you'll need to be:
- aged 19 and over at the start of the course
- studying an eligible course as per the SFA
- a resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the course
- have not previously had a loan to do the same qualification type and level of qualification
Advanced Learner Loans build on the success of 24+ loans and have been introduced to ensure everyone has the opportunity to study by providing a loan to cover tuition fees. It is the responsibility of the student to apply for the loan but support from the College will be available throughout the process.
The Advanced Learner Loan is a government-funded loan to help learners. It's easy to apply for, doesn’t take your household income into account and doesn’t involve a credit check.
Key facts about the loan:
- repayments are linked to what you earn and not how much you borrowed
- you only have to start making repayments when you’ve finished your course and you’re earning over £21,000 a year (which is £404 a week or £1,750 a month). Until then you don’t need to pay back anything, but you can make voluntary repayments at any time.
- you pay 9% of the money you earn over £21,000, before tax. For example, if you earn £22,000 a year, your monthly repayment will be £7 a month; and if you earn £35,000 a year, it will be £105 per month
- interest is charged on a sliding scale between the Retail Price Index (RPI) and RPI +3%, depending on how much you earn
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE ADVANCED LEARNER LOAN REPAYMENTS
Does the loan only cover the tuition fees?
Yes, the Advanced Learner Loans are for tuition fees only.
Do I get the money in full?
No, Student Finance England will pay your agreed tuition fees direct to the College in equal instalments. The minimum loan you can take out is £300. You can take out the full cost of the tuition fee or you can pay part of the tuition fee yourself.
Do I have to have a good credit history?
The loans are not means tested or credit checked and any individual who meets the criteria will be able to apply for a loan whether they’re employed or unemployed.
It is important that you consider your own circumstances and look into all the options for paying for your course. Independent financial advice is available from the Money Advice Service at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk or by calling 0300 500 5000.
Where can I find out more about the Advanced Learner Loans?
You can find out more about the Advanced Learner Loans by contacting the Admissions Team by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01509 618375.
Our Advisers will be able to support you with your application as well as providing the facts about Advanced Learner Loans. Further information is also available at: https://www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan
ADVANCED LEARNER LOANS - KEY TAKEAWAYS
- Repayment will only start once you have finished your qualification and are earning more than £21,000 per year
- Repayment of loans is through the tax system
- Interest will be charged at the retail price index RPI+3% during the period of study, and until the April after you leave the course
- From the April after you finish the course repayments are at 9% of income above £21,000 – irrespective of the amount of loan taken out
- Interest rates are variable based on income up to maximum of RPI+3% for incomes above £41,000
- Outstanding Loan balances will be written off after 30 years
Example monthly repayment amounts, income each year before tax:
|INCOME EACH YEAR BEFORE TAX||MONTHLY REPAYMENT AMOUNTS|
|Up to £21,000||Repay £0|
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 £21,000 repayments will stop and only re-start when earnings increase to more than £21,000 a year.
You will be able to apply online by visiting: Student Finance England