Advanced Learner Loans
If you are aged 19 or over and applying to study at Level 3 or above, you could be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan.
Most learners, studying an approved course at Level 3 and above, will qualify for these loans. It’s easy to apply, your household income isn’t taken into account and there is no credit check.
Find out more about Advanced Learner Loans here
Making the right choice
It’s important you consider your own circumstances and look into all options for paying for your course before choosing to take out a loan. You can get independent financial advice from the Money Advice Service at https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en
How much can you get?
The amount you will get depends on:
- the type of course you take
- how much the fees are for the course
- the minimum loan you can get is £300.
Which courses are eligible?
Courses at Level 3 or above qualify (such as a Certificate or Diploma). Courses eligible for funding via Advanced Learning Loans are approved by the Skills Funding Agency. If you are unsure if the course you are looking to study is eligible please call us for further details.
To get a loan you must be:
- 19 or older on the first day you start your course and the start day of your course (there’s no upper age limit)
- 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 the start date of the course
- Studying at a college or a training organisation in England approved for public funding
- If you are aged 19 – 23 and do not already have a full Level 3 qualification, you will be entitled to receive free tuition and won’t need to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan
- If you are aged 19 – 23 and already have a full Level 3 qualification, you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan.
How many Advance Learner Loans can I apply for?
You can apply for more than one Advanced Learning Loan (up to four in total); you can also receive a loan for courses of the same level and type (e.g. Level 3 Diploma in Carpentry and Level 3 Diploma in Plumbing). You’ll be able to take out further loans to complete different types or levels of eligible courses. You cannot however take out a second loan for the exact same course.
How and when to apply?
You can apply for a loan from May for courses starting between 1 August 2023 and 31 July 2024. You can apply online or download an application form.
Before applying you will require a ‘Learning and Funding Information Letter’ from the college. You will need this to apply for your loan. If you do not receive this, please contact our student finance team. We encourage you to be organised and have your loan in place before enrolment to avoid having to pay a refundable deposit to guarantee your place on your course.
This is NOT an offer of a place on a course, which you will need to discuss with curriculum at enrolment; but enables you to have your loan in place to enrol. Please check your course fees are correct before applying for your loan.
You can complete your application online or download an application form from the Government website. Applying online is the quickest method of application, however if you do choose to submit a paper application please ensure you complete all information fully to ensure your application is not unnecessarily delayed.
You will submit your application to Student Finance England who will then process this and inform you and the college of the decision.
What you need to know
You will need a National Insurance number before any monies can be paid and should have this available to enter on your loan application form. You need your passport details or another form of identity to apply – e.g. your birth certificate.
Advanced Learner Loan Payment and Repayment Information
- Student loans are not like other loans. They come from the government and include more protection than commercial loans, for example with a credit card or to buy a car or home.
- Repayments only start once you earn more than the repayment threshold. When you start repaying your loan and how much you pay depends on which repayment plan you’re on.
- The amount you repay each month from your salary depends on what you earn, not what you owe. Repayment Plan information can be found here.
- For students who take out a loan after 1st August 2023 (Plan 5), the initial annual repayment threshold will be £25,000 a year. This is £2,083 a month or £480 a week. You can find Plans 1-4 repayment information and further information on Plan 5 repayment here.
- If you have not paid off your student loan after 40 years, it is automatically cancelled.
- Interest is added to your loan from the day we make the first payment to you or to your university or college.
- Student Finance England (SFE) will pay the loan directly to the college.
What happens if you withdraw from your course?
If you withdraw from your course within two weeks of the course start date, the loan will not come into effect and you will not have to repay any monies back. If you leave the course after more than two weeks then you’ll be liable to repay the loan payments that have been made to the college on your behalf, for the time you have been on the course.
Please note you will also be required to pay the remainder of your full course fees directly to the college.
Access to Higher Education (HE)
If you get a loan to cover tuition fees for an Access to HE course (e.g. a course that will prepare you for Higher Education) and then successfully complete a higher education course, you will not have to repay the remaining loan for the Access course.