Advanced Learning Loan
Studying Level 3 or above?
You could be eligible for a student loan…
Aged 19-23: Already have a Level 3 qualification and applying to study for another Level 3 or above
Aged 24+: Applying to study at Level 3 or above
Student loans have traditionally only been available to students studying at degree level, but from September 2013 the government launched a new loan scheme to help you access the financial support you might need to study for a qualification.
You do not have to start paying back the loan until the April following your course end date, and if you are also earning over £21,000 a year.
The loans are not means-tested (income is not taken into account) and there is no credit check.
Do I qualify for a loan?
To qualify for a loan you must:
• Be aged 19 or over at the start of your course
• Be resident in the UK and studying at an approved college or training organisation in England
How do I know my course is eligible for funding?
Eligible courses include:
• Access to HE Diploma
• Level 3 Certificate or Diploma
• Level 4 Certificate or Diploma
• Advanced Apprenticeship or Higher Apprenticeship
• Some Level 5 and 6 courses
How long will my application take?
The majority of applications submitted online should take four to five days. Other applications will be processed within two to four weeks.
Will I be able to afford the loan?
Research shows that people with a Level 3 qualification or above earn more than those who are not similarly qualified. Repayments will be made at 9% of your annual earnings over £21,000. This means that if you earn £22,000 a year you will have to pay back £7 a month.
If your earnings drop below £21,000 payments will stop.
Interest on your loan will be based on inflation (Retail Price Index – RPI).
How much will the loan be for?
For all eligible courses the loan will be up to 100% of the cost of the training including course and material fees. This could be from £300 upwards depending on the individual course.
You don’t have to borrow the full cost of your course- you can pay for some of it yourself if you wish.
Do I need to apply for a loan for each year I am studying?
No. You will only have to apply for one loan to cover the whole length of your course – you don’t have to reapply each year – one course, one loan.
How is the loan paid?
The money will be paid directly to the college once we confirm that you have attended the course for two weeks.
When do I have to start paying back the loan?
You do not have to pay back the loan until your course has finished and you are earning over £21,000 per year.
Access to HE: If you receive a loan to study for an Access to HE course, and then move on to do a HE course, the amount outstanding on your loan for your access course will be written off once you complete your HE qualification.
How do I pay back the loan?
If you’re an employee your employer will work out your repayments and take them out of your salary with your tax.
If you’re self employed you make repayments as part of your Self Assessment Tax Return.
You can pay off some or all of your loan at any time without incurring an extra charge.
What if I leave the course or want to change course?
If you leave or change your course after two weeks you will have to pay back any money that has been paid to the college.
If you want to change your course, speak to a member of staff in the Student Hub to see if the loan can be transferred.
How do I apply for the Advanced Learning Loan?
You can apply online or by post.
To apply online visit: www.gov.uk/advancedlearningloans
To apply you will need your National Insurance Number and a form of identity eg passport or birth certificate. You will also need a learning and funding information letter, available from the Student Hub.
What if there is a problem with my loan application?
You will need to contact the loan company on 0300 100 0619. If you are ineligible for the loan you will need to notify the Student Hub ASAP as you will become liable for the course fees.
Please note if your loan is not fully approved then you will be liable for the course fees.
Do I have to take a loan out for the course fees?
No, you can pay for the fees yourself and we will be happy to set up a payment plan for you, or alternatively if you have a company that is willing to sponsor you we can accept payment from them by a company letter.
Is there any additional financial support available?
Yes, there is a bursary fund that is provided to all colleges for students who are receiving theAdvanced Learning Loan. The bursary fund can offer support with childcare costs.
You can apply for this additional financial support if your household income is £25,000 or below per year and you are on an eligible course. Please speak to a member of staff in the college’s Student Hub, as you will receive this support directly from the college.
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