Advanced learner loans: adults in further education and training

If you’re aged 19 or over, live in England and are thinking about further education or training, you might qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan. This type of loan was previously called the 24+ Advanced Learning Loan and is targeted at helping adult learners manage the cost of further education. It’s easy to apply and you won’t have to pay anything back until you’re earning over £21,000 a year.

What are Advanced Learner Loans?

Visit GOV.UK for more information on how to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan.

The government introduced 19+ Learner Loans to help adult learners manage the costs of further education, in England.

These loans cover tuition fees for a range of Level 3 to Level 6 courses.

Including:

  • A-levels
  • Diplomas
  • Certificates
  • Access to Higher education
  • Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships

Advanced Learner Loans don’t apply for Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

How much can you get?

The amount you are eligible for depends on:

  • The course you want to study.
  • The fees charged by your college or training provider.
  • Maximum limits for your loan (depending on the type of course).

The minimum loan you can take out is £300.

Loans are paid directly to your college or training provider.

You can apply for up to four loans, but you can only get one at a time. If you’re doing an A Level course, you could apply for up to eight loans.

Find out whether you’re eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan on GOV.UK

Can I apply for an Advanced Learner Loan?

Getting a loan doesn’t depend on your income and is not subject to credit checks.

After 1 August 2016

To be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan, you must be:

  • At an approved college or training provider in England.
  • Aged 19 or older on the first day of your approved course.
  • Currently living in the UK for three years before starting your course.
  • A UK citizen or have a ‘settled status’ (no limits on how long you can stay)
  • Enrolled on a Level 3 to 6 qualification.(Ask your college or training provider to find out whether your course is eligible.)

Before 1 August 2016

If your course started before 1 August 2016 you’ll need to be over 24 and on a level 3 or 4 course .

Assess your financial situation before committing

Before applying, think about how you’ll repay your Advanced Learner Loan.

This is important as no affordability assessment will be carried out.

It’s up to you to work out what you can and can’t afford to borrow.

Think about what would happen if your income dropped or your living costs went up.

Remember: Interest will be added to the loan from the day you get it, so bear in mind that the amount you repay will be greater than the initial loan.

How will I pay back the loan?

You don’t have to pay any of your loan back until you’ve started earning over £21,000 a year.

If you leave or change course after two weeks or more, you’ll have to pay back any money that was paid to your university or training provider.

You can choose to pay off some or all of your loan off at any given time with no extra charge.

Any outstanding balance is automatically written off 30 years from your last payment.

Example of repayment amounts

Monthly repayments are based on how much you earn, not the amount that you’ve borrowed.

It’s set at 9% of your respective income above the minimum of £21,000 a year.

Interest on your repayments

In the same way as student loans and bank loans, you’ll have to pay interest on your Advanced Learner Loan.

You’ll be charged interest at the Retail Price Index (RPI) + 3% while you complete your course and one month after you leave your college or training provider.

After that interest is linked to your earnings.

So if you earn:

  • Less than £21,000 the interest is set at the RPI
  • 21,000 to £41,000 the interest is set at RPI + 3% on a sliding scale
  • Over £41,000 the interest is set at RPI +3%
If you’re self-employed, repayments are made through your Self Assessment Tax Return.

Where to find more information

Speak to your college or training provider, to find out whether or not you’re eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan.

It’s worth checking whether there are any non-repayable bursaries or grants available to help with the additional costs associated with further education and training courses.

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