Completed your first Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 course, but decided that you want to go in a different career direction? Don’t let that hold you back from enrolling on your desired course! If you’re aged 19+, you may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan to fund your tuition fees. Don’t worry, you won’t need to pay a penny back until you have finished your course and you can afford it.
You are eligible if:
- You are aged 19 or older.
- You are studying in England, with an education provider in receipt of a loan facility (such as at BSDC).
- You are studying one or more approved learning aim at Levels 3, 4, 5, or 6.
- You are living in the UK on the first day of your course (for further eligibility criteria relating to your UK residence status, please see the FAQ guide on this page
How they work
If you are aged 19+, from 16th May 2016, you can apply for Advanced Learner Loans on Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 courses starting from 1st August 2016. If you are aged 19-23, the Advanced Learner Loan does not replace your entitlement to complete your first full Level 3 course; it covers any additional Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 courses that you wish to enrol on. You are entitled to access up to four loans, which can all be taken out at once, or one after the other.
The amount of money available to you depends on the course that you are studying. The minimum that can be borrowed is £300 and it’s easy to apply as there is no credit check, no upper age limit, and your household income isn’t taken it account.
You won’t have to pay anything back until you’ve completed your course. Repayments are based on your income and won’t begin until your income is over £21,000 a year (salary equivalent to £404 a week or £1,750 a month). See the Repayment Guide and Terms & Conditions on this page for more information.
How to apply
For more information or to apply online please visit www.gov.uk/advancedlearnerloan, or you can complete a paper based form instead by speaking to one of our Financial Support Advisors located in The Learner Hub. They will be able to support you with your application, as well as provide you with facts about Advanced Learner Loans.
Will I be eligible for any other financial support?
If you are supporting your studies through an Advanced Learner Loan, we may be able to assist you with costs incurred whilst studying such as childcare (a maximum contribution of £1,000 a term) and travel to and from College (a maximum contribution of £150 per academic term).
You can apply for a bursary fund if you are funding your course with an approved Advanced Learner Loan and on a low income or in receipt of a means tested benefit.
Application forms for 2016/17 will be available from 1 August 2016.
Does the loan only cover the tuition fees?
Yes. The Advanced Learner Loan is for tuition fees only. Any additional examination or awarding body registration fees are the responsibility of the learner to pay on enrolment.
Do I get the money in full?
No. The Student Loans Company 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.
Does getting a loan depend on my income or credit history?
No. Getting a loan doesn't depend on your income and credit checks aren't carried out.
Is there an upper age limit for someone applying for a loan?
No. There’s no upper age limit.
What will I need?
When making you application, you will require your Funding Information Letter, National Insurance Number, valid UK Passport or UK Birth Certificate. You will also need a valid email address and access to a printer.