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 years or over, 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 on the first day of your course
- you are studying in England, with an education provider in receipt of a loan facility
- you are studying one or more approved learning aim at Levels 3, 4, 5, or 6
In most cases, all of the following must apply. You must:
- be living in the UK on the first day of your course
- have been living in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for 3 years before starting your course
- be a UK national or have ‘settled status’ (this means there are no restrictions on how long you can stay)
You may also qualify if you’re:
- a UK national, or someone with settled status, but you live somewhere else in the European Economic Area (EEA)
- an EU national or a family member of one
- not a UK national but you’ve lived in the UK for at least 20 years (or at least half of your life)
- a refugee or a relative of one
- a migrant worker
- the child of a Swiss national
- the child of a Turkish worker
- under humanitarian protection or a relative of someone who has been granted it
- staying in the UK as a stateless person (or their family member) and your course starts on or after 1st August 2018
- a serving member of the UK armed forces (or their spouse, civil partner or a dependent parent or child living with them) doing a distance learning course from outside the UK that started on or after 1st August 2017
How they work
If you are aged 19 or over, you can apply for Advanced Learner Loans on Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 courses. If you are aged 19-23, the Advanced Learner Loan does not replace your entitlement to complete your first full Level 3 course where applicable; 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, but you can only get one loan at a time.
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 £25,725 a year (salary equivalent to £494 a week or £2,143 a month gross). See the Repayment Guide and Terms and Conditions on this page for more information.
How to apply
For more information or to apply online, please visit www.gov.uk/advancedlearnerloan. Learner Services staff will be able to support you with your application, as well as provide you with facts about Advanced Learner Loans. See the quick guide on how to apply.
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 and travel to and from college.
You can apply for an Advanced Learner Loans Bursary if you are funding your course with an approved Advanced Learner Loan and you are living on a low income or in receipt of a means tested benefit.
Application forms will be available from 1st August.
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 your 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.