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Advanced Learner Loans

If you are aged 19 or over and want to study an Access to Higher Education Diploma or a Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 Certificate or Diploma you will need to pay your college or training organisation for the cost of your course.

A new loan scheme has been introduced by the government to help learners. The Advanced Learner Loan is easy to apply for, doesn’t take your household income into account and doesn’t involve a credit check.

To qualify for a Advanced Learner Loan you need to be:

  • Aged 19 and over at the start of your course
  • A resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the course. If you are an EU resident, a family member of one, a refugee, a migrant worker, the child of a Swiss national or the child of a Turkish worker, you may also be entitled to the loan.
  • Enrolling on a Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 Certificate or Diploma. This includes Vocational courses and Access to HE Diplomas.

Here are some of the key facts about the loan:

  • Repayments are linked to what you earn and not how much you borrowed.
  • You only have to start making repayments when you’ve finished your course and you’re earning over £21,000 a year (which is £404 a week or £1,750 a month). You can also make voluntary repayments at any time.
  • You pay 9% of the money you earn over £21,000, before tax. For example, if you earn £22,000 a year, your monthly repayment will be £7 a month; and if you earn £35,000 a year, it will be £105 per month.
  • Interest is charged on a sliding scale between the Retail Price Index (RPI) and RPI +3%, depending on how much you earn.

For further information, contact us on 01772 22 55 22, email us or visit us at the Fulwood Campus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which courses are covered?

You can access any Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 Certificate or Diploma Vocational course and Access to Higher Education Diploma and what’s great is that you can take out up to four loans so that you can keep studying to get further in your career. Contact the Advice Centre on 01772 225522 to speak to a specialist careers advisor to find the right course for you.

What happens if I progress from an Access to Higher Education course to a degree?

If your Advanced Learner Loan is for an Access to Higher Education course and you progress to complete a university level course, you will not have to pay back your Advanced Learner Loan.

When can I apply for my Advanced Learner Loan?

First you need to apply for the course you want to go on. The Advice Centre will be able to help you find the right course just for you. You can make an appointment on 01772 225522.

How much will my Advanced Learner Loan be for?

The minimum amount you can borrow is £300 and you can borrow up to the total cost of your tuition fees. If you choose, you can borrow part of the fees and pay the rest yourself. The College allows you to pay the cost of some courses in installments. For further details, email: loansquestions@preston.ac.uk.

Once my course has finished can I take out another Advanced Learner Loan for another course?

Yes. Once you have completed your course you will be eligible to apply for more Advanced Learner Loans to help you progress in your studies. You can apply up to a total of four loans.

Who will pay my tuition fees?

The Student Loan Company (SLC) will pay your tuition fees to College once the course has started and we have confirmed your attendance on it. No loan payments will be made by them to us until you have attended the course for at least two weeks. 

When will I start re-paying my Advanced Learner Loan?

You will only start to repay your Advanced Learner Loan when you are earning OVER £404 per week, £1,750 per month or £21,000 per year. Interest on the Advanced Learner Loans will be lower than anything available on the high street and linked to inflation. See the below table to see how much you would pay when earning.

Income each year before tax Monthly salary Monthly repayment
Up to £21,000 £1,750 £0
£22,000 £1,833 £7
£25,000 £2,083 £30
£30,000 £2,500 £67
£35,000 £2,917 £105
£40,000 £3,333 £142

N.B. Any loan remaining 30 years after you’re due to start making repayments will be written off.

If you’d like any more information get in touch with our friendly student services team on 01772 225656.

Making the right choice – It is important that you consider your own circumstances and look into all options for paying your course before choosing to take out a loan. You can get independent financial advice from the Money Advice Service at www.moneyadviceservice.co.uk

Useful Links

Advanced Learner Loan Information Booklet

Advanced Learner Loan – At A Glance

Professional and Career Development Loans (PDF – 992KB)

Official website: www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan

Independent Financial Advice: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

Qualifications and careers information: www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk or helpline: 0800 100 900