If you are 24 or older, you can apply for a loan to help with the costs of a college or training course.
The course must start on or after 1 August 2013 and be studying a level 3 or 4 (such as A levels or a higher or advanced apprenticeship).
Repayments don’t start until April 2016 and you won’t have to pay anything back until you’re earning over £21,000 a year.
The amount you’ll get depends on:
- the type of course you take
- how much the fees are
The minimum loan you can get is £300.
You do not have to borrow the full cost of your course - you can pay for some of it yourself.
How the loan is paid
The money will be paid directly to your college or training organisation once they’ve confirmed you’ve attended the course for 2 weeks.
You can apply for more 24+ Advanced Learning Loans after you finish your course (up to 4 in total) but for non A level courses
- you can only get 1 loan at a time
- you can’t apply for another loan to repeat the same level of a course (eg you can’t get a loan to fund a Level 3 certificate in French when you have previously had a loan to fund a Level 3 certificate in Italian)
For A level courses, you can apply for up to 4 loans at the same time – 1 for each A level you take.
For more details about 24+ Advanced Learning Loans contact your college or training organisation.
To get a loan you must be:
- 24 or older on the first day of your course (there’s no upper age limit) living in the UK on the first day of your course, and have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years immediately before this
- starting your course between 1 August 2013 and 31 July 2015.
- taking an eligible course that’s level 3 or 4 (such as A levels or a higher or advanced apprenticeship)
- studying at a college or training organisation in England approved for public funding.
Getting a loan does not depend on your household income and there is no credit check.
How to apply
Follow the below steps:
- Check with your college or training provider that the course qualifies.
- Ask them for a ‘Learning and funding information’ letter - you need this to complete the application. It contains the details of your course.
- Apply online - you’ll need to register first. If you can’t apply online you can download the forms below.
- You’ll get a letter confirming your loan - usually within 2 weeks if you apply online (postal applications take longer).
What you need to know
You’ll be able to apply even if your course has already started. You have to apply before it finishes. You will need a ‘learning and funding information letter from your college or provider.
It can take up to 5 days to process an application (or 2 to 4 weeks if you apply by post).
You need a National Insurance number before any money can be paid. You can still apply for a loan before you’ve got a National Insurance number. You need your passport details or another form of identity to apply - eg your birth certificate. Don’t send your passport.
If your course finishes before 2016, repayments won’t start until April 2016.
You pay back your loan (plus interest) when you’ve finished your course and start earning more than £21,000 a year. If your income drops below this amount repayments stop.
Each month you pay back 9% of any income over £21,000.
If you earn £25,000 a year your monthly repayments would be £30.
You can get independent financial advice from the Money Advice Service.
You pay interest from the time your first payment is made to your provider until you pay your loan back in full.
|While you’re studying and until the April after you leave the course
||Rate of inflation (Retail Price Index) plus 3%
|£21,000 or less
||Rate of inflation
|£21,000 to £41,000
||Rate of inflation plus up to 3%
|£41,000 and over
||Rate of inflation plus 3%
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 some or your entire loan at any time without an extra charge.
Leave or change your course
If you leave or change your course after 2 weeks you’ll have to pay back any money that’s been paid to your college or training provider. The interest rate will be the rate of inflation. Speak to your college or training provider to see if they can transfer the loan to another course.