Learners who are over the age of 19 can now apply for an Advanced Learner Loan for any Level 3, 4 or 5 qualification in England.
These FAQ's aim to give you the information you need in order to decide if taking out a loan is the right choice for you. If you're considering studying, you might be surprised by how affordable it can be.
Eligible courses include:
Access to HE Diploma
Diplomas at level 3 and 4
Certificates at level 3 and 4
An Advanced Learner Loan isn’t like other loans because:
It doesn’t have to be paid back until you are earning more than £27,295 a year
It won’t effect your credit rating
Your credit rating will not be taken into account
Repayments are linked to how much you earn, not how much you borrow
You may apply to get money from the Loan Bursary Fund after you’ve received a letter approving your Advanced Learner Loan to help pay for childcare.
"I would take a loan out but..."
“It will affect my benefits and I won’t have enough to live on.”
The loan doesn’t cover living costs. Think of it as loans for education, benefits for living.
However, you should speak to your Jobcentre Advisor as taking a course could affect your benefits if you study/train for more than 16 hours per week.
“Taking out a loan will make it difficult to get a mortgage.”
The loan doesn’t appear on your credit file, which is what banks take into consideration for mortgages. So the loan itself won’t affect that decision.
However, mortgage providers might take into account your disposable income – they will want to make sure you can afford mortgage repayments after income tax and loan repayments have been taken from your salary.
“Can I afford to do a further education course?”
Anyone aged 19 and over who wants to study a course at level 3, 4 or 5 now has to pay.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t afford to study in further education.
Yes, you have to pay fees, but with a Advanced Learner Loan you can borrow the money and pay it back a bit at a time when you are earning more than £27,295 a year.
“Does applying for the loan involve a credit check?”
There’s no credit check or upper age limit and it doesn’t matter what your income is, you could still get a loan.
“When will I pay my loan back?”
To begin paying back your loan you would have to be earning more than £27,295 a year. This will be arranged for you by the Advanced Learner Loan provider.
If you would like to make voluntary payment, you may do so at any time.
“If something happens and I can’t finish my course, will I end up paying for it anyway?“
No payment from your loan will be made to your college or training organisation until you’ve attended the course for more than two weeks. If you leave after more than two weeks, you’ll have to pay back any loan payments that have been made, based on the length of time you attended the course. Once you stop attending, the loan payments stop.
“I want to set up my own business. Will repaying back my loan be really complicated?”
Instead of your employer deducting your repayments along with your income tax, you will make repayments based on your self assessment tax return. It’s exactly the same method the Government uses to calculate your tax and National Insurance contributions. And you still only make repayments if your income is more than £27,295 in the tax year.
“If I can’t find work after I’ve finished my course, how will I repay my loan?”
If you aren’t earning any money, you won’t have to make repayments. The payment terms depend on you earning £27,295 a year (or the equivalent). Until then you don’t repay anything. And if you haven’t paid the loan back within 30 years, any remaining amount will be written off.
For more information please call our friendly Recruitment Team on 01752 218086 or visit Gov.uk >