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F.A.Q

19+ Advanced Learning Loan. Key questions answered.

Advanced Learner Loans (loans) help people aged 19 and over undertake vocational, technical and professional qualifications at Levels 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Loans provide a source of fees support for learners, enabling them to reap the personal and financial benefits of their study, which in turn will support the economy.

“Can I afford to do a further education course?”

Anyone aged 19 and over who wants to study a course at level 3, 4,5 and 6, or an Advanced or Higher Apprenticeship, will need to pay for it.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t afford to study in further education.

Yes, you have to pay fees, but with a 19+ Advanced Learning Loan you can borrow the money and pay it back a bit at a time when you are earning more than £21,000.00 a year.

“How long will my course take?”

This depends on the level and qualification that you undertake, courses usually take a minimum of 12 months to complete.

“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 household income is, you could still get a loan.

“Is this a good way to fund my course?”

You don’t have to take out a 19+ Advanced Learning Loan if you would prefer to fund your course through a different route. The loan enables you to pay for the cost of your course upfront in a manageable way, but there are other options.

For example, you could use savings to pay for your course fees or get a loan from elsewhere. You need to decide if it’s the right choice for you, depending on your circumstances.

Before taking out any loan, you should consider all your options. If you want advice on managing your finances, you can get impartial money advice from the Money Advice Service

“Can I afford to pay the loan back?”

The way repayments are worked out is directly linked to how much you earn, not how much you borrow. You only pay back money when you are earning more than £21,000.00, before tax.

The rule applies to the equivalent weekly and monthly amounts too.

“When will I pay my loan back?”

You will start to pay back your 19+ Advanced Learner loan when you are earning more than £21,000.00 a year.

If you would like to make additional voluntary repayments, you can do so at any time.

Repayments start the April following the completion of your course.
You pay back your loan (plus interest) when you finish your course and earn more than £21,000 a year. Your repayments will stop if your income drops below £21,000 a year.
Your annual repayment amount will be 9% of any income you earn over £21,000.
Example
Your monthly repayments would be:
• £7 a month – if you earned £22,000 a year
• £30 a month – if you earned £25,000 a year

“If I overpay my loan, will I get the money back?”

When you have paid off your loan, your repayments will stop. However, as repayments are calculated at the end of the tax year, it’s possible that you could overpay. To avoid this, some people may choose to make direct repayments when they are close to paying off their loan.

If you do overpay, you get the money back. It’s similar to getting a tax rebate it you overpay income tax.

“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 training organisation until you’ve attended your 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 your course. Once you stop attending, the loan payments will stop.

Eligibility

Whether you qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan depends on your:
• course
• college or training provider
• age
• nationality or residency status

If your course starts on or after 1 August 2016

You must be 19 or older on the first day of your course.
Your course must be:
• a Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 qualification
• at an approved training provider or college in England
• Ask training provider or college if you don’t know if your course is eligible.

Your nationality or residency status

You must usually:
• 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
• a migrant worker
• the child of a Swiss national
• the child of a Turkish worker

If you still have questions please fill in the application form located on tab above.

Some of this information is taken from the Government Learner Loan website