Advanced Learner Loans

The government has introduced student loans for learners aged 19+ years or older studying at level 3 and above.

We have tried to answer some of the questions about the loans. We hope you find this guide useful.


How much can I get? The amount you get depends on the type of course you take and the cost of the course. Student Finance England will pay your tuition fees. The minimum loan amount will be £300. The costs will be confirmed before you enrol.

You don’t have to borrow the full cost of your course; you can pay for some of it yourself.

Getting a loan does not depend on your household income and there is no credit check.

How is the loan paid? The money will be paid directly to the college once you have attended the course for 2 weeks.

Am I Eligible? To be eligible you must be:

• 19 or older on the first day of your course (there is 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 after 1 August 2017
• enrolling on a course at level 3 and above, such as: A levels, Access to HE Diplomas, other Diplomas and Certificates.

How to apply You will be able to apply on line or by post from May 2017 for courses starting in September  2017.

What you need to know

It can take up to 5 days to process an application (or 2-4 weeks if you apply by post).

You need a National Insurance number before any money can be paid. You can apply for a loan before you have a National insurance number.

You need your passport details or another form of identity to apply – e.g. your birth certificate. Don’t send your passport.

How will I pay back the loan?

You pay back your loan when you have finished your course and start earning more than £21,000 a year. If your income drops below this amount repayments will stop.

Each month you pay back 9% of any income over £21,000.

Income each year before tax               Monthly salary                        Monthly repayment
Up to £21,000                                                 £1,750                                          £0.00
£22,000                                                            £1,833                                          £7.00
£25,000                                                            £2,083                                         £30.00
£30,000                                                           £2,500                                          £67.00
£40,000                                                           £3,333                                          £142.00

If you are self-employed you make repayments as part of your Self-Assessment tax return.

What if I am studying Access to Higher Education?

If you get a loan to cover tuition fees for an Access course and then complete a higher education course you can apply to have the loan waived for the Access course, so you won’t have to repay it.

Financial support

When your loan has been approved, if you have a low household income, you may be entitled to financial support from the Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Fund (ALLBF):

Some useful contacts