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Advanced Learner Loans

Aged 19 or over and thinking about further education?

You may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan. These loans help you to pay the fees charged by colleges and training organisations. Most learners aged 19 and over, studying at Level 3 to 6, will qualify for these loans from the UK government. It’s easy to apply, your household income isn’t taken into account and there’s no credit check. You won’t have to pay anything back until your income is over £21,000 a year.


Making the right choice

It’s important you consider your own circumstances and look into all options for paying for your course before choosing to take out a loan.

If you are 19 to 23 and are studying your first full Level 3 qualification you might be able to get a grant to help pay for your course. You can choose to fund your Level 3 qualification with either a grant or an Advanced Learner Loan, but you choose to fund it with an Advanced Learner Loan, you lose your entitlement to grant funding.

If you want advice on managing your finances you can get impartial money advice from the Money Advice Service at moneyadviceservice.org.uk


Do I qualify?

To qualify you must be:

  • aged 19 or over (24 or over if your course begins before 1 August 2016) 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 three years immediately before this unless you meet one of the exceptions detailed in the ‘Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Learners’
  • studying with a college or training organisation in England approved for public funding
  • enrolling on an eligible course at Level 3 to 6 (Level 3 or 4 only if your course begins before 1 August 2016) which includes A levels, Access to HE Diplomas and other Vocational Qualifications.

These loans do not cover Degrees or other forms of Higher Education (HE). For information on funding for HE go to gov.uk/student-finance.


How much can I get?

The minimum loan amount is £300.

You can take out a loan for the maximum amount to cover your fee or you can pay all or part of the fee yourself.


How is the loan paid?

Student Finance England will pay your agreed loan to your college or training organisation once they’ve confirmed you’ve registered on your course.


How many loans can I get?

You can have up to a maximum of four Advanced Learner Loans in total.

If you started your course before 1 August 2016, you can only take out one loan at a time for non A Level courses and you can’t get a second loan for a course of the same type and level as the one you’ve already completed.

If you start your course on or after 1 August 2016, you can apply for up to four loans at the same time for courses of any eligible type and level. You should speak to your college or provider to check that the combinations you would like to study will benefit you and lead to progression.

For A Levels you can apply for a loan to fund each course you take towards your A Levels - up to a maximum of 4 A Levels. This means you can have up to 8 loans at once if you’re taking each A Level as 2 separate courses. The courses must be in the same subject to qualify for a full A Level. You can also get up to three loans for non A Level courses.


Frequently Asked Questions




Repaying your Advanced Learner Loan is straightforward

  • your monthly repayments will be based on your income, not what you borrowed
  • you’ll only start making repayments when your income is more than £404 per week, £1,750 per month or £21,000 per year
  • you’ll only pay back 9% of any income above £21,000 a year, see the table below for examples of what you’ll repay:


Annual income before tax       

Monthly salary      

Monthly repayment     

Up to £21,000














if you’re paid monthly and earn £2,500 before tax you would repay 9% of the difference between what you earn and what the individual threshold is: £2,500 - £1,750 = £750 9% of £750 = £67.50

Your loan repayment would be £67 in that month. If your income drops or rises, for example if you receive a bonus, your repayment amount will automatically change to reflect this.

You can make voluntary repayments at any time to pay off your loan more quickly.

  • If you’re self-employed you’ll be responsible for making loan repayments as part of your annual self-assessment tax return
  • If you’re employed, you don’t need to do anything. Your employer will take your repayments directly off your salary as they do with tax and national insurance contributions
  • If your income falls below £21,000 a year, your repayments will stop and will only restart once your income is more than £21,000 a year again
  • You’ll be due to start repaying your loan in the April after you leave or finish your course – whichever comes first. You can make voluntary repayments at any time.
  • Any loan remaining 30 years after you’re due to start making repayments will be written off.


Interest on your repayment 

Some of the interest on your loan will be based on inflation (Retail Price Index (RPI)).The table below shows how interest is calculated:


Interest rate

While you’re studying and until the April after you finish or leave your course

Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3%

From the April after you finish or leave your course Interest will be based on your income.
  • £21,000 or less – RPI
  • £21,001 to £41,000 – RPI plus up to 3%, depending on income
  • £41,000 and over – RPI plus 3%


Loan Tuition Fees for the academic year 2016-2017


Level 3 Tuition Fees (Loan Amount)


Edexcel Qualification Reference Number

Qualification Title

Loan amount cost to Learner


Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF)



Level 3 Diploma in Playwork (NVQ)



Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Management (QCF)



Level 3 Diploma in Children's Learning and Development (Early Years Educator)(QCF)



BTEC Level  3  Diploma in Customer Services (QCF)



BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration (QCF)



Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools (QCF)



Level 3  NVQ Diploma in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership(QCF)



Level 3 Diploma in Retail Skills (Sales Professional) (QCF)



Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement

Price on Application. 


BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Business



Level 3 90-Credit Diploma in Business



BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business



BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Health and Social Care



BTEC Level 3 90-Credit Diploma in Health and Social Care



Level 3 NVQ Certificate in Facilities Management (QCF)



Level 3 Child and Young People's Workforce - HSC Pathway Only (QCF)



Level 4 Tuition Fees (Loan Amount)


Edexcel Qualification Reference Number

Qualification Title

Loan Amount cost to Learner


Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Management (QCF)



BTEC Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care



BTEC Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training (QCF)



Fees, where published, are for the academic year starting in August 2016.


Key Questions Answered


Terms and Conditions



To find out further information or to apply, please visit our homepage or contact us on 0207 998 3655 / 0208 616 2234.


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