Have you heard about the Advanced Learner Loan?

If you’re aged 19 or over (24 or over if your course begins before 1 August 2016) and want to study A-Levels, an Access to Higher Education Diploma, or a Level 3 to 6 Vocational Qualification (Level 3 or 4 only if your course begins before 1 August 2016), you’ll need to pay your college or training organisation for the cost of your course.

The Advanced Learner Loan is a government-funded loan to help learners. It’s easy to apply for, doesn’t take your household income into account and doesn’t involve a credit check.

Here are some key facts about the loan:

  • Repayments are linked to what you earn and not how much you borrowed
  • You only have to start making repayments when you’ve finished your course and you’re earning over £21,000 a year (£404 a week, or £1,750 a month). Until then, you don’t need to pay back anything, but you can make voluntary repayments at any time.
  • You pay 9% of the money you earn over £21,000, before tax. For example, if you earn £22,000 a year, your monthly repayment will be £7 a month; and if you earn £35,000 a year, it will be £105 a month.
  • Interest is charged on a sliding scale between the Retail Price Index (RPI) and RPI +3%, depending on how much you earn.

For further information, contact our Guidance Team, or visit the Gov.UK website:


Three learners describe how Advanced Learner Loans helped them below.


To qualify for the Advanced Learner Loan you’ll need to be:

  • Aged 19 or over at the start of your course
  • A resident in the UK for three years prior to the start of your course
  • Enrolling on a publicly funded course at Level 3 or 4

For more details on whether or not you’re eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan, click here: https://www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan/eligibility


The loans are not means tested or credit checked and any individual who meets the criteria will be able to apply for a loan whether they are employed or unemployed – the loan will then be paid directly to the College on your behalf.

You don’t pay anything up front for your course fees and if you are not earning over £21,000 a year, you won’t pay anything back either.

To apply

To apply you will need the following:

  • A valid National Insurance Number
  • Valid UK passport details
    • Alternative forms of ID can be submitted (UK birth certificate, Irish birth certificate, EU passport or other passport and visa confirmation)
  • Your course details, which can be found on your learning and funding information letter given at enrolment

Click here to apply for the Advanced Learner Loan

Impartial Money Advice

It is important to consider your own circumstances and look into all options. You can access impartial money advice from The Money Advice Service: http://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/