How you pay

Ways to pay

There are two main ways to pay for your learning. You can pay in full by debit or credit card, or you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan. These options are offered when you click a course enrol button. You can choose either payment method and will still be able to start your course straight away as we give you immediate access to your online study materials.

Advanced Learner Loans are government backed loans that you only start paying back when you are earning £21,000 or more. Getting an Advanced Learner Loan doesn’t depend on your household income and there’s no credit check. Once you earn over this amount you pay back 9% of the earnings you receive above this figure.

Advanced Learner Loan

You only pay this back if you're earning more than £21k a year

Advanced learner loans are available if you are aged 19 or above, to undertake approved qualifications at Levels 3, 4, 5 and 6. You can apply for up to 4 loans and you can get more than one at the same time (however you can only apply once for an Access to Higher Education Diploma). Also if you use an Advanced Learner Loan for an Access to Higher Education Diploma, your loan will be written off on completion of your Higher Education course.

You only start paying back your loan when you are earning £21,000 or more, use our repayment calculator to see what this looks like. Also any outstanding loan balance left over after 30 years is automatically written off. Advanced learner loans give you access to financial support for tuition costs similar to that available in higher education and are administered by Student Finance England.

Advanced Learner Loans are paid directly to us to pay for your learning. They are not means tested or subject to credit checks and anybody who meets the criteria will be able to apply for a loan regardless of their current employment status.

What are the criteria I have to meet to get a loan?
  • You need to be a UK resident
  • You need to be funding an approved course that is Level 3, 4, 5 and 6
  • You need to be aged 19 or above
How do I apply for an Advanced Learner Loan?

On this site, you can pick a course, click Enrol, and then you can choose, amongst payment methods, to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan. We will give you all the information you need and guide you through the process.

Does interest apply to Advanced Learner Loans?

Yes, you pay interest from the time your first payment is made until you pay your loan back in full. The interest rate charged on Advanced learner Loans changes. It depends on whether you are still studying or not and your annual earning as described below:

  • While you’re studying and until the April after you leave the course interest = Rate of inflation (Retail Price Index) plus 3%
  • £21,000 or less = Rate of inflation
  • £21,000 to £41,000 = Rate of inflation plus up to 3%
  • £41,000 and over = Rate of inflation plus 3%
What if I never earn more than £21,000 a year or my income goes down again?

You’ll only start making repayments when your income is over £404 a week, £1,750 a month or £21,000 a year. If your income falls below these thresholds, repayments will stop and only re-start when your income is over these thresholds.

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

There are circumstances where your loan may be cancelled and you’ll never have to pay it back, such as if you die before you pay the loan off or if you become disabled and permanently unfit for work.

Any loan remaining 30 years after you’re due to start making repayments will be written off, so this loan would be cancelled/over after that time.

How is it paid back, how does the Student Loan Company receive my payments?

If you’re employed, your employer collects student loan repayments on behalf of HMRC and takes repayments direct from your salary in a similar way to tax (PAYE) and National Insurance contributions. If you are self employed, you will be submitting a yearly tax return and will pay your student loan account at the same time as part of that process.

What if I work for someone who doesn't pay my loan off, but still takes the money from my pay?

As long as you have evidence that deductions have been taken, such as your payslips, the Student Loan Company will credit the full amount of the repayments to your account.

What if I have had a student loan before?

It's still worth applying and seeing if you are eligible as you may still be able to get at least one Advanced Learner Loan. If you take out an Advanced Learner Loan and then a student loan for higher education, your loans will be rolled into one and only one monthly repayment will be made.

Advanced Learner Loans are administered by Student Finance England (SFE)

Student Finance England is a Student Loans Company service, providing financial support to students on behalf of the UK Government.

Should I pay in full?

A one off payment made at the start of your course, with nothing further left to pay, is the best way to pay if you have the money and can afford it. This payment method usually attracts the biggest discounts because it does not create any additional administration work.

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