Male student with a land rover in the background at the farm at East Durham College's Houghall Campus

Advanced Learner Loan (19+)

Have you heard about the Advanced Learner Loan?

If you're aged 19 or over and want to study A Levels, an Access to Higher Education Diploma, or a Level 3 to 6 Vocational Qualification, 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 (which is £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 per 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 Student Services on 0191 518 8222 or visit https://www.gov.uk/advanced-learning-loans/overview

What learners need to know

  • You need to pay course fees if you are 19 or over and wish to study for a qualification at level 3 to 6.
  • You may be eligible for a government-backed Advanced Learner Loan to pay for your course fee.
  • The amount of money you can borrow depends on your course.
  • The minimum amount you can borrow is £300.
  • When applying for an Advanced Learner Loan, there is no credit check and household income isn’t taken into account.
  • Loan repayments are linked to what you earn when you’ve finished your course, not how much you borrowed.
  • You only need to start paying back your Advanced Learner Loan when you are earning more than £21,000 per year. This works out at £404 a week and £1,750 a month. You pay back 9% of the money you earn over £21,000.
  • If you’re employed, loan repayments will be taken directly from your salary through the tax system.
  • You can make voluntary repayments at any time.

Other Helpful Websites

The decision to take out an Advanced Learner Loan is entirely for the individual and you may wish to take careers and financial advice before doing so. Before taking out any loan, you should consider all of your options. If you want advice on managing your finances, visit the Money Advice Service website.

Click here for The Money Advice Service website.

Click here for more information from gov.uk website section on Advanced Learning Loans.

Case Study Video By The National Careers Service

The video features the case studies of three learners who have benefited from taking out an Advanced Learner Loan.

Helpful Leaflets

Advanced Learner Loan - A quick guide on how to apply

Advanced Learner Loan - A quick guide on repayments

Advanced Learner Loan - Access to HE Diploma information sheet

For more details, please call Student Services on 0191 518 8222.