Learner Loans

What are Advanced Learning Loans?

They are an option for people aged 19 and over to fund their fees upfront for Level 3 and Level 4 courses in approved colleges and training providers in England.

Advanced Learner Loans are available to those aged 19 and over, studying courses from Level 3 (A-level equivalent) up to Level 6. Applications can be made from May 2016 for Advanced Learner Loans.

Combining study loans

You can take out a Advanced Learning Loan and then a student loan for higher education. Your loans will be rolled into one and only one monthly repayment will be made. If you progress to higher education after taking out a loan for an Access to HE diploma course, your Advanced Learning Loan balance will be written off, on completion of your HE course.

What about the repayments?

Advanced Learning Loans are no different from any other form of borrowing – you have to meet the repayment conditions.

Monthly repayments through the Student Loans Company will be a fixed proportion of your income, which start once you are earning over £21,000. Any balance outstanding is written off after 30 years.

Repayments through the tax system won’t begin until 2016, but you have the right to make payments or to pay back your loan in full at any time before then without incurring penalties.

You will need to contact the Student Loans Company to arrange repayment before 2016.

Example of repayment amounts from 2016

Monthly repayments are based on how much you earn, not how much you borrowed. They are set at 9% of your income above £21,000.

Annual income before taxMonthly salaryMonthly repayment

Up to £21,000£1,750£0

£22,000£1,833£7

£25,000£2,083£30

£30,000£2,500£67

£35,000£2,916£105

Interest on your repayments

Like student loans for higher education, and any other loan, your Advanced Learning Loans will be subject to interest charges. These are linked to inflation and offer low real rates of interest.

Interest will be charged at the Retail Price Index (RPI) + 3% during the period of study, and up until the April after a learner leaves their course. From this point, interest is linked to earnings and will be:

  • RPI for those earning less than £21,000 a year
  • on a sliding scale between RPI and RPI + 3% for earnings between £21,000 and £41,000 a year
  • RPI + 3% for individuals earning more than £41,000