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Advanced Learner Loans

For information regarding Advanced Learner Loans and the impact of Coronavirus on Call Centres and procedures please click here.

Are you aged 19 or over and thinking about Further Education?
Are you planning to study at Level 3,4,5,or 6?

You may be able to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan.

Aged 19+

How can an Advanced Learner Loan benefit me?

You may be considering an advanced Level 3, Level 4, Level 5 or Level 6 course in order to retrain for anew career, seek promotion in an existing career, or to return to work after a break. Level 3, 4, 5, and 6 courses are no longer directly funded by government funding.

An Advanced Learner loan will help you to pay the fees charged by Skills & Learning. Most learners aged 19+ studying at Level 3, Level 4, Level 5 or Level 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 £27,295 a year.

To qualify you must be:

  • Aged 19 or over 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) available from Adult Learning Centres
  • Enrolling on an eligible Certificate or Diploma course at Level 3, Level 4, Level 5 or Level 6

Applying is easy

You can apply for a loan as soon as we have confirmed your place on your course. You will be able to apply online or download an application form. Ask us and we will give you more details on how to apply.

Making the right choice

It is important you consider your own circumstances and look into all options for paying for your course before choosing to take out a loan. You can get independent financial advice from the Money Advice Service—

How much can I get

The amount you can get depends on the course maximum amounts set by the government. 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. The loan may not cover all the costs of the course especially if materials and equipment are required. A bursary fund is also available which may be able to support with childcare or transport.

Course fees

The fee for your course will be set by Skills &
Learning. We will confirm the cost and the amount that can be covered by a loan before you enrol.


Interest Rate

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

Retail Price Index + 3% (5.4%)

From the April after you finish or leave your course (2021)

Interest will be based on your income.

£27,295  or less—RPI (2.6%)

£27,296 to £49,130 — RPI plus up to 3%, depending on income

£49,130 and over—RPI plus 3%

How is the loan paid?

Student Finance England will pay your agreed
loan directly to Skills & Learning once they have confirmed your attendance on the course.

How many loans can I get?

You will be eligible to apply for up to a total of four loans, to study eligible courses at Level 3, 4, 5, and 6.


  • Repaying your Advanced Learner Loan is straightforward.
  • Your monthly repayments will be based on your income, not what you borrowed.
  • You will only start making repayments when your income is more than £524 per week, £2,274 per month or £27,295 per year.
  • You will only pay back 9% of any income above £27,295 a year.


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 are employed, you do not need to do anything. Your employer will take your repayments directly off your salary as they do with tax and NI contributions.

If you stop working, your repayments will stop and only start again when your income is more than £27,295 a year.

You will be due to start repaying your loan in the April after you leave or finish your course. Any loan remaining 30 years after you are due to start making repayments will be written off.

Quote from a Learner

The loan gave me the chance to achieve a qualification that I would otherwise not have been able to access. It gave me a helping hand and set me on a new path and direction after I had found myself at a crossroad in my life

For further information and examples of repayments please visit