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Funding and eligibility

Find out what you're entitled to and what help is available

Learners

If you are studying an Apprenticeship your training will be free.  You will learn and gain valuable qualifications, all while being employed and earning a wage.

Discounts for Apprentices!

If you’re a UK apprentice, why not apply for an NUS Apprentice extra discount card.  You’ll be able to access a variety of discounts in-store and online!  To find out more visit www.apprenticeextra.co.uk and buy your card online (cards cost £11).


Advanced Learner Loans

If you are aged 19 or over and thinking of studying a further education qualification at Level 3, 4, 5 or 6, you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay your course fees. It’s easy to apply, your household income isn’t taken into account and there’s no credit check, plus …

  • you won’t have to pay any course fees up front.
  • there’s no upper age limit.
  • you only start paying back your loan when you’ve finished your course, and are earning more than £21,000 a year (equivalent to £404 a week or £1,750 a month).
  • loan repayments are linked to what you earn when you have finished your course, not how much you borrowed.
  • loan repayments will be taken directly from your wage, so you won’t have to worry about making separate loan repayments.
  • after 30 years, any remaining loan debt is wiped.
  • interest rates are lower than anything on the high street.

You must have been living in the UK for 3 years before starting your course and be a UK national or have ‘settled status’ to apply. Key details about Advanced Leaner Loans are detailed below with full information available by downloading the individual fact sheets or visiting www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan

Am I eligible?

Whether you qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan depends on your:

  • course
  • age
  • nationality or residency status.

Your course
Your course must be a Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 further education vocational, technical or professional qualification which is eligible for loan funding. Advanced Learner Loans do not cover Degrees or Higher Education courses as separate financial support arrangements exist for these programmes. Previous qualifications you’ve achieved won’t affect your ability to apply for your first loan.

Your age
You must be 19 or older on the first day of your course.

If you are aged 19-23 and currently do not hold a full Level 3 further education qualification, your qualification may be fully funded. You can choose to fund your Level 3 qualification with either a grant or an Advanced Learner Loan. If you choose to fund it with an Advanced Learner Loan, you lose your entitlement to grant funding.

Your nationality or residency status
You must:

  • be living in the UK on the first day of your course.
  • have been living in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for 3 years before starting your course.
  • be a UK national or have ‘settled status’ (this means there’s no restrictions on how long you can stay).

You may also be eligible if you:

  • are an EU national or a family member of one.
  • are a refugee.
  • have humanitarian protection (as a result of a failed application for asylum)
  • are a migrant worker.
  • are the child of a Swiss national.
  • are the child of a Turkish worker.

How much can I take out as a loan?

This will depend on the course you are doing, the fees charged and maximum amounts set by the Government. The minimum loan amount is £300. You can apply for a loan to cover all or part of your course fee or you can pay all or part of the fee yourself. Once you have completed your course you will be eligible to apply for more Advanced Learner Loans to help you progress in your studies. You can apply for up to a total of four loans.

Loan repayments

Student Finance England (SFE) will pay your agreed tuition fees to your training provider once they’ve confirmed your attendance on the course. You will only start to repay the loan in the April after you have completed your course and are earning over £21,000 per year. You will only pay 9% of any income earned above £21,000 per year.

Example

Your monthly repayments would be:

  • £7.50 a month – if you earn £22,000 a year.
  • £30 a month – if you earn £25,000 a year.

If you’re an employee, your employer will work out your repayments and take them out of your salary with your tax. If you’re self- employed, you will make repayments as part of your self-assessment tax return. You can pay some or all of your loan at any time without an extra charge. Any loan remaining 30 years after you’re due to start making repayments will be written off. More details about repayments are available in the leaflet titled ‘A quick guide on how and when to repay.’

Leaving or changing your course

You’ll have to pay back any loan money that’s been paid to your training provider (plus interest) if you leave or change your course after 2 weeks or more. The interest rate will be the rate of inflation.

Independent financial advice

It is important that you consider your own circumstances and look into all options for paying your course before choosing to take out a loan. You can get free, impartial money advice from the Money Advice Service at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

How to apply

Before applying for a loan NLTG will provide you with details about your course and fees in the form of a ‘Learning and Funding Information Letter’.
You may then apply for your loan online, or by downloading and completing an application form. Simply visit www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan. You will need to decide how much loan you wish to take out and to provide your personal details (name, address, etc) and evidence to confirm your identity.

Prior to considering a loan with NLTG as your Training Provider, please ensure your employer is aware and supports your application.

It is your responsibility to thoroughly investigate whether you are eligible for financial support before you enrol. To receive student finance, you must comply with nationality and residency conditions, age rules and previous study rules.

For more information on costs and courses available contact Claire Rodger or Gareth Lindsay on 01254 397119. Alternatively you can visit www.gov.uk/advanced-learning-loans/overview

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