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Loans for 24+

From the academic year 2013/14 loans are being introduced to support those aged 24 and over undertake advanced and higher level courses. This covers all provision at level 3 and above including Advanced and Higher Apprenticeship frameworks.

The reason for introducing loans is that Government grant funding is being prioritised on learning for young adults, those who need English and maths skills, and those seeking work.

The introduction of loans will give people outside of these groups the opportunity to continue to access advanced and higher level training.

All individuals aged 24 and over who want to undertake training at level 3 and above will be expected to contribute more towards the cost of their training. However, for the first time the Government will make loans available to those individuals, which will only be repaid following their training when they are earning more than £21,000 – in the same way as Higher Education (HE) student loans.

Research shows that on average learners derive substantial benefits from undertaking advanced and higher level qualifications, so loans are being introduced on the basis that these learners should make a higher contribution to the cost of their learning in line with the benefits they receive.

It is also in the interest of employers to continue to contribute to the cost of the course because they benefit from more skilled and productive staff.


Get a loan to learn!

From 2013/14, 24+ Advanced Learning Loans will be available for learners:
– aged 24 and over;
– studying at level 3 or above, including QCF Certificates and Diplomas, Access to HE Diplomas, A Levels and Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships.

  • You can apply for a loan to meet the tuition costs of your course, which will be paid directly to your college or training organisation on your behalf.
  • The loans will not be means tested and will not be subject to credit checks. To be eligible the learner must meet the required criteria.
  • A learner must be studying at a Skills Funding Agency approved provider in England.
  • A learner is entitled to a loan up to the maximum amount of public funding available for a course or up to the level of fee charged by the college or training organisation (whatever is the lowest).
  • The loans application process will launch in April 2013 for courses beginning from 1 August 2013 (academic year 2013/14). The applications, assessment, payments and repayments will be administered by Student Finance England. The same organisation provides financial support for HE students.
  • A learner can access up to four loans, each for a different type of course or at a different level. Student Finance England can make exceptions where the learner has been unable to complete the course due to compelling personal reasons.
  • Loan repayments are collected through the tax system and the first repayments will commence in April 2016 (for those leaving their course before April 2016), and then from the April after they leave their course from April 2016, which is the point that HMRC will introduce the £21,000 threshold.
  • Loan repayments will only start when the individual has left their course, entered repayment and is earning more than £21,000 a year.
  • Repayments are set at 9% of income above the threshold and there will be a single payment irrespective of the number of loans a learner has taken out.
  • Real rates of interest on the loans will be no higher than those prevailing in the market and linked to inflation (RPI for incomes less than £21,000 rising to RPI +3% for incomes above £41,000). Interest will be charged while the individual is studying at RPI + 3%.
  • Any outstanding balance on a loan will be written off after 30 years.
  • There will be a mechanism for voluntary repayments, which can be made to Student Finance England.


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