Advanced learner loan

The Advanced Learner Loan is available to students who are 19 and over.

Advanced Learner Loans help people aged 19 and over undertake vocational, technical and professional qualifications at Levels 3, 4, 5 and 6.  It's easy to apply for, doesn’t take your household income into account and doesn’t involve a credit check.

key facts

  • 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.


What courses does the loan apply to?



  • aged 19 or over on the first day of the course
  • a resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the course

The loans are not means tested or credit checked - and any individual who meets the criteria will be able to apply for a loan whether they're employed or unemployed - the loan will then be paid directly to the college on your behalf. More about eligibility here.

If you need help with other costs related to this course, you may be able to apply for an advanced learning loan bursary.



  • you do not pay any course fees up front 
  • repayments start the April after you complete your course
  • you pay back your loan (plus interest) when you’ve finished your course and start earning more than £21,000 a year
  • if your income drops below £21000 - loan repayments stop
  • each month you pay back 9% of any income over £21,000. For example, if you earn £25,000 a year your monthly repayments would be £30

More about repayments here.

If your loan is for an Access to Higher Education diploma and you progress to complete a Higher Education programme, you will not have to pay back your FE loan - it is written off!


How to apply

  • you’ll be able to apply online or by post from April for courses starting between 1 August and 31 July.
  • you’ll be able to apply even if your course has already started
  • you have to apply before it finishes
  • it can take up to five days to process an application (or 2 to 4 weeks if you apply by post)
  • you need a National Insurance number before any money can be paid.
  • you can still apply for a loan before you’ve got a National Insurance number
  • you need your passport details or another form of identity to apply - eg your birth certificate. Don’t send your passport

Apply now button


For more details



Student Finance England Fact Sheet

Student Finance England FAQs

National Careers Service

Advanced Learning Loan Bursary Fund


More information

Contact Student Services on 01926 318 080 or email

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