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Advanced Learning Loans

Aged 19+ Looking to study a Level 3 or Level 4 course?

Advanced Learning Loans

Advanced Learning Loans are similar to higher education loans, but for the further education sector.  They are available for learners aged 19 and over, studying at Level 3 or Level 4.

You can apply for a loan to cover the cost of the tuition fees for your qualification, which will be paid directly to your learning provider on your behalf.  If you go on to study at a higher level you can get another loan. However, you can only have a maximum of four loans.

Why can’t I study for free?

The Government no longer funds adults aged over 19 years old to study Level 3 or Level 4 courses, even if you are on benefits, unless you are aged between 19 and 23 years old and studying your first full level 3 qualification.

How much will I need to borrow?

The amount you’ll get depends on:

  • The type of course you take
  • How much the fees are
  • The maximum loan available for your course

The minimum loan you can get is £300.

You don’t have to borrow the full cost of your course – you can pay for some, or all of it, yourself.

How is the loan paid?

The money will be paid directly to Medway Adult Education once they’ve confirmed you’ve attended the course for two weeks.

How many loans can I apply for?

You can apply for more Advanced Learning Loans after you finish your course (up to four in total), but you can only get one loan at a time.

You can’t apply for another loan to repeat the same level of a course (eg you can’t get a loan to fund a Level 3 certificate in French when you have previously had a loan to fund a Level 3 certificate in Italian)

Who is eligible for a loan?

To get a loan you must be:

  • 19 or older 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
  • Taking an eligible course that’s Level 3 or 4
  • Studying at a college or training organisation in England approved for public funding.

Getting a loan doesn’t depend on your household income and there’s no credit check.

How to apply:

  • Check with Medway Adult Education that your course qualifies
  • Ask for a ‘Learning and funding information’ letter
  • Apply online (www.gov.uk/advanced-learning-loans) – you’ll need to register first. If you can’t apply online you can download the forms
  • You’ll get a letter confirming your loan, usually within 2 weeks if you apply online (postal applications take longer)

What you need to know

You’ll be able to apply even if your course has already started.  You have to apply before it finishes.

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 – for example, your birth certificate.  Don’t send your passport.

How will I repay the loan?

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 this amount, repayments stop.

Each month you pay back nine per cent of any income over £21,000.

How can I find out more about the loans?

A learner information sheet is available from our Rochester centre.

You can also get independent financial advice from the Money Advice Service at http://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/  or phone 0300 500 500