UK Student Loans - How Do They Work?




Higher Education students in the UK can borrow money from the government to fund their studies. Your eligibility and the amount you can borrow depends on if you are participating in a qualifying course, whether you’re studying part-time or full time, whether this is your first higher education course, and your nationality or residency status.


What is classed as a qualifying course?

The university or college that the student is enrolled in has to have degree awarding powers. The degree will be officially recognised if it's on the list of recognised bodies, or if it's on the list of recognised awards.



Full-time or part-time?


If studying full-time, you will be eligible for finance if your course is in the UK and falls under one of the following:

  • a first degree, e.g., BA, BSc, or BEd

  • a Foundation Degree

  • a Certificate of Higher Education

  • a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)

  • a Higher National Certificate (HNC)

  • a Higher National Diploma (HND)

  • an Initial Teacher Training course

  • an integrated master’s degree

  • a pre-registration postgraduate healthcare course


If part-time then the “course intensity” needs to be at least 25%.


Studied before?

Student finance normally applies to students doing their first higher education qualification. However, limited funding can be provided for those doing their second higher education qualification in certain circumstances and for some courses. More information can be found here for those who started a course but stopped it and want to start another course.

Nationality or residency status

You are eligible to apply for full support if you are a UK or Irish citizen and have been living in the UK, Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man for 3 continuous years before the first day of your course.


More details on residency status can be found here.


How much?

Every eligible student can receive up to £9,250 in tuition fees for every academic year. Those on an accelerated degree course can receive up to £11,100.

For the maintenance loan for the 2021 - 2022 academic year, the format is as follows.


Living at home

Up to £7,987


Living away from home, outside London

Up to £9,488


Living away from home, in London

Up to £12,382


You spend a year of a UK course studying abroad

Up to £10,866


Every student will be assessed based on their household income.


Repayments

English or Welsh students who started their course before 1 September 2012 are on plan 1, along with Northern Irish students who started their course before 1 September 1998. The interest on plan 1 is 1.1%. Repayments will start the April after graduation once you earn above the threshold of £19,895 per year. 9% of all income above that threshold will be repaid.


Plan 2 is for English and Welsh students who started their course after 1 September 2012. The interest on plan 2 is 5.3%. Repayments will start the April after graduation once you earn above the threshold of £27,295 per year. 9% of the income above that threshold will be repaid.


Plan 4 is for Sottish students who started their course after 1 September 1998.

The interest of plan 4 is 1.1%. Repayments will start the April after graduation once you earn above the threshold of £25,000 per year. 9% of your income over the threshold will be repaid.

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