Advanced Learner Loans

Are you 19 or over and thinking of starting a College course? Then you can apply for a Government loan to help fund your studies!

Advanced Learner Loans are available for anyone aged 19+ starting an eligible course at Level 3 and above (exceptions apply) from 1 August 2016. The Loans are designed to support learners with their course fees in a similar way to how students studying university level courses receive a higher education loan.

If this is your first Level 3 course and you are aged 19 – 23 on 1 August 2016, you may be able to get the course for free!

Advanced Learner Loan Logo

To apply for a Loan, you need to be:

  • Aged 19 or over on the first day of your course (there is no upper age limit)
  • Living at an address in the UK on the first day of your course and been resident in the EU for three years previous to 1 August 2016
  • Studying at an approved college or training organisation in England
  • Enrolling on an eligible course at Level 3, 4, 5 or 6.

Which courses are eligible for a Loan to be taken out against them?

A Levels, Access to HE Diplomas*, eligible Level 3 and Level 4 RQF Certificates and Diplomas and other eligible courses at Level 5 and 6. These courses will be identified with a  on both the Bridgwater & Taunton College website and in the Adult Training and Skills Guide.

* If you take out an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the fees of your Access course and then go on to complete a university course, the Loan you took out for your Access course will be written off (subject to terms and conditions).

I already have a qualification at Level 3 or above, can I still have access to a Loan?

Any qualification you have previously achieved will not prevent you from accessing a Loan.

My credit rating isn't very good; will this prevent me from getting a Loan?

Being eligible for a Loan is not assessed on your income and credit checks will not be carried out.

How much can I take out?

The minimum Loan amount you can apply for is £300, and the maximum amount will depend on the qualification you undertake. If you have been offered a place on a course, this information will be on your Learning and Funding Information Letter. If you have not yet applied, you can check our website or contact the College to find out how much you will need to borrow for each eligible course. If you want to take out a Loan for part of your course and pay for part of it yourself, this is also an option.

Will I have to pay anything extra towards my course?

The Loan amount will cover all course and compulsory additional fees but will not include any optional extras such as trips or visits.

When do I start paying it back?

You will not start to pay your Loan back until you have finished your course and are earning in access of £21,000. You are able to make voluntary payments to pay your Loan off quicker if you wish.

How much will I pay back each month?

You'll repay 9% of your income over £21,000 a year. Even if your income doesn't exceed £21,000 a year but is over £404 a week or £1,750 a month at any point in the year (e.g. even if you work overtime) then a Loan deduction will be made.

How do I pay it back?

If you are an employee paying UK tax, your employer will take repayments from your pay, the same way they deduct your tax and National Insurance contributions; these will be reflected on your payslip as Student Loans Company (SLC).

Do I get paid the money?

The Loan amount you take out from the Student Loans Company will get paid directly to the College you are studying at on a monthly basis; no monies will be paid to you directly.

Will my Loan ever be cancelled?

The only circumstances where your Loan will be written off are if you die, become disabled and permanently off work, or if you have any Loan amount outstanding 30 years after you are due to start making repayments.

How do I apply?

You will be able to apply for a Loan from May 2016 for courses that start between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017. It is recommended that you complete an online application to enable your application to be dealt with more quickly; visit the Direct.gov website. You will need your Learning and Funding Information Letter, which was sent to you with your offer to be able to do this. If you do not have this information or need further support with making your application please contact our Information and Guidance team on 01278 441234.

To see the range of courses we offer, click here.

More Information

For further information about Advanced Learner Loans, please visit the following websites: