Funding

27th April 2016

 

 

*PLEASE NOTE* – Current ESFA funding rules has meant subcontracting of Loans provision has been removed. Astara is temporarily UNABLE to accept any loan applications at this time while we work to rectify access to the funding stream. Please contact our admin team for any further information, and please keep checking back for more information.

Information as supplied at the www.GOV.uk website

Who can apply

You can apply for a 19+ Advanced Learning Loan to help with the costs of a course at a college or training provider if you’re 24 or older.

The course must be an eligible Level 3 or 4 course, eg A Levels.

You’ll have to pay your loan back when both the following apply:

  • you’ve finished your course
  • you earn more than £21,000 a year

Loan eligibility doesn’t depend on your income and there are no credit checks. You can get independent money advice from the Money Advice Service.

How much you get depends on the:

  • type of course
  • course fees
  • 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 of it yourself.

The money is paid directly to your college or training provider.

You can apply for up to 4 loans but you can only get one loan at a time.

You can’t apply for another loan to take the same level of a course, eg the same level certificate in French if you’ve already had a loan for the same level in Italian.

Whether you qualify for a 19+ Advanced Learning Loan depends on your:

  • course
  • college or training provider
  • age
  • nationality or residency status

Your course must be:

Ask your training provider if you don’t know if your course is eligible.

You must be 19 or older on the first day of your course.

You must usually:

  • be living in the UK on the first day of your course
  • have been living in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for 3 years before starting your course
  • be a UK national or have ‘settled status’ (this means there’s no restrictions on how long you can stay)

You may also qualify if you’re:

  • a UK national, or someone with settled status, but you live somewhere else in the EEA
  • an EU national or a family member of one
  • a refugee
  • a migrant worker
  • the child of a Swiss national
  • the child of a Turkish worker

Repayments start the April following the completion of your course.

You pay back your loan (plus interest) when you finish your course and earn more than £21,000 a year. Your repayments will stop if your income drops below £21,000 a year.

Your annual repayment amount will be 9% of any income you earn over £21,000.

Example
Your monthly repayments would be:

  • £7.50 a month – if you earned £22,000 a year
  • £30 a month – if you earned £25,000 a year

Use the repayment calculator to estimate how much you’ll have to pay back.

Contact the Student Loans Company if you want to start making voluntary repayments.

You can get independent money advice from the Money Advice Service.

Interest

You pay interest from the time your first payment is made until you pay your loan back in full.

Income Interest rate
While you’re studying and until the April after you leave the course Rate of inflation (Retail Price Index) plus 3%
£21,000 or less Rate of inflation
£21,000 to £41,000 Rate of inflation plus up to 3%
£41,000 and over Rate of inflation plus 3%

Making repayments

From April 2016, if you’re an employee, your employer will work out your repayments and take them out of your salary with your tax.

If you’re self employed, you make repayments as part of your Self Assessment tax return.

You can pay some or all of your loan at any time without an extra charge.

Leave or change your course

You’ll have to pay back any money that’s been paid to your college or training provider (plus interest) if you leave or change your course after 2 weeks or more.

The interest rate will be the rate of inflation.

Speak to your college or training provider to see if they can transfer the loan to another course.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Student Finance England will ‘write off’ any outstanding 19+ Advanced Learning Loan balances you owe for an Access to HE course once you complete a higher education course. This means you don’t have to repay it.

The higher education course must be eligible for student finance.

Bursary Fund

You may also be eligible for money from the 19+ Advanced Learning Loan Bursary Fund if you need help with some costs while studying, eg childcare, travel or trips related to your course.

You need to apply to your college or training provider directly for the Bursary Fund. You can apply as soon as you’ve received a letter confirming your 19+ Advanced Learning Loan.