Students in England and Wales
Student loans aren’t based on household income, although there are some important conditions you have to meet.
For undergraduate student loans:
- You must be a UK national or have ‘settled status’ (i.e. you have indefinite leave to remain and therefore there are no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK); and
- you must normally live in England or Wales; and
- you must have been living in the UK for 3 years before starting your course.
For postgraduate student loans:
- You must be under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of your course; and
- you’re a UK or EU national, or have ‘settled status’, so there are no restrictions on how long you can stay; and
- you normally live in England or Wales, and didn’t move there just to study; and
- you’ve been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years before starting your course.
You won’t be able to get a postgraduate loan if:
- you’re already getting student finance for an undergraduate course in the same academic year
- you already have a master’s degree, or a qualification that’s equivalent or higher
- you received a postgraduate loan before – unless you left your course due to illness, bereavement or another serious personal reason.
If you’re a resident of Wales, you’re eligible to apply for postgraduate student loans from the academic year 2018 – 2019.
For all student loans:
Generally, you’ll only get student finance if you’re doing your first higher education qualification at each level. However, you may still get it if you change course, you leave your course but decide to start again, you’re ‘topping up’ a higher education qualification, e.g. you’ve finished an HNC, HND or foundation degree and now want to do an honours degree.
Not sure whether you qualify? Complete our student finance eligibility checker to find out.
If you’re a resident of England, find out more about undergraduate loans and postgraduate loans. If you’re a resident of Wales, more information can be found on the Student Finance Wales (SFW) website.
Students in Northern Ireland
Residents of Northern Ireland are not eligible for a part-time loan but may be eligible for grant funding. Apply to Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFNI).
Students in Scotland
Residents of Scotland cannot claim funding for our courses.
In addition to the criteria above, you may be eligible for help towards the cost of your undergraduate tuition fees if:
- you are an EU national or a family member of an EU national
- you have been living within the European Economy Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the three years immediately before the start of your course
- your main reason for being in the EEA or Switzerland is not to receive full time education
In addition to the criteria above, you may be eligible for help towards the cost of your postgraduate tuition fees if:
- you’re living in England on the first day of the first year of your course
- you’ve normally lived in the European Economic Area or Switzerland for the past 3 years (this is also known as being ‘ordinarily resident’)
- you’ll be studying at a university or college in England
You could also be eligible if you’re:
- the child of a Swiss national
- the child of a Turkish worker
- a refugee or a relative of one
- an EEA or Swiss migrant worker, or a relative of one
- under humanitarian protection or a relative of someone who has been granted it
- 18 or over and have lived in the UK for at least 20 years or at least half your life
You can only apply for a Maintenance Loan as a distance learning student if you can’t attend your course in person because of a disability. If you’d like to learn more, call us on 0800 0527 526.
How much will I have to pay back and when?
If you finance your course using a government-backed student loan from Student Finance England or Student Finance Wales then you’ll be due to start repaying your loan through your employer’s Pay as You Earn (PAYE) system.
You’ll start repayment in the April four years after the start of your course or the April after you leave your course – whichever comes first.
However, you’ll only start making repayments if you’re in work and your income is more than £21,000 a year (for postgraduate loans) or £25,000 (for undergraduate loans) and any outstanding balance will be written off after 30 years.
Your monthly repayments will be based on your income, not how much you borrowed.
For undergraduate student loans, you’ll only pay back 9% of any income above £25,000.
And for postgraduate student loans, you’ll only pay back 6% of any income above £21,000.
If you have both an undergraduate and a postgraduate student loan, you will pay back both at the same time (if your income is above £25,000).
|Income each year before tax||Estimated monthly repayment for an undergraduate loan only||Estimated monthly repayment for a postgraduate loan only||Estimated monthly repayment for a postgraduate and undergraduate loan
|Up to £21,000||£0||£0||£0
There is also no charge on graduates who wish to repay their tuition fee loans early.
If you’re a resident of another country, your repayment schedule will vary.
How to apply for a tuition fee loan
Call us on 0800 0527 526 and our specialist student finance team will guide you through your application.
Please note, our team can advise you on your eligibility and the student loan process but the final decision about your fee loan will be made by the Student Loans Company.
Your loan needs to be approved by the Student Loans Company before the course start date.