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Advanced Learning Loans

Are you over 24 years and thinking about studying for a course at Level 3 or above? If you are, you may be able to apply for the new Advanced Learning Loans to help with the cost of your course.

What is the Advanced Learning Loan?

The new Advanced Learning Loan is a non means-tested or credit-checked helping hand, offered by the Government. It is available to anyone over 24 years who wants to study for a Level 3 qualification such as a National Certificate or Diploma, or a higher or advanced apprenticeship.

Can anyone apply?

Yes, as long as you’re starting your course on or after the 1st August 2013 and have been ordinarily a resident in the UK/EU for at least three years before the start date. It’s really easy to apply and there’s no upper age limit.

How does the loan work?

You only need to apply once per course, so if, for example, your course is longer than one year, you don’t need to apply separately for each year but you do need to remember you can’t apply for another loan to repeat the same level of course.

How do you pay it back?

You won’t pay back your loan until you’re earning over £21,000 per year and then you’ll only pay back 9% of earnings above £21,000. This means if you earn £22,000 per year you would only pay back 9% on £1,000. That equates to only £7.50 a month, or less than a cup of coffee a day.

If your earnings are less than £21,000 per year you won’t have to pay anything back and even better, after 30 years the loan will be cleared and you’ll never have to pay it back.

How do I apply for a loan?

It’s easy to apply for a loan, you can apply online.

You’ll need a National Insurance Number before any money can be paid to the college or training organisation on your behalf and you’ll need some form of identification to apply, e.g. passport or birth certificate.

Our UK Provider Number is: 10007938

Apply online for a loan

As an employer could I be accused of age discrimination by expecting my employees who are aged over 24 to take out a loan?

Responsibility for justifying the different funding arrangements pre/post-24 will lie with the Government, rather than individual employers. The difference of treatment on the basis of age does not contravene the Equalities Act 2010 if the policy can be objectively justifed.

Can I repay the loan for my employee?

Yes. Employers can make individual agreements with their employees about loan repayment.

What are the tax consequences if I choose to make loan repayments on behalf of my employee?

The tax treatment is the same as for any other type of loan. The amount paid off is subject to tax and National Insurance Contributions as employment income in the hands of the employee.

My employees are not likely to earn more than £21,000, is that a problem?

No. It is not expected that everyone who takes out a loan will repay it straight away and loans are written off after 30 years.

My employees are earning more than £21,000 now, will they have to repay straight away?

People will not have to repay until after they have finished their course and are earning over£21,000. No repayments will be made via the tax system until after April 2016 although voluntary repayments can be made at any stage.

I am an apprenticeship employer – can I repay the loan for my apprentice?

Yes. Employers can make individual agreements with their employees about loan repayment. Employers will be given support from the National Apprenticeship Service to help employees aged 24 and over wishing to undertake an Advanced or Higher Apprenticeship using a loan.

If an apprentice is made redundant and cannot find another employer to complete the framework what will happen about the loan?

If an apprentice cannot find alternative employment they will be liable for all loan repayments until the point of withdrawal from the college or training provider.

Will the loan to the employee take account of my employer contribution?

Yes. The maximum loan amount for an apprentice is 50% of the cost of the Apprenticeship. This reflects the expected contribution from you as their employer. The employer contribution can be made either in cash or in kind.

Advanced Learning Loans Explained

What is the Advanced Learning Loan?

The new Advanced Learning Loan is a non means-tested or credit-checked helping hand, offered by the Government. It is available to anyone over 24 years who wants to study for a Level 3 qualification such as a National Certificate or Diploma, or a higher or advanced apprenticeship.

Can anyone apply?

Yes, as long as you’re starting your course on or after the 1st August 2013 and have been ordinarily a resident in the UK/EU for at least three years before the start date. It’s really easy to apply and there’s no upper age limit.

How does the loan work?

You only need to apply once per course, so if, for example, your course is longer than one year, you don’t need to apply separately for each year but you do need to remember you can’t apply for another loan to repeat the same level of course.

How do you pay it back?

You won’t pay back your loan until you’re earning over £21,000 per year and then you’ll only pay back 9% of earnings above £21,000. This means if you earn £22,000 per year you would only pay back 9% on £1,000. That equates to only £7.50 a month, or less than a cup of coffee a day.

If your earnings are less than £21,000 per year you won’t have to pay anything back and even better, after 30 years the loan will be cleared and you’ll never have to pay it back.

How do I apply for a loan?

It’s easy to apply for a loan, you can apply online.

You’ll need a National Insurance Number before any money can be paid to the college or training organisation on your behalf and you’ll need some form of identification to apply, e.g. passport or birth certificate.

Our UK Provider Number is: 10007938

Apply online for a loan
Employers Information

As an employer could I be accused of age discrimination by expecting my employees who are aged over 24 to take out a loan?

Responsibility for justifying the different funding arrangements pre/post-24 will lie with the Government, rather than individual employers. The difference of treatment on the basis of age does not contravene the Equalities Act 2010 if the policy can be objectively justifed.

Can I repay the loan for my employee?

Yes. Employers can make individual agreements with their employees about loan repayment.

What are the tax consequences if I choose to make loan repayments on behalf of my employee?

The tax treatment is the same as for any other type of loan. The amount paid off is subject to tax and National Insurance Contributions as employment income in the hands of the employee.

My employees are not likely to earn more than £21,000, is that a problem?

No. It is not expected that everyone who takes out a loan will repay it straight away and loans are written off after 30 years.

My employees are earning more than £21,000 now, will they have to repay straight away?

People will not have to repay until after they have finished their course and are earning over£21,000. No repayments will be made via the tax system until after April 2016 although voluntary repayments can be made at any stage.

I am an apprenticeship employer – can I repay the loan for my apprentice?

Yes. Employers can make individual agreements with their employees about loan repayment. Employers will be given support from the National Apprenticeship Service to help employees aged 24 and over wishing to undertake an Advanced or Higher Apprenticeship using a loan.

If an apprentice is made redundant and cannot find another employer to complete the framework what will happen about the loan?

If an apprentice cannot find alternative employment they will be liable for all loan repayments until the point of withdrawal from the college or training provider.

Will the loan to the employee take account of my employer contribution?

Yes. The maximum loan amount for an apprentice is 50% of the cost of the Apprenticeship. This reflects the expected contribution from you as their employer. The employer contribution can be made either in cash or in kind.

Further Information

Get more information about Advanced Learner Loans, to check whether you are eligible and to apply online via https://www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan