There are several types of loan designed especially for students, with generous repayment terms. If you would like to discuss any loan or support available to you, Student Services are happy to help.
Support for Further Education (FE) Students
Have you heard about the Advanced Learner Loan?
If you're aged 19 or over and want to study an Access to Higher Education Diploma, or a Level 3 to 6 Vocational Qualification, you will be required to pay for the cost of your course.
The Advanced Learner Loan is a government-funded loan to help learners. It's easy to apply for, doesn’t take your household income into account and doesn’t involve a credit check.
Here are some key facts about the loan:
- Repayments are linked to what you earn and not how much you borrowed.
- You only have to start making repayments when you’ve finished your course and you’re earning over £21,000 a year (which is £404 a week or £1,750 a month). Until then you don’t need to pay back anything, but you can make voluntary repayments at any time.
- You pay 9% of the money you earn over £21,000, before tax. For example, if you earn £22,000 a year, your monthly repayment will be £7 a month; and if you earn £35,000 a year, it will be £105 per month.
- Interest is charged on a sliding scale between the Retail Price Index (RPI) and RPI +3%, depending on how much you earn.
Discretionary Learner Support Funds
Discretionary Learner Support Funds are provided by GC for students who are struggling to pay for things like exams, trips, course materials, childcare and travel expenses. You can apply if...
- You are 16+ years old
- Receiving income based benefits, or being supported by someone who has these
- On a low income (this will be assessed by a Student Fund Adviser)
You can apply by visiting Student Services.
Opening times: Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm
Help with Childcare
For young parents, Care to Learn can provide up to £160 per week to cover childcare and associated travel costs for each child.
You can apply if you are...
- A resident of England
- Aged 20 or under when you start your course
- Caring for your own child or children
- Using an Ofsted registered childcare provider
- A British citizen or a national of a country within the EEA
Receiving this help will not affect your existing benefits.
Call Care to Learn on 0800 121 8989 for an application pack.
Career Development Loans
Students who are applying for work-related courses may be eligible for a Career Development Loan (CDL). These are bank loans between £300 and £10,000 to help with the cost of being a student.
While you study, and for one month after your course has finished, the interest will be paid by the Young Persons Learning Agency (YPLA). After that you will be expected to repay the loan at a fixed rate of interest.
You can get more information and ask for an application pack by calling National Careers Service on 0800 100 900.
Support for Higher Education (HE) Students
Loans for Full-Time Students
The Student Loan Company offers loans to cover the full cost of tuition fees as well as loans and grants to help with living costs.
Loans for Part-Time Students
Some part-time students will be able to apply for a non-means tested tuition loan to cover their fees. The amount awarded depends upon personal circumstance, the intensity of the course and how long it will take to complete compared to an equivalent full time course.
For full details on HE loans visit their website at https://www.gov.uk/studentfinancesteps.
HE Hardship Fund
Students experiencing financial hardship may be able to get extra funding from us. We judge each case individually and you must speak to Student Services for details.
Help with Council Tax
As a full time student you could be entitled to a discount / exemption towards your Council Tax.
Full-time students who live alone, or with other full-time students, do not have to pay any council tax. If there is a full time student living in a house with others who are not students, you will be entitled to a discount on Council Tax.
A full time course, for this purpose is defined as:
- Lasting for one academic or calendar year for at least 24 weeks in that year and...
- The students study/tuition/work experience amounts to at least 21 hours per week
To apply for a discount / exemption you will need to complete a student discount application form, available online or from your local council.