Deciding on and Applying for a Loan

Is this the best value loan?
You’ll need to consider whether it’s the best thing for you in your circumstances. If you want impartial advice on managing your money contact the Money Advice Service at moneyadviceservice.org.uk

What happens if I change my mind about the course and want to do something different?
It’ll depend on how much of the course you’ve undertaken. If you’ve done less than two weeks you can simply cancel the loan and this won’t count against the total number of loans available to you. After two weeks on a course, the college will confirm your attendance and you’ll become liable for the loan. It will count against the total number of loans available to you. However, there’s flexibility to allow for a single repeat of the same type of course where you did not complete the original. You’d still be required to repay the original loan but you could take out another loan. Before making this decision you should speak to your college or training organisation, as it may be possible to transfer to the new course under the same loan rather than having to apply for a new one.

What happens if I’m unable to complete my course and I’m forced to withdraw?
Where there are compelling personal reasons preventing you from completing your course this won’t count as one of your four loans. You’ll still be expected to repay any loan paid in connection with the course, but you’ll be able to take out a loan to complete the course again.

Can I get additional support to help with childcare and travel?
The 24+ Advanced Learning Loan only covers the fee you’re being charged by the college or training organisation for your course. However, it’s possible the college or training organisation will be able to provide financial support for course related costs for those facing financial hardship. Your college or training organisation will be able to provide you with more information on the help and support they can make available to you.

Can I get impartial advice about managing my finances?
If you’re unsure about taking out a loan and want to seek advice then you’ll have the opportunity to do so. If you want advice on managing your finances, the Money Advice Service, established by the UK government, can offer free, impartial money advice. Visit their website at moneyadviceservice.org.uk

Can I get independent careers advice?
If you’re unsure whether the course you’d like to take is right for you, then you can find support and advice on the National Careers Service website at nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk or call their helpline on 0800 100 900.
You can get further advice on which qualifications are eligible for loans from your college or training organisation. For advice on your future skills, career, work and life choices you can contact the National Careers Service at nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk or call an advisor on 0800 100 900.

• For information and advice on learning, career and funding options, visit nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/advancedlearningloans
• For more information and to apply, visit gov.uk/advancedlearningloans
• Speak to your college or training organisation
Once you’ve identified the qualification you’d like to study you should contact the college or training organisation who can provide it. That college or training organisation will confirm whether there are places available on the course and give you a Learning and Funding Information Letter. You’ll need the information set out in this letter to complete an application and submit this to Student Finance England.

Can I apply online?
Yes, applying online is quick and easy. You can register and apply online now at gov.uk/advancedlearningloans. You can also download an application at gov.uk/advancedlearningloans. If you need help, contact your college or training organisation.

You’ll need to provide details of the course you wish to study, college or training organisation you wish to study at, fee you’re being charged, and the amount of loan you want to take out. You’ll need to decide how much loan you want to take out. The college or training organisation will give you details about your course in your Learning and Funding Information Letter. You’ll also be required to provide your personal details (name, address, etc) and evidence to confirm your identity. For UK passport holders this will just be your valid UK passport details (not a physical passport). If you’re a UK national but don’t have a passport you’ll be asked to provide another form of evidence such as a UK birth certificate, which will be returned to you. If you’re not a UK national you’ll need to provide physical identity evidence, as well as evidence that you’re a permanent resident inside the UK. You’ll also need to provide a valid National Insurance number so that the loan can be paid to the college or training organisation on your behalf.

I don’t have a National Insurance number but I want to apply for a loan. What should I do?
A National Insurance number is required before the loan can be paid to the college or training organisation on your behalf. If you don’t have a National Insurance number you can still apply for a loan. Student Finance England will contact you if you need to do anything to obtain one. This may mean that you’ll need to arrange an appointment with your local Job Centre to have one assigned to you.

Can I apply for a loan after my course has started?
You should apply as early as possible to make sure Student Finance England can pay your college or training organisation at the start of your course. However, you can apply for a loan at any time during your course, but not after you’ve completed it. If you wish to apply for a loan during your course, you’ll need to agree this with your college or training organisation in advance, as you’ll already have discussed with them how you’re going to pay your fees. Deciding to take out a loan will change this arrangement. The college or training organisation will also need to provide you with information so you can complete your application.

How long will it take me to hear the outcome of a loan application?
Applications submitted online that don’t require any further supporting evidence (because you’ve provided your valid UK passport details) will be processed quickly and you should hear from us within two weeks. If you don’t apply online or you don’t send us the evidence we ask for at the time of application it will take longer.

If my course lasts for more than one year do I need to reapply each year?
No. Your loan application will last for the duration of the course, even when that course lasts for more than one year.

What happens if I change my mind before I start my course?
If you decide before the start of your course you no longer want to undertake your course or you don’t want to take out a loan for the course then you can simply contact Student Finance England. Student Finance England will be able to cancel your loan application and you won’t have any loan to repay.

What happens if I change my mind once I’ve started my course?
No loan payments will be made to your college or training organisation on your behalf until you’ve attended the course for at least two weeks. If you leave the course after more than two weeks then you’ll be liable to repay the loan payments that have been made to the provider on your behalf, for the time you have been on the course.

How much can I get?
The amount you can get depends on your course, the fees charged by your college or training organisation and maximum amounts set by the government. You can take out a loan for the maximum amount to cover your fee or you can pay all or part of the fee yourself. Your college or training organisation will be able to advise you of this amount. The fee charged by the college or training organisation may be less than the maximum loan amount available – so in this case you’d only need to take out a loan to cover the fee being charged. If you’re undertaking an Apprenticeship Framework the amount of loan available will take account of the contribution your employer will be expected to make towards the costs of your training. You can take out a loan for the maximum amount to cover your fee or you can pay all or part of the course fee yourself. The minimum loan amount is £300.

Will I have to repay the full loan amount if I leave part way through the course?
No. Your loan will be paid to your college or training organisation in line with your attendance on the course. When you stop attending, payments will stop and you’ll only be liable to repay the amount (including any interest accrued on that amount) that’s already been paid to the college or training organisation.

If I leave my course part of the way through will I be required to pay the remainder of the fee to my college or training organisation even if my loan payments have stopped?
Before you enrol on the course you’ll need to enter into an agreement with your college or training organisation. This agreement should include the fee they’re charging you and what you’ll be required to pay if you don’t complete the course.

How much of the course costs will the loan cover?
The loan should cover the fee charged by the college or training organisation. You’ll need to agree with the college or training organisation upfront all of the costs associated with the course and that the loan will be able to cover these costs.

How’s the loan paid?
Student Finance England will pay your agreed loan to your college or training organisation once they’ve confirmed your attendance on the course.

For further guidance, click here or contact us.