Advanced Learner Loans

The Government confirmed in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement in November 2015 that from 1st August 2016 Advanced Learner Loans (previously known as 24+ Advanced Learning Loans ) will be available to learners aged 19 and above studying an eligible qualification at level 3 to level 6. This represents an opportunity for learners aged 19 and above to undertake qualifications that were previously not approved for funding or Loans, such as the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services (England). The Government have confirmed that the introduction of Advanced Learner Loans for learners aged 19 and above will not affect the duty on the Secretary of State to ensure that learning for a first full qualification at level three should be free for 19-23 year olds.

How the application process works

  • the learner applies for a place on the course with the  training provider 
  • once accepted, the learner applies to Student Loan Company for the loan 
  • ​once accepted, the Student Loan Company liaises with the provider to make payments.
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    Learners can apply for up to 4 loans in total, which they can take out either one after the other or at the same time. These loans must be for different qualification types rather than levels e.g. a learner could progress from a level 3 Certificate to a level 3 Diploma, then onto a level 4 Certificate and then level 4 Diploma, and access a Loan for each of these. Learners can’t apply for another loan to take the same type of course at the same level e.g. a learner could not get a Loan for a level 3 Certificate in Playwork if they have already had a Loan for a level 3 Certificate in Health and Social Care. 

    Important Advanced Learner Loan facts

  • the maximum loan amount is the fully funded rate as shown on the Learning Aim Search (LAS) facility.
  • learners only start to make repayments once they have completed their course and are earning over £21,000 per year
  • repayments are set at 9% of income above the threshold and there will be a single payment irrespective of the number of loans a learner has taken out
  • Additional funding

    Learners who need help with costs while studying, e.g. childcare, travel or trips related to the course etc. may also be eligible for money from the Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Fund. Eligible learners can apply to their college or training provider directly for the Bursary Fund once the letter confirming the Advanced Learner Loan has been received by the learner.  

    Resources 

    The Government has introduced a package of measures to support both learners and providers with Advanced Learner Loans, and is providing a £50m bursary fund to support vulnerable learners with additional costs related to learning. Support is available from the Skills Funding Agency, the National Careers Service, the Gov.UK website and Student Finance England. Centres should check the latest version of the Funding Rules for further information about Advanced Learner Loans in the current and future funding years.  

    Advanced Learner Loans Guide