Student Loans from SLC the Student Loans Company
Student Loans from SLC the Student Loans Company a UK government owned company that provides student loans to pay for tuition fees and living expenses whilst you study at university or college in the UK.
The Student Loan Company has been providing students with loans and grants since its inception in 1989. Interestingly the student loan company refer to students who have a loan with them as their customers.
Advanced Learning Loan
For students at college aged 24 or over a student loan is available, this further education loan is called an Advanced Learning Loan and is different to the loans available for university students wishing to study for a undergraduate or postgraduate degree. Students studying at college on a level 3 or level 4 qualifications are entitled to a student loan.
Other student scholarships and loans you might be interested in exploring include Free University Scholarships at the University of Nottingham, Scholarships for African Americans at the University of Oxford, Scholarships for Minorities from the National Film and Television School, Hispanic Scholarships at ARTES Iberian and Latin American Visual Culture Group, Nursing Scholarships, Scholarships for Single Mothers at the London School of Economics, Scholarships for Women the Jeanette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund and Engineering Scholarships from the Women's Engineering Society.
Advanced Learning Loans don't actually come from the Student Loan Company, you have to apply through Student Finance Direct another government loan initiative, not all courses run at college or with a private training provider qualify for an Advanced Learning Loan, so your need to check with the training provider, note that Advanced Learning Loans must be repaid.
Students Will Need Their National Insurance Number And Passport Or Birth Certificate To Apply For The Loan
Students will need their National Insurance Number to apply for the loan, this is so that when you are working after your studies the loan amount can be automatically deduced from your pay at source, that is before you see your pay, your employer will have to deduct student loan payments each month until the loan is paid off.
Students will also need to include their passport details and if you don't have a passport or your passport has expired you can submit the details on your birth certificate or adoption certificate as the government wouldn't want to lose you and you to be unable to pay back your loan.
A-level And BTEC Are Eligible Courses
Eligible courses are level 3 or level four courses, so for example you can get a loan for studying A-levels at college, your only need to pay the loan back if you get a job and if that job pays over £21,000 a year. If you can't get a job or you never have a job that pays over £21,000 then your never have to pay the loan back. That is actually quite fair, maybe not as fair as free education for all, but your only pay back the loan if you get a good job, if for whatever reason your unsuccessful and never earn the minimum amount of £21,000 then your never have to pay the loan back.
It's worth mentioning that your get the student loan regardless of any other criteria, you must be 24 or over and on a level 3 or 4 course, but that is the only criteria other than being able to prove who you are with a NI number, passport or birth certificate, you're not asked about your financial status or how in debt you are and the loan company don't make any checks into your level of indebtedness or how rich or poor your family is, meet the age and course requirements and your always get the loan.
As well as the Advanced Learning Loan for students at college studying for A-levels or equivalent courses like BTEC ND Business Technician Education Council or National Diploma or higher courses like BTEC HND Higher National Diploma or C&G City and Guild courses, students who have successfully applied for and received their Advanced Learning Loan can also apply for an Advanced Learning Bursary this is additional money for childcare costs if you have children or travel or other costs that you incur whilst studying. The Bursary Fund will pay out at least £300 and more depending on the course fees and the specific course you are studying.
Advanced Learning Loans And Bursaries
Advanced Learning Loans and bursaries are paid directly to the course provider which will be your college or other private training provider, they will then deduct course fees, accommodation fees or other fees relating to your study and then make the living allowance portion of the loan (if any) available to you.
Each A-level you take is regarded as a separate course and you can apply for a different Advanced Learning Loan for each A-level you are taking, so take four A-levels and you can apply for four loans, if the A-level course is split into two separate courses then each course can be used for a separate loan meaning you could apply for eight loans if your four A-level courses are two separate courses each.
The Advanced Learning Loan is available to all colleges and other training providers that are approved by the Skills Funding Agency, a government body that lists and accredits courses and colleges. Your need to be a UK citizen living in the UK for at least three years before you apply for the loan or living in the EU for three years before your study in the UK.
Paying Back The Loan
When your earning over £21,000 your start to pay back the loan, unfortunately you must also pay back the interest on your loan which means that you will be paying back more than you borrowed, it would be fairer if you only had to pay back the loan amount but by paying back the interest you are making the Advanced Learning Loan company a profit so they can continue to operate and provide other loans to other students.
When you're earning over £21,000 your pay back nine percent on the income you earn over £21,000 so as an example say you were earning £22,000 a year then you would pay back £7.50 a month, if you were earning £25,000 a month then you would pay back £30 a month. Your always have to pay the interest on the remaining amount of the loan that you haven't paid back yet and this will be at the current rate of interest but never more than three percent as the interest is always capped at three percent to stop large increases in interest causing large student repayments.
Skills Funding Agency Approved Courses
Students who start a course and then decide to leave the course or start another course that is not a Skills Funding Agency approved course will have to pay back any loan given to them plus the interest on the outstanding amount, there is a two week grace period where students can start a course and decide they don't like the course and leave the course without having to pay back any loan.
Getting Your Advanced Learning Loan Written Off
If you go onto higher education such as a degree then any loan amount you owe from having an Advanced Learning Loan will be written off, meaning because you have completed a degree or other access to HE course you will not have to pay back the Advanced Learning Loan, continue to higher education and your be rewarded by having your loan cancelled, note that you have to compete the access to higher education course or the degree course of study to have your loan cancelled. It's worth mentioning that the access to higher education courses you take after your AS-levels or other level 2 or level 3 course must have its own loan available, if there is no HE loan available for you to take then you won't be able to get your Advanced Learning Loan written off.
Tuition Fee Loans
Full time students looking to study an undergraduate degree can apply for Tuition Fee Loans which will pay the full cost of tuition fees at university or students can apply for a maintenance loan which gives you money for living expenses like accommodation, food and clothing or rather than a loan and having to pay back the money students can apply for a grant to pay for their living expenses (accommodation, food, clothing etc.). Students with additional expenses like children or a disability or learning difficulties can apply for an extra support bursary that does not have to be paid back.
Tuition Fee Loans are loans to pay for university tuition fees, these loans are not given to the student but payments are made three times a year to the university or college directly so the student never sees the money but has their education fees paid for them, the loan for tuition fees is not based on a student's income or financial status, the student will also be given a loan to study, note the loan will stop if the student stops attending university or college and any loan payments already made will need to be repaid and will automatically be deducted from the students wage when they go onto a job that pays more than £21,000 a year.
The loan repayments for tuition fees include interest so the student will be paying back more than they borrowed after interested is added, the exact cost of study will vary between England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland so the amount of the loan will vary too, note that Scottish students (students resident in Scotland for three or more years prior to their degree level education) will have free education with no charges for tuition fees, Scottish students may still wish to apply for a maintenance grant for living expenses.
Tuition Fee Grant
The Tuition Fee Grant (as opposed to the Tuition Fee Loan) is for students in full time education and does not have to be paid back, unlike the loan which must be paid back with interest. The grant is paid directly to your college or university as with the loan. Not all parts of the country have a Tuition Fee Grant it depends on which part of the country you are studying in and have been resident in for three years prior to your study.
As well as full time Tuition Fee Grants which will pay some of the costs or all of the costs depending on the area in which you live and the course you wish to study there is also a part time Fee Grant, this is paid to universities and colleges directly by the Student Loan Company and is for what the SLC call a designated part time course which means that the course must last for one or more years and lead to a HE Higher Education qualification and that the part time course must not take longer than twice the time it takes to do the full time course (this is to stop unscrupulous training providers having courses that last for many years purely to receive more money from the government in grants).
Interestingly the SLC say that the amount of a Fee Grant (Tuition Fee Grant) that the college or university will receive depends on the intensity of the course of study so shorter courses that pack more in to a smaller period of time or higher level courses will receive more money from the government.
If a student has a honours degree already and need to train on a specific course for a professional qualification then there is a separate loan called the Oxbridge College Fee loan, as the name suggests this additional loan is only available for students studying a professional qualification at either Oxford University or Cambridge University, again the Student Loans Company makes the payments directly to Oxford or Cambridge university once the university confirms attendance of the student.
Maintenance Loans are loans to support students with living expenses like accommodation, food and clothing whilst they are studying for a degree they are separate from the tuition loans which pay for the actual cost of a degree course. The SLC provide maintenance loans for students on undergraduate degree courses as well as teacher training courses.
There are two parts to the maintenance loan the first is a non-financially assessed portion of the loan, this is an amount that all students will get regardless of family wealth, the second part of the loan is based on the SLC assessment of you and your family's income and wealth, where you live in the country determines how much you might get with a maintenance loan as different parts of the country make different loan amounts available depending on where you are resident in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland.
Other factors affecting how much your receive from a student loan include whether you live at home with your parents in which case your get less money as your expenses are expected to be lower living in the family home and students living in London receive a London allowance as London as a capital city is more expensive to live (higher accommodation and travel charges etc.). Any other loans or bursaries will also be taken into account when your loan amount is calculated having another loan or bursary like the NHS bursary will lower the amount you receive as it's assumed your have the additional money from the other loan or bursary to support yourself with.