Advanced Learner Loans

If you are 19+ and would like to study a course at Easton & Otley College but are concerned about how you would finance it - don’t worry you may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan. It’s simple and easy to apply and will cover the upfront costs of your qualification.

Top 5 things you need to know:

  1. To qualify you have to be 19+
  2. You must be living in the UK on the first day of your course, have been living in the UK for 3 years before starting your course and be a UK national or have ‘settled status’. 
  3. Loan eligibility doesn’t depend on your income and there are no credit checks
  4. You don’t pay anything upfront for your course fees and you only start to repay the loan in instalments once you start earning £21,000 or more.
  5. You don’t have to borrow the full cost of your course - you can pay for some of it yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan?

To be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan you must fulfil the following criteria:

  1. You must be 19 years or older on the first day of your course
  2. Your course must be Level 3,4,5 or 6 qualifications e.g A levels or graduate certificate
  3. The course must be at an approved college or training provider in England
  4. You must be living in the UK on the first day of your course, have been living in the UK for 3 years before starting your course and be a UK national or have ‘settled status’.  For more details or to check if you qualify -

How much can I borrow?

The amount you’ll get depends on the course you take and the fees for this course.  You don’t have to borrow the full costs of your course, you can pay for some of it yourself. The minimum loan is £300.

You’ll have to pay your loan back when you meet the following two criteria;

  1. You’ve finished your course
  2. You earn more than £21,000 a year*

Repayments start the April following the completion of your course. 

*Repayments will stop if your income drops below £21,000 a year

What will the repayments be?

You pay your loan back (plus interest). Your annual repayment will be 9% of any income you earn over £21,000.

For example:

  • If you earn £22,000 a year your repayments would be £7 a month
  • If you earn £25,000 a year your repayments would be £30 a month

If you want to start making voluntary repayments you will need to contact the Student Loans Company (

How do I make repayments?

Your employer will work out your repayments and take them out of your salary with your tax.  If you’re self-employed you make repayments as part of your Self-Assessment Tax Return. 

Will I be charged interest on the loan?

You start to pay interest on your loan from the time your first payment is made to you until you pay your loan back in full.



Whiles you’re studying and until the April after you leave the course

Rate of inflation (retail price index) plus 3%

£21,000 or less

Rate of inflation

£21,000 - £41,000

Rate of inflation plus up to 3%

£41,000 and over

Rate of inflation plus 3%

How do I apply?

  1. Check with your college of training provider that the course qualifies
  2. Ask them for a ‘Learning and funding Information letter’ - you will need this to complete the application. It contains the details about your course.
  3. You can apply online - you’ll need to register first. ( ) You can apply by post
  4. You’ll get a letter confirming your loan usually within 2 weeks if you apply online, postal applications may take longer.

What if I leave or change my course?

You’ll have to pay back any money that’s been paid to the college (plus interest) if you leave or change your course after 2 weeks or more.  Speak to the college to see if you can transfer the loan to another course.

For further details or to download an application form please refer to the government website - Alternatively you can peak to one of our Student Services team on 08000 224556.

What if I want to study Higher Education?

Please note: If your loan is for an Access to Higher Education programme (a further education course) and you progress to complete a Higher Education programme, you will not have to pay back your Further Education loan!

Note: If you are eligible for a 19+ Advanced Learning Loan, you can also apply for the support listed below:

Bursary Funds

Students studying on full and part-time courses that lead to a government funded qualification may be eligible for an award from the Bursary Fund towards the cost of: travel, accommodation, meals, personal protective clothing / equipment, fees and childcare.

The loans bursary fund application will not be deemed complete until loans are approved. Bursary Funds are limited, so we advise students to apply early.

The residential fund is primarily available for those students staying on site, but in some circumstances we may assist with off-site accommodation.