+ Student & Staff

Advanced Learner Loans

If you are aged 19 and over and want to study a Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 College course or Access to Higher Education Course you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan from the Government.

The loans are designed to cover the cost of your tuition fees.  It’s easy to apply, your household income isn’t taken into account and there’s no credit check, plus you won’t have to pay anything back until your income is over £21,000 a year.

What you'll get

How much you get depends on the:

  • Type of course
  • Course fees
  • Maximum loan available for your course

The minimum loan you can get is £300. You don’t have to borrow the full cost of your course - you can pay for some of it yourself.

Number of loans you can get

You can apply for up to 4 loans and you can get more than one at the same time.

You can apply for another loan to take the same level of a course, eg the same level qualification in History if you’ve already had a loan for the same level in Maths.

You can only apply once for an Access to Higher Education course.


Check your eligibility with this eligibility tool .

Whether you qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan depends on your:

  • Course
  • Age
  • Nationality or residency status


Your course must be:

  • A Level 3, 4, 5, or 6 or Access to HE qualification

Your age

You must be 19 or older on the first day of your course.

Your nationality or residency status

You must usually:

  • Be living in the UK on the first day of your course
  • Have been living in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for 3 years before starting your course
  • Be a UK national or have ‘settled status’ (this means there’s no restrictions on how long you can stay)

You may also qualify if you’re:

  • A UK national, or someone with settled status, but you live somewhere else in the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • An EU national or a family member of one
  • A refugee
  • A migrant worker
  • The child of a Swiss national
  • The child of a Turkish worker

How to apply

There is no means-testing or credit-rating check and, once your loan application is accepted, you won’t need to do anything else to pay the course fee or to arrange repayment later. It’s all organised for you

  1. Identify the course that you want to study with us
  2. Apply for a place on the course, and get an offer letter from us confirming your place
  3. We will provide you with Learning and Funding information letter which will outline the following:
    • UK Provider Number: 10003193 (Hugh Baird College), Course Code, Start date, End date, Fee.
  4. Apply online for your loan - you’ll need to register first.
  5. You’ll get a letter confirming your loan - usually within 2 weeks if you apply online (postal applications take longer).

Things to remember when making your loan application:

  • You can’t apply until you get a 'Learning and Funding information letter’ from Hugh Baird College. You can apply for a loan without a National Insurance number but you must have one before the loan can be paid.
  • Make a note of your Customer Reference Number (11 digit number assigned to each applicant).
  • Select Further Education as your chosen route.
  • At the end of the online application process you will need to print and sign the declaration form (2 copies) and print the application summary. One signed copy of the declaration form needs to be sent to the Student Loans Company along with any relevant requested documents (send via recorded or special delivery and keep the tracking number). The other copy of the declaration form and the application summary need to be presented at the enrolment desk at the time of your enrolment with us. The declaration form is also at the end of the paper application form.



Repayments start the April following the completion of your course.

You pay back your loan (plus interest) when you finish your course and earn more than £21,000 a year. Your repayments will stop if your income drops below £21,000 a year.

If you’re an employee, 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. You can pay some or all of your loan at any time without an extra charge.

Your annual repayment amount will be 9% of any income you earn over £21,000.


Your monthly repayments would be:

  • £7 a month - if you earned £22,000 a year
  • £30 a month - if you earned £25,000 a year

Contact the Student Loans Company if you want to start making voluntary repayments.


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

Income Interest rate
While 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 to £41,000 Rate of inflation plus up to 3%
£41,000 and over Rate of inflation plus 3%

Leaving or changing your course

You’ll have to pay back any money that’s been paid to your college or training provider (plus interest) if you leave or change your course after 2 weeks or more. The interest rate will be the rate of inflation.

Access to Higher Education (HE) course

Student Finance England will ‘write off’ any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances you owe for an Access to HE course once you complete a higher education course. This means you don’t have to repay it.


Video - three learners tell their stories

For more information

Please contact our Admissions team: