Advanced Learner Loan


Whether a learner can qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan depends on their:

  • course information including what they're studying and where
  • age
  • nationality or residency status
  • previous study

Loan eligibility doesn’t depend on the learner’s income and there are no credit checks.

We’ve created an eligibility tool for students considering an Advanced Learner Loan, this can help them find out if they could get the loan.

Course information

If the course started before 1 August 2016

The learner must be 24 or older on the first day of the course.

The course must be:

If the course started on or after 1 August 2016

The learner must be 19 or older on the first day of their course.

The course must be:

The courses that can be funded by an Advanced Learner Loan are:

  • A levels (including AS Levels)
  • Access to HE courses
  • Level 3 Certificates
  • Level 4 Certificates
  • Level 3 Diplomas (including Technical Levels and Early Years Educators)
  • Level 4 Diplomas

If the learner’s course starts on or after 1 August 2016 they will also be able to receive funding for:

  • Level 5
  • Level 6

Advanced Learner Loans do not fund HND courses, or Advanced/Higher Apprenticeships.

Course Length

Learning aims must last at least 2 weeks to be funded but there’s no maximum time limit in which a learner has to complete a learning aim. However, there are maximum limits on how long we can pay a loan for and after this point the learner can enter repayment (if they are earning above the repayment threshold).

The maximum amount of time we can pay a loan for differs depending on the learning aim.

Learning Aim Maximum Time Limit
A Level 2 years
Access to HEI 2 years
Certificates 2 years
Diplomas 3 years

Nationality or residency status

To be considered for the loan learners must usually:

  • be living in the UK on the first day of their course
  • have been ordinarily resident in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years before starting their course
  • be a UK national or have ‘settled status’
    (this means there are no restrictions on how long they can stay)

Learners may also qualify if they’re:

  • a UK national, or someone with settled status, but they live somewhere else in the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • an EU national or a family member of one
  • not a UK national but they have lived in the UK for at least 20 years (or at least half of their life)
  • a refugee or the relative of one
  • EEA or Swiss migrant worker, or the relative of one
  • the child of a Swiss national
  • the child of a Turkish worker
  • granted humanitarian protection or the relative of someone who has been granted humanitarian protection

From 1 August 2017 if the student is not resident in the UK, they may still be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan if they’re:

  • a serving member of the UK armed forces
  • the spouse/civil partner of a serving member
  • a dependent parent living with a serving member

Previous Study

Learners are only entitled to a maximum of four FE loans in their lifetime. The exception to this is where a learner is studying an AS or A level where the learner is entitled to up to apply for up to eight Loans, and will still have an entitlement to a further three loans for Learning Aims that are not AS/A Levels. Previous educational study will not affect a learner’s entitlement to their first FE loan.

A learner can study the four Learning Aims in any order and there is not a requirement for a learner to be progressing through the Learning Aim levels.

Therefore a learner will be entitled to up to four loans for the same type of Vocational Qualification. However, learners will still only be entitled to one FE loan for a Programme of A Levels or an Access to HE Diploma (as these Learning Aims are focused on a particular outcome that is related to progression).

A Levels

Learners can apply for a loan to fund each course they take towards their A Levels - up to a maximum of 4 A Levels.

This means they can have up to 8 loans at once if they’re taking each A Level as 2 separate courses (AS and A Level if they start on or after 1 August 2015 or AS and A2 if they start before 1 August 2015).

The courses must be in the same subject to qualify for a full A Level.

The learner can get up to 3 more loans for non-A Level courses once they have completed their A Levels.

The learner must complete a separate application for each loan.