Aged over 19?
Looking to study an FE course at Level 3 or 4?

Find out about Advanced Learning Loans

Advanced Learning Loans are similar to higher education loans, but for the further education sector. Loans are available for learners aged 19 and over, studying at Level 3 or Level 4 (including QCF Certificates and Diplomas, Access to Higher Education, A-Levels and Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships).
You can apply for a loan to cover the cost of the tuition fees for your qualification, which will be paid directly to the college on your behalf.

Can’t I study for free?

Unfortunately, the Government no longer funds adults aged over 19 years old to study Level 3 courses, even if you are on benefits. These loans have been introduced by the Government to enable mature students to study without any up-front costs.

How does it work?

1. Choose your course
We offer unbiased information and advice on the best course for your ambitions – if college isn’t right for you, we’ll tell you.

2. Research your payment options
As well as the Advanced Learning loan, you have the option to pay by monthly direct debit. Call us on 0800 306 306 for more information. For free, unbiased financial advice, call the Money Advice service on 0300 500 5000 or visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk.

3. Apply for your course at Lancaster & Morecambe College and get a course offer
You will need details such as the course code in order to apply for your loan.

4. Apply for your loan
Apply online at Advanced Learning Loans. You will need your National Insurance Number and proof of your identity such as a passport or birth certificate. Online applications take five days to process; alternatively you can request a postal application, which will take 2-4 weeks to process. If your course lasts for more than one year, you’ll only need to take one loan out.

5. Enrol at the college
Once your loan is approved, and you have been given a date to enrol by the college, bring in your loan confirmation letter, together with proof of your identity and evidence of your previous qualifications (where appropriate).

6. Start your course
The loan will be paid directly to the college once you start your course.

7. Repay your loan
Pay back your loan (plus interest) when you’ve finished your course and start earning more than £21,000 a year. The table below shows how much you might expect to repay.

Annual income before tax Monthly Salary before tax Monthly repayment
Up to £21,000 £1,750 £0
£22,000 £1,833 £7
£25,000 £2,083 £30
£30,000 £2,500 £67
£35,000 £2,917 £105
£40,000 £3,333 £142

You might also find this Advanced Learning Loan repayment calculator useful.

NB: Any loan balance outstanding 30 years after you are due to start repayments will be written off, so you may not fully repay your loan.

Access to Higher Education courses

If you get a loan for an Access to Higher Education course and progress to a degree course, you will not replay your initial Access loan. Please note that completion of an Access course is no guarantee of a place at university – you will need to successfully meet the criteria for your chosen degree place, including any tests/interviews necessary for admission.

Who is eligible for an Advanced Learning Loan?

Individuals who are:
- aged 19 or over at the start of their course
- resident in the UK
- have not previously had a Loan to do the same qualification type and level of qualification.
Loans will not be means tested (or subject to credit checks) and any individual who meets the criteria above will be able to apply for a loan irrespective of their current employment status.

What other financial help is available?

It is important that you consider your own financial circumstances and look into all options. You can access free, independent financial advice from the money advice service www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

You may be eligible for help with costs related to your course – call our Student Money Team on 01524 521469 for information on the Learner Support Fund.

For more information on Advanced Learning Loans call us on 0800 306306 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.