19+ Advanced Learning Loans – Centre Information
Your learners may be eligible for a government-backed Advanced Learning Loan to pay for their course fees.
In August 2016, the Government is changing the rules that apply to 24+ Adult Learner Loans. This change will extend Adult Advanced Learner Loans to include learners aged from 19+ and qualifications up to level 6.
So, from 1 August 2016, anyone who is 19 or over, who wishes to study for a qualification at level 3, 4, 5 or 6, will be required to pay for their course and can this do via a 19+ Advanced Learner Loan.
N.B. Learners aged 19-23 without a first full Level 3 qualification, may still be able to access government funding to gain a first full level 3 from a limited number of qualifications available in the legal entitlement. You will find out more about opportunities for learners to gain first full level 2 or 3 qualifications HERE
Our Funding pages explain more about the government reforms to 19+ funding and the Adult Skills Budget and can be found on this link City and Guilds Funding Pages
19+ Advanced Learner Loans - Key Information
- The loan can be used to pay the full or only part of the course fee, and is paid directly to the college or training provider by the Government.
- The loans are government backed and secure, there are no credit checks, and household income of the learner is not taken into consideration.
The Government has developed a Provider Support Pack, which can be found on this link;
Advanced Learning Loans Provider Support Pack.
This information pack covers a range of loans-specific areas including;
- understanding Loans policy
- provider operational delivery requirements
- learner support
- data and systems
To offer Advanced Learning Loans to potential learners, training providers must have a loan facility with the SFA. This means that you have applied for and been given a limited budget from which you can offer loans to learners. To gain a loan facility, you must already be a Skills Funding Agency (SFA) approved provider on the Register of Training Organisations ( ROTO - the due diligence finance portal for gaining an SFA funding contract). The following links offer training providers advice, guidance and support in setting up, or expanding a loan facility.
How to Apply for a SFA Loans Facility
There is further Loan advice and guidance available on the Gov.UK pages for training providers on the following links;
Advanced Learning Loans - An Overview
Advanced Learning Loans - Main Information Pages
The Government has also produced a very comprehensive and helpful toolkit to support training providers with set up and management of Advanced Learner Loans
Advanced Learning Loans Toolkit
Providing information to Learners about Loans
Know what the law says
The 19+ Advanced Learning Loan isn’t bound by the Consumer Credit Act, as the interest rates are too low. The 19+ loan must be presented as a possible option, and people should not be guided into taking one.
This means that you should not offer a learner guidance, advice or recommendations about how suitable a 19+ Advanced Learning Loan might be for them based on their personal circumstances. Your role is to present the learner with the information and advice they need to make their own decision about the best way to fund their course. You should not tell them what you think is the best way for them to fund their course.
If a learner wants advice on managing their finances, they can get impartial money advice from the Money Advice Service.
Be clear about the features of the 19+ Advanced Learning Loan
Although it’s important not to be seen to ‘sell’ or recommend the loan above other options, you should explain all of its features. Ensure that the learner is clear about:
- Who is eligible for a 19+ Advanced Learning Loan
- Repayment thresholds, highlighting that you only repay the loan once you’ve finished your course and you’re earning more than £21,000 a year
- Repayments are linked to how much the learner earns, not how much they borrowed
- The interest rate, and the fact that interest will be added to the loan as soon as it starts being paid to the college or training organisation
- The fact there is no credit check and household income isn’t taken into account.
Some suggested wording to include in learner communications
Below is some suggested wording you may wish to use to inform learners of their responsibilities and what your role is as a college or training organisation:
It’s important you consider your own circumstances and look into all options for paying for your course before choosing to take out a 19+ Advanced Learning Loan. This is not the responsibility of your college or training organisation. If you want advice on managing your finances, you can get impartial money advice from the Money Advice Service at moneyadviceservice.org.uk