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19+ Advanced Learning Loans – Centre information

The government offers loans to eligible students aged 19+ to pay for their course fees to study for a qualification at level 3, 4, 5 or 6 so they can improve their career prospects.

Education Providers can offer loans to students if you have a loan facility from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and your organisation is an approved provider on the Register of Training Organisations.

19+ Advanced Learner Loans can be an important part of an education providers curriculum offer, attracting more students into your organisation and widening the participation in skills and education in your local area. Good for providers, good for students and good for employers and the economy.

Often, students on part time programmes, decide to progress to a higher level and access to a loan, can be an important part of enabling that progress. Positive marketing of your loan offer to your student cohort is key to success.

A loan can be used to pay the full amount or 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.

How to apply for a SFA Loans Facility >>

Training providers can find further advice, a useful provider toolkit and guidance on Advanced Learner Loans, on the Education and Skills Funding Agency government web page.

To further support your students with advice on loans, you may wish to direct them to the Government Advanced Learner Loan web page.


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 believe is the best way for them to fund their course.

If a learner would like advice on managing their finances, they can obtain 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 have finished your course and you are 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 is not taken into account

Suggested wording to include in learner communications

You may wish to use this wording to inform learners of their responsibilities and what your role is as a college or training organisation:

"It is 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 would like advice on managing your finances, you can get impartial money advice from the Money Advice Service at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en."