Advanced Learner Loans


Helping you create your future


Course information

Advanced Learner Loans are not available for Higher National Qualification (HND) courses or Advanced/Higher Apprenticeships, where other funding applies.  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:

 ETS Cross Bullet Point   a Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 qualification, for example: A Levels or graduate certificate

 ETS Cross Bullet Point   at an approved college or training provider in England 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: 

ETS Cross Bullet Point   Level 3 or 4 qualification, for example: A Levels 

Course Length

The course must be at least 2 weeks to be eligible for funding, but there’s no maximum time limit in which a learner has to complete their course. However, there are maximum limits on how long we can pay a loan for. After this the learner will be due to start repaying their loan from, the following tax year if their income is above the repayment threshold of £25,000 from April 2018).

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


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

ETS Cross Bullet Point   course information including what they’re studying and where

ETS Cross Bullet Point   age

ETS Cross Bullet Point   nationality and residency status

ETS Cross Bullet Point   previous study

We’ve created an eligibility tool for learners considering an Advanced Learner Loan.

Nationality or residency status

Learners must usually: 

ETS Cross Bullet Point   be living in the UK on the first day of their course

ETS Cross Bullet Point   have been ordinarily resident in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years before starting their course

ETS Cross Bullet Point   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: 

ETS Cross Bullet Point   a UK national, or someone with settled status, but they live somewhere else in the European Economic Area (EEA) 

ETS Cross Bullet Point   an EU national or a family member of one

ETS Cross Bullet Point   not a UK national but they have lived in the UK for at least 20 years (or at least half of their life)

ETS Cross Bullet Point    a refugee or the relative of one

ETS Cross Bullet Point   an EEA or Swiss migrant worker, or the relative of one

ETS Cross Bullet Point   the child of a Swiss national

ETS Cross Bullet Point   the child of a Turkish worker

ETS Cross Bullet Point   granted humanitarian protection or the relative of someone who has been granted humanitarian protection

ETS Cross Bullet Point   a stateless person (including any eligible family members).

To be eligible as a ‘stateless person’ learners must: 

ETS Cross Bullet Point   be a new learner starting on or after 1 August 2018

ETS Cross Bullet Point   have been ordinarily resident in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years before the first day of the first academic year of your course

Learners who live outside England may also be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan if they’re: 

ETS Cross Bullet Point   a serving member of the UK armed forces

ETS Cross Bullet Point   the spouse/civil partner of a serving member

ETS Cross Bullet Point   a child, step-child or adoptive child living with a member of the UK Armed Forces serving outwith England

ETS Cross Bullet Point   a dependent parent living with a serving member


Previous Study

Learners can usually get a maximum of four Advanced Learner Loans. The exception to this is if they’re studying an AS or A level where they can apply for up to eight Loans, and can still get a further three loans for courses that are not AS/A Levels. Previous educational study will not affect a learner’s entitlement to their first FE loan. They’ll be able to get up to four loans for the same type of Vocational Qualification. However, they’ll still only be entitled to one FE loan for a Programme for A Levels or Access to HE Diploma.


How it’s paid

Payments are made directly to the learning provider each month. The learner’s attendance must be confirmed before any payments will be made. Confirmation of attendance Confirmation of attendance will be required two weeks after they have started their course and every three months thereafter. If a learner stops attending their course If they stop attending at any point, the learning provider should let us know as soon as possible so we can stop further payments.



Advanced Learner Loans have to be paid back. Learners are charged interest from the day the first payment is made. Learners will only start to repay their loan balance once they have finished or left their course and their income is over the repayment threshold. Visit our student loan repayment website for more information on repaying an Advanced Learner Loan.



Learners need to follow these steps:

 Step 1

They check with their learning provider that the course qualifies for ALL. The learning provider should then give them a ‘Learning and Funding Information’ letter. They need this to complete the application.

 Step 2

The learner applies online. If they’ve applied for student finance from us before they can use the same details. If they can’t apply online, they can download an application form at we’ll ask for information about: 

ETS Cross Bullet Point   their personal details, National Insurance number and contact information

ETS Cross Bullet Point   their nationality and residency

ETS Cross Bullet Point   their course

ETS Cross Bullet Point   how much they’d like to borrow

Step 3 

We’ll write to the learner to confirm their loan, usually within 2 weeks if they applied online. Paper applications can take longer. They should check the information on the letter to confirm the amounts and course details are correct. They must let us know immediately if anything is wrong or has changed since their application. If we need more information or evidence, they should send this as soon as possible to avoid any delays with their money. Any other forms we may ask for can be found at