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Student loans and Professional and Career Development Loans

About student loans and Professional and Career Development Loans

This information tells you who can get a student loan or a Professional and Career Development Loan and where you can get more information about them.

Student loans

Student loans are low-interest loans authorised by the Government through the Student Loans Company (SLC).

What financial help you can get depends on the course you study, where you live while you are studying and your individual circumstances. Most full-time students can get a tuition fee loan to cover the full cost of tuition fees and a maintenance loan to cover the cost of living expenses.

You don’t normally have to pay the loan back until you’ve left college or university and your income has reached a certain amount.

You can get more information about student loans and other types of student finance, such as grants and bursaries, from the SLC website at

Professional and Career Development Loans

Career Development Loans are provided by some banks and are for people who want to follow a course of study but don’t have the money to pay for it. The course you choose must provide skills that will help you get into a new job or get ahead in your current one, such as National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) in Scotland, an Open University degree or postgraduate courses.

You agree with the bank how much you want to borrow and how long you’re going to repay the loan over. The government pays the interest on the loan while you are studying.

When you finish your course, you will start paying back the loan and interest. Try to pay the loan back as quickly as you can or the interest will pile up.

You can get more information about Career Development Loans on the Moneysavingexpert website at

Effect on benefits

Getting a Professional and Career Development Loan may affect your benefit entitlement so check with your benefits office before you apply.

You can get advice about how a Professional and Career Development Loan might affect your benefits from a specialist adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by e-mail, click nearest CAB.

Further help and information

On Adviceguide

For more information about different ways of borrowing money and getting credit, see Types of borrowing.

You may also find the following Adviceguide information helpful:

The Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service is a free, independent service. Their website ( has lots of useful information about borrowing and managing your money.

Go to their website for more information about:



For more about student loans and finance, go to

For more about Professional and Career Development Loans, go to

Student Loans Company (SLC)

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