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Student loans and Professional and Career Development Loans

This advice applies to Scotland

This page 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

You apply for student Loans for living costs and government funding for tuition fees through the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS).

What financial help you can get depends on the course you're studying and your household income. 

Student loans are granted by the Student Loans Company. You don't have to take a student loan if you have another way to fund your living costs while studying. 

You don’t normally have to pay student loans back until you’ve left college or university and your income has reached a certain amount. There's information about repaying student loans on the SAAS website

Find out more about student finance on

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
  • Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) in Scotland
  • an Open University degree
  • 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 Professional and Career Development Loans on the Moneysavingexpert website.

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

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