How much does a student loan in the UK cost?

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How much does a student loan in the UK cost?

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How much does a student loan in the UK cost? Will it be enough for your tuition and living expenses? How will this affect your studies and future? We take a look.

Before we go any further, it is important to note that the amount of student loan you can get in the UK can change every academic year. It is important to check that the website gov.uk.

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How do student loans work in the UK?

Student loans include tuition loans to cover the cost of education and maintenance loans to help with living expenses. There are also grants available to support students with financial difficulties, disabilities, children or dependent adults.

Whether you are eligible for a student grant depends on:

  • Your university or college
  • Your course
  • If you have previously followed a higher education course
  • Your age
  • Your nationality or residence status

More details about these criteria can be found on the website gov.uk.

What is the maximum amount of student finance you can get?

Which student grant you will receive depends on your unique circumstances and the criteria mentioned above. For the academic years 2020 to 2021 and 2021 to 2022, if you are a first-time student, you can get up to £9,250 in tuition fees. However, if you study an accelerated degree you can get up to £11,100.

The maximum amount of maintenance loan you will receive depends on your year of study and where you live.

academic year 2020 to 2021

academic year 2021 to 2022

Live at home

Up to £7,747

Up to £7,987

Living far from home, outside London

Up to £9,203

Up to £9,488

Living far from home, in London

Up to £12,010

Up to £12,382

Studying abroad for a year of a UK course

Up to £10,539

Up to £10,866

If you are a part-time student, you can get a loan if your part-time education has a course intensity of 25% or more. Course Intensity measures how much of your course you complete each year compared to an equivalent full-time course.

The gov.uk website offers a student finance calculator to help you figure out how much you can get.

How long does it take to pay back a student loan?

How long does it take to refund your student grants depends on several factors:

  • The total loan amount plus to interest
  • Whether your income is above or below the threshold (more on this below)
  • Whether you have the money to pay off the student loan early

You are obliged to repay tuition fees and maintenance loans as soon as your income exceeds the threshold amount for your income payment plan. You repay 9% of the amount you earn above the threshold for plans 1, 2 and 4. The percentage drops to 6% for the Postgraduate Loan. It may also be important to note that the threshold amounts change every year on April 6.

Repay your student loan for the 2021/2022 financial year

How and when you have to repay your student loan depends on the loan plan you have:

  • If you are under Plan 1, you will only pay back if your income exceeds £382 per week, £1,657 per month or £19,895 per year. This is before tax and other deductions. If you took out the loan in the 2005/2006 academic year or earlier, it is: written off if you are 65. However, from 2006/2007 it will be depreciated 25 years after the April you first had to repay.
  • Students under Plan 2 are expected to repay their student loans when their income exceeds £480 per week, £2,083 per month or £25,000 per year. However, it is depreciated 30 years after the April they first had to pay back.
  • If you’re a Plan 4 member, you’ll only pay back if your income exceeds £480 a week, £2,083 a month or £25,000 a year. If you took out the loan in academic year 2006/2007 or earlier, it will be written off when you are 65 or 30 years old after the April when you should first repay. The latter applies from 2007/2008.
  • Students with a postgraduate loan are expected to repay their student loan when their income exceeds £403 per week, £1,750 per month or £21,000 per year. However, it is debited 30 years after the April you first had to repay.

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