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How Do Postgraduate Loans Work In The United Kingdom?

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Postgraduate Loans In The United Kingdom

If you’re thinking of doing a UK Master’s degree you could be eligible for a postgraduate student loan of over £11,000. This article will explain what you can get, who is eligible, and how it all works in practice. I’m also going to include a few tips for your application.

How much can you borrow with a postgraduate loan?

the exact amount depends on which part of the UK you’re from and which student finance agency you need to apply to. English students can currently borrow over £11,000 but the amounts vary for other parts of the UK.

Whatever you borrow is paid directly to you in installments, is not means-tested, and is unrelated to the cost of your Master’s program. Instead, everyone is entitled to the same amounts, which you must use to pay your tuition, living expenses, and other obligations. It’s critical to understand that the loan won’t cover the entire cost of a Master’s degree, but you can supplement it with other sources of funding or income from part-time work.

Eligibility for a postgraduate student loan

In terms of eligibility for a postgraduate student loan, there are two options.

1. Resident in England

If you’re a UK student you need to be ordinarily resident in England. That means that England is where you live when you’re not at university and it’s probably the case that if you had an undergraduate student loan you applied to Student Finance England for it.

Unfortunately, EU students no longer have automatic access to UK student finance for Masters degrees or other levels of study in the academic year 2021-22. As an EU student, you may be eligible for a postgraduate loan in the United Kingdom, but only in certain circumstances.

2. 59 or younger

In terms of other eligibility criteria where you’ve got to be aged 59 or under at the beginning of your course. What that normally means is you need to be 59 or younger on the first day of the first academic year which will usually be the 1st of September. You are allowed to get older during the degree!

3. no previous postgraduate qualifications

You can’t already have a Master’s degree so that includes any MA, MSc, MBA, and so forth, or a higher qualification such as a Ph.D.

Your course must be a full postgraduate Master’s degree, not a postgraduate certificate or postgraduate diploma, and it must be a postgraduate level qualification, not an integrated undergraduate degree, for which you can apply for undergraduate student funding.

4. UK universities

Your university needs to be in the UK. You can study outside the UK for up to half your course but it needs to be a UK university that awards your degree. Your course can last for up to two years full-time or four years part-time and you can get a postgraduate loan for a Master’s in any subject. It can be an MA in History, an MSc in Chemistry, or an MBA, it doesn’t matter.

Repayment system for postgraduate loans

The repayment system for postgraduate loans is very similar to the one used for undergraduate loans so if you’re familiar with that, this will all seem quite easy to understand. If you’re not don’t worry, it’s still pretty simple. The first thing you need to know is that you only ever make a repayment when you’re earning over £21,000 a year. If you earn less than that you simply don’t repay. Also, you only repay 6% of the amount over that £21,000 threshold so it’s not 6% of everything you earn.

Any remaining balance including interest will be canceled after 30 years. If you also have an undergraduate loan you make two repayments concurrently although obviously, they’ll be at slightly different rates and thresholds.

Applying for a postgraduate loan

Applying for a postgraduate loan is pretty simple!, Applications are open now if you’re doing a master’s in the academic year 2021-22. If you’re thinking of a Master’s in subsequent years, the system usually opens around May or June. You can apply online and that’s probably the simplest but if you have an existing Student Finance England account you need to make sure you use it again for your postgraduate loan application. You can also apply by post if you prefer.

The deadline is flexible; you can apply after you begin your Master’s degree and request an adjustment in the amount you’re borrowing, however, you must complete your application three months before your Master’s degree ends.

Tips for your postgraduate loan application

Here are a few tips for your postgraduate loan application.

1. remember that postgraduate loans aren’t the same as undergraduate loans

You’re not going to get a separate tuition fee and maintenance loan, it’s all going to be paid to you and you’re going to need to budget with it. It’s not guaranteed to cover your course fees or your living costs.

2. Apply before confirming your place

you don’t need to have applied for your Master’s or have been accepted to apply for a postgraduate loan. You can use the application system to log in, nominate the course you want to take, and start your student funding application.

3. Don’t worry if you’re still paying your undergrad loan

remember that you don’t need to have repaid your undergraduate loan before you can apply for a postgraduate loan. Most people applying for a Master’s loan will still have outstanding undergraduate loan repayments.