Postgraduate Loan

Uni Compare  · Nov 29th 2021

Student finance is a big problem for a lot of students, bursaries, grants and scholarships are always available, but what about those who need postgraduate finance?

Postgraduate Loan

What is a postgraduate loan?

A postgraduate student loan offers candidates up to £10,000 to study a master’s degree in the UK. The student finance postgraduate loan can help with tuition fees and living costs while you study. Postgraduate loans are also available for mature students.

Students will be paid 33%, 33% and then 34% of their full entitlement throughout the academic year. This is normally at the beginning of each term. Funding for a postgraduate student loan in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland is different.

What is the postgraduate loan deadline?

Similar to the beginning of the course, you’ll have nine months after the start of your final year to apply for a postgraduate loan.

This means for a two-year master’s degree, you’ll have nine months from the start of the second year to apply for financial support.

If you decide to take a break during your studies or withdraw from your course you need to notify SFE straight away.

How much is the postgraduate loan?

The postgraduate loan in UK was around £10,906 for 2019, increasing on average by a few hundred pounds each academic year since it began in 2016. However the UK government postgraduate loan amount is subject to change, depending on inflation and other factors set out by the government.

The loan also depends on the course that you are studying, whereabouts you are studying and how long the course is overall.

A postgraduate maintenance loan is part of the postgraduate funding. The amount of financial support you receive will be for your tuition fees and/or living expenses.

For undergraduates, they receive separate tuition fee loans and can then apply for support for their rent and living costs. This has been divided up for students who will need more money than their course fee amount, and for those who won’t.

Whereas the student finance postgraduate maintenance loan is in fact the entire loan, set at around £10,000. This will cover your tuition, living costs or both. The amount you have for each also depends on the cost of your course, as the higher the price, the less amount of money you’ll have of that figure.

Postgraduate Loans

Is there a SLC postgraduate loan?

The Student Loans Company (SLC) is a not-for-profit organisation owned by the government. It was set up in 1989 to provide grants and loans to students in colleges and universities across the UK.

The SLC works with Student Finance England, as well as the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to provide support, including the SAAS postgraduate loan for students applying for a postgraduate loan in Scotland.

The SLC also works with Student Finance Wales (SFW) for those applying for a postgraduate loan in Wales. Both Scotland and Wales provide similar support for learners in undergraduate and further education. This also means Student Finance Wales postgraduate loan covers master’s degrees and others at level 7.

If you’re unsure if your course is eligible then seek the postgraduate loan contact at SFE or your chosen university.

How to apply for postgraduate loan?

If you have already applied for student finance in the past for an undergraduate degree then you can use your existing login details for the postgraduate loan application. If you haven’t got a postgraduate loan login that’s fine you just have to register on the Student Finance website.

You should do this in plenty of time before your course starts, SFE allows students to apply nine months before the academic year.

Candidates can apply for either a one or two year postgraduate course, or if studying part-time, a maximum four-year course. You can still get a loan if you are joining a three-year part-time course if there is no full-time equivalent of the same programme.

The postgraduate loan must be your only type of funding. If you’re eligible to apply for a bursary instead, like a healthcare bursary from the NHS, or a bursary from SAAS, then you won’t be able to apply for a postgraduate loan. Other grants affecting the postgraduate loan application include a social work bursary from the Department of Health and Social Sercial Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) bursary.

University Postgraduate Loans

Am I eligible for a postgraduate loan?

The eligibility criteria for a postgraduate loan is as follows:

  • Students must be under 60-years-old, and if they’re over the age of 60 on the first day of their academic year then they can’t apply.
  • This also has to be your first master’s degree, as candidates that already have one or a higher qualification (even if it isn’t from a UK university) are not eligible for a loan.
  • The course for which you’re applying for must be a full master’s course, which is technically a level 7 qualification (postgraduate certificates do not count).
  • The course can be a maximum of four years. Most master’s degrees, whether a taught or research degree, or even distance learning, is fine.

If you’re unsure if your course is eligible then seek the postgraduate loan contact at SFE or your chosen university.

Uni Postgraduate Loans

How to cancel a postgraduate loan?

If you decide to take a break during your studies or withdraw from your course you need to notify SFE straight away. Postgraduate student loans UK requirements will mean that SFE will stop your student postgraduate loan payments as soon as they’ve been told.

If you are paid anything after this you may be asked to repay it so it’s important to contact them and the university as soon as you leave your course.

If your university agrees to allow you to take a break from the programme your payments will resume when you return to the course. However, if students take a break for two or more years during the degree, they will only get further payments if they show they have compelling reasons to stop, such as bereavement or an illness.

If you choose to withdraw from your course completely you will stop receiving SFE payments.

In most cases, students repeating a year at university will not receive extra funding - unless they have compelling personal reasons.

For candidates who have been paid too much or left their course early, they will have the amount taken from any future payments due.

For example, if you’ve been overpaid by £400 then the next payment due of £1,000 will instead be £600.

However, if you do not have any future payments left, then SFE will contact you regarding alternative ways to repay the amount. But if you haven’t been overpaid then you’ll repay the SFE postgraduate loan through your earnings after you finish your degree.

A postgraduate student loan offers candidates up to £10,000 to study a master’s degree in the UK.

When do you pay back the postgraduate loan?

For any students considering what they owe for their master’s loan, a postgraduate loan repayment calculator will work out how much you’ll repay.

Students are due to start repaying their loan in the month of April after they finish or leave their course, and once they meet the threshold. The current threshold stands at £21,000 per year, £1,750 a month or £404 a week before tax and National Insurance. Although this can change.

If you’re employed, the repayments will come straight out of your salary along with tax and National Insurance. If your income drops or you stop working, the repayments automatically stop.

If you’re self-employed you’ll make repayments at the same time as when you pay tax via self-assessment.

For anyone moving overseas, they’ll have to let Student Finance England know, as they’ll have to repay the money directly to them.

Regarding how much you pay back for a student loan for postgraduate study, it is usually 6% of your income over the threshold mentioned above. So if you earn £2,500 a month before tax, you’ll pay 6% of the difference between what you earn and the threshold for the loan repayments.

Uni Postgraduate Loan

What about a postgraduate bank loan?

Prior to students being able to apply for a postgraduate loan from the government, there were options available via banks and building societies, like a HSBC postgraduate loan.

They are still available for anyone who isn’t eligible for a government loan, such as someone over the age of 60 or whoever already holds a master’s level degree.

They are private student loans designed specifically for students studying master’s or similar courses. Many lenders provide them as an option as they assume a postgraduate degree will improve your chances of higher earnings in the future, and better career prospects, allowing you to repay the loan.

These loans tend to take into account the course you’re studying and your financial background and use this to decide how much they can lend you. It is important to note that they will also charge interest and they do not have the same flexibility as government loans.

Also referred to as a postgraduate development loan, some lenders give up to £100,000, which makes them more suitable for expensive courses, like an MBA or postgraduate law degrees.

The repayments aren’t generally based on how much you earn, recipients are expected to pay back a set amount each month for a set period of time, regardless of how much their income changes.

Actual terms will be set by individual lenders, so it’s best to do your own research beforehand to see what loan best suits you.

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