Repaying your student loan

How you repay your loan depends on your circumstances once you leave your course. Here, the Student Loans Company explains how and when you’ll start to repay.
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Repaying your loan 2017/18

Repaying your loan
What, when, and how to repay your student loan. Video provided by Student Finance England.
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The information on this page only applies to students applying for loans through Student Finance England. If you are applying from another UK country, your interest rate and repayment plan may differ.

You might not be thinking about how you’ll repay your student loan right now, but it’s really important to understand exactly what’s involved when the time comes to repay.

Student Loans Company (SLC) provides financial support on behalf of the UK Government. When the time comes for you to repay your student loan, you’ll make your repayments to SLC and any communication around your loan repayments will come from SLC.

It’s really important you tell SLC if your name or contact details change so they can keep you up-to-date with information about your loan or repayments.

How and when do I repay?

  • If your course is full-time, you’ll be due to start repaying your loan the April after you finish or leave your course.
  • If you’re a part-time student, you’ll be due to start repaying in the April four years after the start of your course, or the April after you finish or leave your course, whichever comes first.

How you’ll repay depends on your circumstances once you leave your course.

If you start work
  1. If your income is over the current UK threshold of £21,000 a year£1,750 a month, or £404 a week, your employer will automatically take 9% of your income above the threshold from your salary, along with tax and National Insurance. The student loan repayment amount taken will show on your payslip.
  2. Your employer tells HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) how much student loan you’ve repaid.
  3. After the end of the tax year, HMRC tells SLC how much you’ve repaid for that year.
  4. SLC will apply the repayments you’ve made to your balance and work out the interest to be added.
If you’ll be self assessed
  1. If you’re self assessed (for example, if you’re self employed) and your income is over £21,000 a year, you’ll repay at the same time as you pay your tax.
  2. When you fill in your tax return, you should indicate you have a student loan. HMRC will then calculate how much you should repay based on your income for the tax year.
  3. HMRC will let you know your total tax liability for the year, which will include any student loan repayments you are due to make. You’ll make repayments directly to HMRC.
  4. HMRC tells SLC the total amount of student loan repayments you’ve made in the tax year. This information is received separately, and later, than information about repayments you may make through PAYE.
  5. SLC will apply the repayments you’ve made to your balance and work out the interest to be added.
If you don’t get a job

You won’t have to make any repayments until your income is over the threshold of £21,000 a year, £1,750 a month, or £404 a week.

If you go overseas
  1. If you’re leaving the UK for more than three months, you’ll need to complete an Overseas Income Assessment Form, so SLC can calculate if you need to repay.
  2. You’ll pay 9% of any income over the repayment threshold for the country you’re living in. Because of differences in living costs, the repayment threshold in another country could be different from the UK threshold. 
  3. On the Overseas Income Assessment Form, you should provide details of your circumstances and income. You'll also need to provide evidence of your income or how you’re supporting yourself.
  4. SLC will then send you a repayment schedule showing how much you need to pay each month.