You’ll apply for student finance from Student Finance England when you’re at uni or college. But when the time comes to repay, you’ll make your repayments to the Student Loans Company.
The important thing to remember is that the amount you’ll repay will be based on how much you earn, not how much you borrow.
Once you leave your course, you’ll only repay when your income is above the repayment threshold. The threshold you’re on depends on which repayment plan you’re on.
If your income changes, the amount you repay will change too. But don't worry – this happens automatically.
If you stop working, or start to earn below the repayment threshold, your repayments will stop until you earn over the threshold.
You’ll make a repayment if you go over the weekly or monthly threshold at any point during the year, for example, if you get a bonus or work overtime. You can request a refund at the end of the tax year if your total income was below the annual repayment threshold.
For examples on how much you’ll repay, visit www.gov.uk/repaying-your-student-loan/what-you-pay.
If you leave your course early
You’ll still have to repay your loan, but the repayment process might be different.
- Full-time courses – you’ll normally be due to start repaying the April after you finish or leave your course, but only if you're earning over the repayment threshold. For example, if you finish or leave your course in June 2024, you’ll be due to start repaying in April 2025, if you're earning enough.
- Part-time courses – you’ll normally be due to start repaying the April four years after the start of your course, or the April after you finish or leave your course, whichever comes first, but only if you're earning over the repayment threshold.
- If you start work, your employer will automatically take 9% of your income above the threshold from your salary, along with tax and National Insurance.
- If you're self-employed, you’ll make repayments at the same time as you pay tax through self-assessment.
- If you move overseas, you’ll repay directly to the Student Loans Company, instead of having it taken automatically from your pay. The repayment threshold could be different from the UK, which means the amount you repay could be different. Find out more about repaying from overseas.
Interest is charged from the day the Student Loans Company makes your first payment to you or your uni or college, until your loan is repaid in full or cancelled.
The interest rate is based on the Retail Price Index or RPI, which measures changes to the cost of living in the UK. The interest rate is normally updated once a year in September, using the RPI from March of that year.
It's important to remember that the amount of interest you're charged doesn't affect the amount you'll repay each month.
How much interest you're charged depends on which repayment plan you’re on.