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Student loans and professional development loans– what are they?

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The UK is a great place to live in terms of financial help with further education. Whether youre a student looking to fund your university course, or whether youre a professional trying to get further in your career; there is financial help available.

The cost of further education can be really expensive. If youre hoping to go to university youre looking at paying thousands of pounds for a degree. Not many students have that kind of money lying around and their parents dont either. Student loans are designed for those who would not be able to afford higher education without a little financial help.

Who offers student loans?

The government offers student loans via the Student Loans Company. The amount of help you are able to apply for will depend upon which course you are taking and where you live whilst youre taking the course. Your personal circumstances will also be taken into account. The types of loans most commonly given to students include:

  • Tuition fee loans
  • Maintenance loans

The tuition fee loan will typically cover the full cost of the course – again this will depend upon your circumstances. The maintenance loans are available to cover the cost of your living expenses such as food and rent.

How does a student loan work?

Student loans differ to other types of loans in the fact they dont have to be paid back usually until you leave university or college. You start to pay it back when you get a job. If you were to apply for a standard personal loan via a bank, the repayments would be due straight away. Youd have to find the money to cover the cost of living, as well as repaying the loan so specialised student loans are definitely the better option.

You also might be entitled to a grant if youre a student, which is basically a loan that you dont have to pay back. These grants are designed to help with living expenses. You can find out more about student loans on the Student Loans Company website.

Professional career development help

If youre looking to get ahead in your career, you may be able to get financial help from the government. Known as career development loans, you agree a loan amount with a bank and then the government pays the interest on the loan while you study. As soon as you finish the course you will be expected to pay both the loan amount and the interest.student loans

In order to benefit from this type of help, the course that youre taking has to provide you with skills to help you get a job or get further in your current employment.

If you do get a career development loan, make sure you try to pay it back as soon as you can. That way you will save on interest. The one thing you need to take into account is that if youre on benefits a career development loan can affect your entitlement. Before you apply for help, make sure it wont have an impact on the benefits you can claim.

It might be worthwhile booking an appointment with the Citizens Advice Bureau to discuss your options. They will help you to decide which type of financial help is best suited to your circumstances and how it will affect you – always think carefully before you take on any loan.

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About Jemma Porter

About Jemma Porter

Jemma Porter is an experienced content creator who has written for a number of online publications. A self-confessed penny pincher; she's often found seeking out the best personal finance deals.

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