How much you repay

How much you repay depends on which plan you’re on.

Each plan has a threshold for your weekly or monthly income. You repay:

  • 9% of the amount you earn over the threshold for Plan 1 and 2
  • 6% of the amount you earn over the threshold for the Postgraduate Loan

If you have a Plan 1 or 2 loan and a Postgraduate Loan, you’ll repay 15% of the amount you earn over the threshold.

You do not pay anything back if your income is under the threshold.

Interest starts being added to your loan from when you get your first payment.

Plan 1

The thresholds are £364 a week or £1,577 a month (before tax and other deductions). They change on 6 April every year.

You’re on Plan 1 if you’re:

  • an English or Welsh student who started an undergraduate course anywhere in the UK before 1 September 2012
  • a Scottish or Northern Irish student who started an undergraduate or postgraduate course anywhere in the UK on or after 1 September 1998
  • an EU student who started an undergraduate course in England or Wales on or after 1 September 1998
  • an EU student who started an undergraduate or postgraduate course in Scotland or Northern Ireland on or after 1 September 1998

Example

You’re paid monthly and your income changes each month. This month your income was £2,000, which is over the Plan 1 monthly threshold of £1,577.

Your income was £423 over the threshold (£2,000 minus £1,577). You will pay back £38 (9% of £423) this month.

Example

Your annual income is £27,000 and you’re paid a regular monthly wage. This means that each month your income is £2,250 (£27,000 divided by 12). This is over the Plan 1 monthly threshold of £1,577.

Your income is £673 over the threshold (£2,250 minus £1,577). You will pay back £60 (9% of £673) each month.

Interest on Plan 1

You currently pay interest of 1.75% on Plan 1. You can find out how the interest is calculated and interest rates for previous years.

Plan 2

The thresholds are £494 a week or £2,143 a month (before tax and other deductions). They change on 6 April every year.

You’re on Plan 2 if you’re:

  • an English or Welsh student who started an undergraduate course anywhere in the UK on or after 1 September 2012
  • an EU student who started an undergraduate course in England or Wales on or after 1 September 2012
  • someone who took out an Advanced Learner Loan on or after 1 September 2013

Example

You’re paid weekly and your income changes each week. This week your income was £600, which is over the Plan 2 weekly threshold of £494.

Your income was £106 over the threshold (£600 minus £494). You will pay back £9 (9% of £106) this week.

Example

Your annual income is £28,800 and you are paid a regular monthly wage. This means that each month your income is £2,400 (£28,800 divided by 12). This is over the Plan 2 monthly threshold of £2,143.

Your income is £257 over the threshold (£2,400 minus £2,143). You will pay back £23 (9% of £257) each month.

Interest on Plan 2

While you’re studying, interest is 6.3%.

This is made up of the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3%. RPI is currently set at 3.3%.

This rate applies until the 5 April after you finish or leave your course, or for the first 4 years of your course if you’re studying part-time, unless the RPI changes.

After that, your interest rate depends on your income in the current tax year.

If you’re self-employed, your income is the total income amount on your Self-Assessment form.

If you’re an employee, your income is your taxable pay:

  • plus any pension contributions
  • minus any benefits you get from your employer that are taxed through payroll (ask your employer if you’re not sure)

If you have more than one job in a year, your interest rate will be based on your combined income from all your jobs.

Your annual income Interest rate
£25,725 or less RPI (currently 3.3%)
£25,725 to £46,305 RPI (currently 3.3%), plus up to 3%
Over £46,305 RPI (currently 3.3%), plus 3%

You must keep your contact details up to date in your online account and give the Student Loans Company evidence if they ask for it. If you do not, you may be charged the higher interest rate even if your income is lower.

You can find out how the interest is calculated and interest rates for previous years.

If you have Plan 1 and Plan 2 loans

You pay back 9% of your income over the Plan 1 threshold (£364 a week or £1,577 a month).

If your income is under the Plan 2 threshold (£494 a week or £2,143 a month), your repayments only go towards your Plan 1 loan.

If your income is over the Plan 2 threshold, your repayments go towards both your loans.

Postgraduate Loan

The thresholds are £404 a week or £1,750 a month (before tax and other deductions).

You’re on a Postgraduate Loan repayment plan if you’re an English or Welsh student who:

  • took out a Postgraduate Master’s Loan on or after 1 August 2016
  • took out a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan on or after 1 August 2018

If you took out a Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan in Northern Ireland or a Postgraduate Living Cost Loan in Scotland you’ll need to repay these under Plan 1.

Example

You’re paid weekly and your income changes each week. This week your income was £600, which is over the Postgraduate Loan weekly threshold of £404.

Your income was £196 over the threshold (£600 minus £404). You will pay back £11 (6% of £196) this week.

Example

Your annual income is £28,800 and you are paid a regular monthly wage. This means that each month your income is £2,400 (£28,800 divided by 12). This is over the Postgraduate Loan monthly threshold of £1,750.

Your income is £650 over the threshold (£2,400 minus £1,750). You will pay back £39 (6% of £650) each month.

Interest on Postgraduate Loan

You currently pay interest of 6.3% on Postgraduate Loans.

The interest is made up of the Retail Price Index (RPI), plus 3%. RPI is currently set at 3.3%.

The interest rate is updated in September every year using the RPI from March of that year.

You can find out how the interest is calculated and interest rates for previous years.

If you have a Postgraduate Loan and a Plan 1 or Plan 2 loan

You pay back 6% of your income over the Postgraduate Loan threshold (£404 a week or £1,750 a month). In addition, you’ll pay back 9% of your income over the Plan 1 or Plan 2 threshold.

Example

You have a Postgraduate Loan and a Plan 2 loan.

Your annual income is £28,800 and you are paid a regular monthly wage. This means that each month your income is £2,400 (£28,800 divided by 12). This is over the Postgraduate Loan monthly threshold of £1,750 and the Plan 2 threshold of £2,143.

Your income is £650 over the Postgraduate Loan threshold (£2,400 minus £1,750) and £257 over the Plan 2 threshold (£2,400 minus £2,143).

You will pay back £39 (6% of £650) to your Postgraduate Loan and £23 (9% of £257) to your Plan 2 loan. So your total monthly repayment will be £62.

Example

You have a Postgraduate Loan and a Plan 1 loan.

Your annual income is £28,800 and you are paid a regular monthly wage. This means that each month your income is £2,400 (£28,800 divided by 12). This is over the Postgraduate Loan monthly threshold of £1,750 and the Plan 1 threshold of £1,577.

Your income is £650 over the Postgraduate Loan threshold (£2,400 minus £1,750) and £823 over the Plan 1 threshold (£2,400 minus £1,577).

You will pay back £39 (6% of £650) to your Postgraduate Loan and £74 (9% of £823) to your Plan 1 loan. So your total monthly repayment will be £113.

If your income changes during the year

You can ask for a refund if you make repayments but your total annual income (from 6 April to 5 April the following year) is less than:

  • £18,935 a year for Plan 1
  • £25,725 a year for Plan 2
  • £21,000 for Postgraduate Loans

If you have 2 or more jobs

Your employers will deduct repayments from your salary - but only for the jobs where you earn over the minimum amount.

HM Revenue and Customs may send you a tax return to make a self assessment of the repayments you owe for the whole year.

If you have a Plan 1 or Plan 2 loan, you’ll need to repay 9% of all your income over the threshold.

If you have a Postgraduate Loan, you’ll need to repay 6% of all your income over the threshold.

If you’ve already made repayments from your salary, they will be deducted from the amount you have to repay.

Keep all your payslips and P60 - you’ll need them if you ask for a refund.

You might end up paying your loan back sooner if your income from savings and investments is over £2,000 a year.