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 repay 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 £352 a week or £1,527 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 your undergraduate course before 1 September 2012
  • a Scottish or Northern Irish student

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 £1,527.

Your income was £473 over the threshold (£2,000 minus £1,527). You will pay back £42 (9% of £473) 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 £1,527.

Your income is £723 over the threshold (£2,250 minus £1,527). You will pay back £65 (9% of £723) each month.

Interest on Plan 1

You currently pay interest of 1.75% on Plan 1. You can find interest rates for previous years.

Plan 2

The thresholds are £480 a week or £2,083 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 your undergraduate course on or after 1 September 2012.

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 £480.

Your income was £120 over the threshold (£600 minus £480). You will pay back £10 (9% of £120) 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 £2,083.

Your income is £317 over the threshold (£2,400 minus £2,083). You will pay back £28 (9% of £317) 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%.

Once you’ve left your course, 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
£25,000 or less RPI (currently 3.3%)
£25,000 to £45,000 RPI (currently 3.3%), plus up to 3%
Over £45,000 RPI (currently 3.3%), plus 3%

The Student Loans Company has more information on how they calculate interest.

If your income changes during the year

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

  • £18,330 a year for Plan 1
  • £25,000 a year for Plan 2

If you have Plan 1 and Plan 2 loans

You pay back 9% of your income over the Plan 1 threshold (£352 a week or £1,527 a month).

If your income is under the Plan 2 threshold (£480 a week or £2,083 a month), your payments only go towards your Plan 1 loan.

If your income is over the Plan 2 threshold, your payments 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 or Postgraduate Doctoral Loan.

If you’re a Scottish or Northern Irish student who took out a Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan or Postgraduate Living Cost Loan (Scotland only), you’ll 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 interested 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.

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 £2,083.

Your income is £650 over the Postgraduate Loan threshold (£2,400 minus £1,750) and £317 over the Plan 2 threshold (£2,400 minus £2,083).

You will pay back £39 (6% of £650) to your Postgraduate Loan and £28 (9% of £317) to your Plan 2 loan. So your total monthly repayment will be £67.

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 £1,527.

Your income is £650 over the Postgraduate Loan threshold (£2,400 minus £1,750) and £873 over the Plan 1 threshold (£2,400 minus £1,527).

You will pay back £39 (6% of £650) to your Postgraduate Loan and £78 (9% of £873) to your Plan 1 loan. So your total monthly repayment will be £117.

The Student Loans Company has more information on how they allocate repayments if you have a Plan 1, Plan 2 and Postgraduate Loan.

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.

HMRC 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 claim a refund.

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

  1. Step 1 Check if you're eligible

  2. Step 2 Find out how much loan you could get

    Find out the maximum tuition fee and maintenance loan you could get if you're a:

    How much maintenance loan you get depends on where you'll study and your household income.

    1. Use the student finance calculator to estimate your maintenance loan

    You'll have to pay back any loan you get.

    1. You are currently viewing: Find out how much you'll repay
    2. Find out when you'll start repaying
  3. and Check if you can get extra help

  4. Step 3 Prepare your application

  5. Step 4 Apply

    1. Apply online

    You'll need to create a student finance account if you're a new student or sign into an existing account if you're a returning student.

    It can take up to 6 weeks to process your application. You might have to provide extra evidence.

  6. Step 5 Update your details if your circumstances change

    You must update your application if your circumstances change. For example if you:

    • change your course through clearing
    • change where you're going to live - for example with your parents instead of halls
    1. Find out how to update your application
  7. Step 6 Make sure you can be paid

    After you register at your university or college you'll usually get your maintenance loan paid directly into your bank account at the start of each term.

    Use your student finance account to:

    • update your bank details - for example if you open a student account
    • check how much you'll be paid
    • check when you'll be paid
    1. Sign in to your student finance account
  8. Step 7 Check what to do while you're studying

    You'll need to reapply for student finance for each year of your course.

    You must keep your details up to date throughout your course because some changes can affect your loan payments, for example if your household income or bank details change.

    1. Check how to update your details
    2. Find out what to do if you suspend or leave your course
  9. Step 8 Repay your loan