Repaying your student loan

When you start and finish repaying

When you start repaying your loan depends on your repayment plan. There are 3 plans:

  • Plan 1
  • Plan 2
  • Postgraduate Loan

You cannot choose the repayment plan you’re on. If you have more than one loan, they could be on different plans.

You’ll only repay when your income is over the threshold amount for your repayment plan. The threshold amounts change on 6 April every year.

Your repayments automatically stop if either:

  • you stop working
  • your income goes below the threshold

Plan 1

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, but before 1 September 2012
  • an EU student who started an undergraduate or postgraduate course in Scotland or Northern Ireland on or after 1 September 1998

The earliest you’ll start repaying is either:

  • the April after you leave your course
  • the April 4 years after the course started, if you’re studying part-time

You’ll only repay when your income is over £364 a week or £1,577 a month (before tax and other deductions).

When Plan 1 loans get written off for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales

Academic year you took out the loan When the loan’s written off
2005 to 2006, or earlier When you’re 65
2006 to 2007, or later 25 years after the April you were first due to repay

If you’re a full time student from Wales, you may be able to get £1,500 of your Maintenance Loan written off.

When Plan 1 loans get written off for students from Scotland

Academic year you took out the loan When the loan’s written off
2006 to 2007, or earlier When you’re 65, or 30 years after the April you were first due to repay - whichever comes first
2007 to 2008, or later 30 years after the April you were first due to repay

When Plan 1 loans get written off for postgraduate students from Scotland and Northern Ireland

Master’s Loans and Doctoral Loans are written off 30 years after the April you were first due to repay.

Plan 2

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 August 2013

The earliest you’ll start repaying is either:

  • the April after you leave your course
  • the April 4 years after the course started, if you’re studying part-time

You’ll only repay when your income is over £494 a week or £2,143 a month (before tax and other deductions).

When Plan 2 loans get written off

Plan 2 loans are written off 30 years after the April you were first due to repay.

If you’re a full time student from Wales, you may be able to get £1,500 of your Maintenance Loan written off.

Postgraduate Loan

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
  • an English or Welsh student who took out a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan on or after 1 August 2018
  • an EU student who started a postgraduate course on or after 1 August 2016

If you took out a Master’s Loan, the earliest you start repaying is the April after you leave your course. You’ll only repay when your income is over £404 a week or £1,750 a month (before tax and other deductions).

If you took out a Doctoral loan, the earliest you start repaying is:

  • the April after you leave your course
  • the April 4 years after the course started, if you’re studying part-time

You’ll only repay when your income is over £404 a week or £1,750 a month (before tax and other deductions).

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.

When Postgraduate Loans get written off

Master’s Loans and Doctoral Loans are written off 30 years after the April you were first due to repay.

Early repayments

There’s no penalty for paying some or all of your loan off early.

If you’ve nearly paid off your loan

The Student Loans Company (SLC) will contact you when you’re close to repaying all of your loan.

If someone with a student loan dies

SLC will cancel the person’s student loan.

You need to let SLC know that the person has died and provide evidence (for example an original death certificate), as well as the person’s Customer Reference Number.

If you can no longer work because of illness or disability

SLC may be able to cancel your loan if you claim certain disability benefits. You’ll need to provide evidence (for example a letter from the benefits agency) and your Customer Reference Number.