Repaying your student loan

When you start and finish repaying

When you start paying depends what repayment plan you’re on.

The amounts you repay change on 6 April every year. You stop paying if your income drops below the threshold.

Plan 1

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

You’ll start repaying your student loan the April after you leave your course if your income is over £352 a week or £1,527 a month (before tax and other deductions).

Plan 2

You’re on Plan 2 if you’re an English or Welsh student who started your undergraduate course on or after 1 September 2012.

The earliest you start repaying is when your income is over £480 a week or £2,083 a month (before tax and other deductions) and it’s either the:

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

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 or Postgraduate Doctoral Loan.

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

If you took out a Doctoral loan, the earliest you start repaying is when your income is over £404 a week or £1,750 a month (before tax and other deductions), and it’s either: 

  • first April after you leave your course
  • April 4 years after the course started

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.

Early repayments

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

If you’ve nearly paid off your loan

You can avoid overpaying if you know your loan will be paid off within 2 years.

If you’re an employee

Tell the Student Loans Company you want to pay by direct debit.

If you’re self-employed

State on your tax return that your loan will be paid off in the next 2 years.

Send your online tax return before 1 November to avoid overpaying.

  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. Find out how much you'll repay
    2. You are currently viewing: 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