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Professional and Career Development Loan

A little help for your career

Get the help you need to improve your prospects. Call the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900 to see if you’re eligible to apply. Loans are subject to status.

5.7% APR representative

(variable) for a 21-month course

and a loan of £3,000

Repayable over 82 months (60 monthly repayments)

  • Loans from £300 to £10,000
  • The government pays your interest while you study
  • No repayments needed until 2 months after you finish your course
  • Loan overview

    Loan for your education

    Help on the way to your dream job.

    Develop your career

    This loan could suit you if you plan to enrol in an approved vocational course.

    Get a little breathing room

    Borrow money for both your course fees and your living expenses while you study. Borrowing options start from £300 and go up to £10,000.

    Choose your repayment term

    Pay back your loan over the shorter or longer-term, with repayment options from 12 to 60 months with fixed repayments.

    Interest-free while you study

    The government pays your interest for you while you’re studying – you start paying 9.9% pa thereafter.

    No payments while you study

    In fact, you’ll pay nothing until 2 months after you finish your course. But if you leave your course early, you’ll need to start making your repayments straightaway. 

    No hidden or extra fees

    We won’t charge you an arrangement fee to set up your loan. And if you want to repay your loan early at any time, there won’t be any early repayment fees either.

  • Course payments and living expenses

    You can use this loan to cover the cost of your course fees, plus your living expenses. 

    Living expenses

    If part of your loan is for your personal living expenses, we’ll send these funds to you directly as a lump sum at the beginning of your loan term.

    Course fees

    Your course fees will be disbursed on a staged payment basis. This simply means that of we will pay out an agreed amount at set times throughout the loan term. This only applies to the course element of the loan, for course fees over £2,000 and where your course runs for more than 4 months.

    Your course fees will be sent directly to your learning provider in staged payments.

    Stage payment details for course fees
    Course duration (months) Payment months
    1 1
    4 1,3
    6 1,3
    9 1,6
    12 1,6,9
    15 1,6,12
    18 1,6,12
    20 1,6,12,18
    24 1,6,12,18

    How it all works

    If, for example, you’re borrowing a total of £5,000 for a 20-month course and an additional £2,000 for living expenses, the £5,000 needed to pay for the course will be given to your learning provider on a staged payment basis at months 1, 6, 12 and 18.

    You’ll get the £2,000 needed for living expenses at the outset. The payment for your course fee will be split evenly between each of the payment stages and sent directly to your learning provider at these times:

    Month 1 – £1,250

    Month 6 – £1,250

    Month 12 – £1,250

    Month 18 – £1,250

  • Eligibility

    To be eligible to apply for the Professional and Career Development Loan, you must be:

    • 18+ years old
    • A UK resident for 3+ years with unlimited right to remain in the country
    • Planning to work in the EU or European Economic Area after the course
    • Unable to pay for the course yourself
    • Studying full or part-time in an approved vocational course

    Loans are subject to status.

    Call the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900   to see if you’re eligible to apply.

  • Repayment and interest charges

    Repayment information

    You’ll need to make your monthly repayments by standing order. Your first monthly repayment will be due 2 months after your training or education course is expected to end.

    If you stop attending your course, we’ll give you 30 days’ written notice about a new repayment start date.

    If you run into difficulties with your repayments, please let us know straightaway so we can help you.

    Repayment period

    Loans are available for repayment over 1 to 5 years (12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 48, 54 or 60 monthly repayments).

    By spreading your loan over a longer term, your monthly repayments may be lower, but the overall cost of borrowing may be higher.

    No early settlement fees

    You have the right to repay your loan early at any time, in full or in part. If you do, no early settlement fees will be payable.

    Interest charges

    You won’t be charged any interest from the start of your loan agreement until 1 month before your first monthly payment is due. This is because the government is paying your interest for you during this period. From then on, you’ll be charged interest at a rate of 9.9% pa, calculated daily on your outstanding balance. The interest charges will be added to your loan balance quarterly until the loan is repaid in full.

    The 5.7% APR representative reflects a 21-month course length with 60 monthly repayments.

    For example: If you join a 21-month course, you’ll get a 22-month interest holiday. After this, interest will be charged at the rate of 9.9%. If you borrow £3,000 repayable over 60 months to fund your 21-month course, the following interest and repayments will apply:

    Representative example
    Representative APR 5.7% APR variable for a 21-month course
    Interest rate pa 0% until 1 month before the first monthly repayment is due, then 9.9% pa fixed thereafter
    Loan amount £3,000
    Monthly payment £63.59
    Total amount repayable £3,815.40
    Loan term 82 months (60 monthly repayments)


  • How to apply

    You can apply for your loan up to 3 months before your course starts.

    It’s a good idea to apply as early as you can, as it can take up to 4 weeks for your application to be processed.

    Please be sure that you can afford to repay the loan before you apply.

    • First, check your eligibility by calling National Careers Service on 0800 100 900
    • Then, apply by calling us on 0333 202 7480


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