If you're a full-time student, you'll only start to repay your loan after you've left university and are earning over the earnings threshold - currently £21,000 a year. Part-time students studying for more than three years will start repayments in the April after they have finished their first three years and are earning over £21,000.
If you don't finish your course, you'll still have to repay your loan.
If you've taken out student loans for fees and for maintenance you'll repay them together as one combined loan. The amount of your monthly repayments will be determined by how much you earn after you graduate and not by the amount of your student loan. At the time of writing, this will be 9% of earnings over £21,000 a year. So, whatever the amount of your loan, repayments would be, for example:
The earnings threshold will increase each year. If, once you've started making repayments, you take a career break or your salary falls below the earnings threshold, your repayments will be suspended until you're earning over the threshold amount again. If you haven't paid the loan off after 30 years (starting the April following graduation, regardless of whether you are actually making loan repayments), the balance of your loan will be written off.
The most common repayment method is where deductions are taken directly from your wages through the tax system. There are separate arrangements for self-employed graduates and those working abroad.
While you're studying, and up until the April after you leave university, interest at the rate of inflation plus 3% will be added to your loan.
From the April after you leave university if you're earning below £21,000, interest at just the rate of inflation will be added.
Graduates earning between £21,000 and £41,000 will be charged interest on a sliding scale up to a maximum of inflation plus 3%.
Graduates earning above £41,000 will be charged interest at the full rate of inflation plus 3%.
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