If you are an Irish student (or from any EU country ) starting a degree (undergraduate) course in England – you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan in England to help you pay for your course. You can apply for student finance in England up to nine months after the start of the academic year.
From August 2016 Irish residents and other EU residents can apply for tution fee loans for Master’s Degree courses in England
How much of a student loan can you get ?
You can get up to £9,000 a year Tuition Fee Loan if you study at a at a public university or college.
You can get up to £6,000 a year Tuition Fee Loan if you are at a at a private university or college.
Privately-funded universities may charge you more than £6,000, it is up to you to pay anything over this amount.
Who is Eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan in England ?
1 – To be eligible you must have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the EEA or Switzerland for the three years before the start of your course. ‘Ordinarily resident’ means where you usually live, apart from temporary or occasional absences.
2- You must be an EU national, or the family member of an EU national.
3 You will not normally be able to get a Tuition Fee Loan if you already hold a qualification equal to or higher than the one you are studying for. If you have already had a loan for part of a course that you didn’t complete you may only be able to get another loan for the number of years of your course, plus one additional year, less the number of years you have already had funding for.
4. The university or college you plan to study at must be in England and can be either publicly or privately funded.
5. The course must lead to one of the following:
• a first degree, eg BA, BSc or BEd
• a Foundation Degree
• a Certificate of Higher Education
• a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
• a Higher National Certificate (HNC)
• a Higher National Diploma (HND)
• a Postgraduate Certificate of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) or Education (PGCE)
If you are studying at a private university or college you should check with them that your course qualifies for student finance.
You can apply at www.gov.uk/studentfinance
Repaying a Student Loan
Repayments of UK student loans are based on your income NOT on the amount you were lent .
Repayments are calcualted as 9% of everything you earn above £21,000 a year. So if you earn £22,000 you’ll have to repay just £90 a year , earn £23,000 and you repay £180 a year ,earn £36,000 and it’s £1,350 a year.
You don’t have to start making repayments until at least the April after you finish or leave your course. You don’t have to repay anything until your income is over the threshold of £21,000 a year. (This threshold is due to increase by an estimated RPI plus 1% a year from 2021)
Any loan still outstanding after 30 years is written off.
Interest Rate on a UK Student Loan
Most student loans since 2012 have an annual interest rate of 3% plus the UK Retail Price Index (as at March). For example in 2016 this rate is 3.9%
Note: The interest rate applied is just equal to the RPI if your earnings are below £21,000 a year.
Someone borrowing £9000 a year for 3 years who starts a job at £25000 a year would never fully repay the loan . They would end up paying back an estimated £45000 over 3o years and the remainder would be written off .
(This is based on several assumptions –
Interest is accrued and applied monthly (in reality it will accrue daily)
Av annual UK inflation (RPI) = 3% ; Av annual salary growth = 5% ; Av UK wages growth = 4%
You don’t take any time off during the 30 years after graduation, and your salary rise is consistent.
If you retire before the 30 years are up, there’s a significant chance you’ll repay far less.
Repayments start in the April following graduation.
The repayment threshold is £21,000 until 2021, after which it will rise by average earnings growth (we assume this to be RPI+1% per annum
You can find out more about repaying your loan in the UK and overseas at