Repaying your loan

When do I have to repay?

You only start repaying your loan once you've graduated and you're earning more than £21,000 a year. After that, you'll pay back 9% of anything you earn over £21,000. So if you're earning £26,000 a year, you'll lose £450 in loan repayments - £37.50 each month. If your earnings drop below £21,000, your repayments will stop.

Unless you're self-employed, your repayments will be taken straight out of your pay before it gets to you. You'll be able to see how much you're repaying on your pay slip, and you'll be sent your balance on a regular basis so you can see how much you have to repay.

If you're on a part-time course, you'll start repaying four years after the start of your course - but still only if you're earning more than £21,000.

What if I can't repay?

Your loan repayments are based on your earnings, and they come straight out of your pay, so you shouldn't have to worry about repayments. However, if you try to avoid repaying - for example, by not telling your employer you have a student loan - you could be made to repay your loan in full. Your student loan repayments are a good deal, so don't try to cheat!

You might not manage to pay off your whole loan, but that's OK: your loan will be written off 30 years after you finished your course.

What if I don't finish my course?

If you don't finish your course, you'll still have to repay what you borrowed if you're earning more than £21,000.

Is there interest?

There will be interest on your loan, but how much depends on what you earn. If you're earning £21,000 or less, the interest will just be at the rate of inflation. This rises steadily as you earn more, up to an extra 3% if you earn £41,000 a year or more.

However, this won't affect how much you repay each month - it will just mean you'll keep repaying for longer.

Can I avoid repaying by leaving the country?

There's a popular rumour that if you live outside the UK for long enough, your loan will be written off. It's not true. If you go abroad for more than three months, you need to fill in a form to let Student Finance England know.