Student loan repayments based on income
If you started your course in or after 1998, your student loan repayments will be based on your income.
If you earn less than a certain level of income - the 'repayment threshold' - you will not be required to repay anything. If you earn above the threshold, you will repay a portion of the amount you earn over the threshold.
If you started your course before 1998, you will have a different type of student loan. For further information, see the link below.
How much you need to earn before repayments start
The repayment threshold for student loans, before deductions, is currently £18,935 a year. This equals £1,578 per month or £364 per week.
If your income exceeds these amounts, you will be required to make repayments. In most cases, these repayments are collected automatically through the tax system.
Any disability-related benefits you receive will not be counted towards the £18,935 threshold, even if they are taxable. If you receive a disability-related benefit and are permanently unfit for work, your loan will be cancelled.
When repayments begin
Your student loan repayments normally start on 6 April after you graduate, or stop attending your course.
If the April following your last date of attendance has already passed, your repayments will start as soon as can be arranged, and you will only make repayments from this point. Repayments only begin if you earn over the threshold, and will stop if your earnings fall under the threshold.
How your student loan repayments are made
Student loan repayments are made in one of three different ways, according to what type of employment situation you are in:
- PAYE (Pay As You Earn): if you are employed, student loan deductions are made automatically from your salary
- Self Assessment: if you are self-employed, or a combination of employed and self-employed, you will be responsible for calculating and making your own repayments
- overseas: if you work or are planning to work abroad, you will be required to make a repayment arrangement with the Student Loans Company
For further information on making repayments in any of these ways, refer to the links below.
- Repaying student loans through PAYE
- Repaying student loans through Self Assessment
- Repaying student loans when you move overseas
Managing your student loan
Once you start repaying your student loan, it is possible to
- repay your loan more quickly
- get a refund if your total income for the year does not exceed the repayment threshold
- find out your student loan balance
- Repaying student loans more quickly and getting refunds
If you have more than one type of student loan
Student loan repayments based on income were introduced in 1998. For courses beginning before 1998, student loan repayments are based over a fixed loan term. Most people will only have one type of loan.
However, if you have borrowed under both repayment schemes, you could have a choice as to which loan you repay first. If you exceed both repayment thresholds, you can get further advice by calling the Student Loans Company.
- How and when you repay your student loan (courses starting before 1998)
- Student Loans Company repayment helpline (for courses starting from 1998)
Student Finance NI
If you applied for student support from 2004 onwards, you will have dealt with Student Finance NI. This is a service delivery partner of the Student Loans Company, who administers the collection of your student loans via the Income Contingent Repayment Scheme.