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Posted June 17, 2021

What is the difference between PG loans & UG loans in England?

Postgraduate and undergraduate loansHaving clarity on what postgraduate program you would like to pursue is paramount before considering applying for a loan for your postgraduate studies.

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First, determine what way of studying you are going to undertake. Are you planning to study full time or part time? Or do you prefer the idea of studying remotely – with the current travel ban not yet lifted in several countries, this may still be a more appealing option.

Once you have decided on your study mode, it’s time to consider your resources and financial capabilities. If you require funding for your masters program, there are several funding options available to you, including a Postgrad Solutions Study Bursary worth £500.

If you are considering taking out a postgraduate loan, it is important to understand the difference between postgraduate loans and undergraduate loans in England.

Undergraduate loans in England

If you are considering postgraduate studies, the chance are you have already undertaken undergraduate studies – and this may well have involved taking out an undergraduate loan – but let’s recap what this involves. The Government undergraduate loans on offer in England are provided by Student Finance England and come in two parts. The Tuition Fee Loan, currently capped at £9,250, is available to all eligible students studying at a university on the UK and is disbursed directly to your college or university of choice. The Maintenance Loan, which caters to your living costs, is paid directly to your bank account and the amount you are entitled to depends on proof of household income, and other factors, including:

  • Your academic year
  • Spending a year studying abroad pursuing a UK course
  • Living in London, away from home
  • Living outside London, away from home
  • Living at home

The undergraduate loan is age restrictive. If you’re above 60 years, you can only access a minimized amount capped at £4,014. If you live in England but study elsewhere, you might be eligible for a grant to cover some travel costs. If you are a medical or dental student, you may be eligible for financial assistance to cover the costs of clinical placements in the UK.

Postgraduate loans in England

The UK Government offers Postgraduate Masters Loan to students in England to help to cover the costs of your living expenses and course fees for the duration of your studies. If you are eligible for one of these loans the funds are paid directly to your bank account and you can receive a maximum of £11,222 in England. For students elsewhere in the UK amounts differ, and currently stand at £10,000 for tuition fees and living costs in Scotland, a combination of loans and grants totalling £17,489 in Wales, and £5,500 in Northern Ireland. The amount applicable is dependent on your course start date. If you are living with disabilities, you are eligible for extra support under the postgraduate loans program. Unlike the Undergraduate Loan, this type of funding does not include a Parents' Learning Allowance, a Childcare Grant, or an Adult Dependants' Grant from Student Finance in England.

Similarities in PG and UG loans

Both postgraduate and undergraduate loans currently attract an interest rate of 5.6%, made up of the RPI (Retail Price Index) plus 3%, and are refundable once you start earning above the pre-determined amount. Interest calculations begin when you receive your first payment.

Private loan options

There are other postgraduate loan options available to postgraduate students in the UK – and these are provided by private loans companies.

Lendwise1. Lendwise

Lendwise is a good private funding option for postgraduate students, offering eligible applicants loans of between £5,000 and £100,000 with repayment terms of up to 10 years. These loans are potentially available to students of all nationalities living in the UK and studying at a UK university. Before issuing a loan, Lendwise will consider your credit history, credit score, work experience, current salary and academic qualifications. The repayments of a Lendwise loan starts six months after graduation.

2. Prodigy Finance

Prodigy FinanceProdigy Finance will lend to international students who study at specific universities in the UK. Prodigy Finance will also offer funding to UK students, and as these loans are tailor-made to suits the applicant, repayment terms are favourable. For private loans, students must be at an institution that the private student loan company works with and studying a specific set of courses, such as science and technology courses. Prodigy Finance offers loans of up to £220,000 to students from over 150 different countries. They take into account your credit car, salary and savings but please note the loans are only available for approved subjects and degrees. Repayment for full-time students begins six months after graduating, whilst for part-time students repayments begin three months after receiving the first loan payment.

Disclaimer: Prodigy Finance and Lendwise are two of many potential funding options for postgraduate students. Other student funding options are available; research all your options thoroughly before making a commitment. Please be aware that Postgrad Solutions Ltd receives a commission from both parties for any successful loan applications taken out by and users. Postgrad Solutions accepts no responsibility for your choice of loan and does not endorse or support Prodigy Finance or Lendwise. Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and entered on the Financial Services Register under firm registration number 612713. Lendwise Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under firm registration number 782496

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1 comment

Andrew Barnett Aug. 25, 2021, 5:55 a.m.

If you're thinking of starting a master's course, you could be eligible for a loan from the UK Government of up to £10,609 to help with course fees. This post is important to understand the difference between postgraduate loans.

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