Posted Feb. 1, 2013
Are you looking to return to university to study for a postgraduate degree, but don't know how on earth you're going to fund yourself? Perhaps a career development loan could help.
When looking into the different ways to fund your postgraduate study, you may have come across the term career development loan , but you might not really understand what it's all about and how to go about applying for one.
That's where we come in! We're here to answer all your career development loan questions and help you to figure out if it is the right move for you.
What is a Career Development Loan?
Career development loans, also known as professional loans, are loans made by certain banks to cover the costs of courses or training that will help you to further your career or prospects. These loans are offered at reduced interest rates and the government pays the interest whilst you study. They are available to learners aged 18 to 69.
How Much Can You Borrow?
Loans range from anywhere between £300 and £10,000, with the latter being the maximum amount awarded.
Eligibility Requirements To be eligible for a career development loan you need to be:
- Over the age of 18.
- Have been living in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the course start date.
- Planning to work in the UK, EU or EEA after course completion.
What Courses Qualify?
For your course to qualify for a career development loan it must:
- Only last for a period of two years, or three years if one year of work experience is included.
- Be provided by an institution on the Professional Career and Development Register.
- Aid your career.
What About My Credit Rating? Most prospective postgraduate students worry that a bad crediting rating will ruin their chance at acquiring a career development loan. This is not the case. As it happens, having a bad credit rating is more beneficial than having none at all. The people that tend to have the most problems are those who have never had a credit card, overdraft, or phone contract. To find out more about your personal credit rating get a free report with experian.co.uk Which Banks Offer Career Development Loans?
Currently two banks offer career development loans. These include Barclays and The Cooperative . The interest rate is 9.9% per annum for both banks, but as this is paid for by the government for the first year or two, the typical APR is calculated at around 5%-6% over the lifetime of the loan. One way you can make the application stage a whole lot easier is to switch banks to either Barclays or Co-op.
When To Apply As a guide you should aim to have your application ready to go around 3 months before your course starts. This will give the bank plenty of time to process your application and deal with any hiccups along the way .
How are you planning on funding your postgraduate study?