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What is a Career Development Loan?

By: Kate Simpson BA, MA - Updated: 24 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Professional And Career Development Loan

A Professional and Career Development Loan may be of use to you when it comes to funding your postgraduate study. These bank loans help individuals to pay for study or other learning experiences that improve their professional skills or boost their career prospects. You will need to pay back the loan when you leave your course but the loan will remain interest-free during your period of study.

What is special about a Professional and Career Development Loan?

In many ways, a Professional and Career Development Loan is just the same as any other bank loan. You will make an agreement with a bank to borrow a sum up to around £10, 000 and will be required to repay the loan when you come to the end of your course. Significantly, however, the Young People’s Learning Agency will pay the interest on your loan throughout your period of study. They will also pay interest for one month after your course finishes.

After this period, it will be your responsibility to pay interest on the loan at the rate that was agreed and fixed when you took out the loan. Interest rates on Professional and Career Development loans are competitive and many banks offer attractive reduced rates. Rates to vary from bank to bank, however, so be sure to shop around.

What can I use a Professional and Career Development Loan for?

Professional and Career Development loans can be used to fund a wide range of courses and can be used to fund courses that last up to two years. They can also be used to fund three year courses that include a year’s work experience.

Crucially, the course you are seeking to fund must be one that will improve your career prospects. Masters courses are a great example. Professional qualifications, management training, technical qualifications and additional bachelors degrees are also eligible for funding through a Professional and Career Development Loan.

You can use your loan to cover up to 80 percent of your course fees. This rises to 100 percent if you have been unemployed for at least three months. You can also use the loan to meet other costs associated with your learning, such as books, childcare and travel. The loan can be used to fund your living costs such as rent and food, too, providing you are unemployed or working less than 30 hours per week.

Am I Eligible for a Professional and Career Development Loan?

To be eligible for a loan, you need to be over the age of 18. You also need to be settled in the UK, having been a UK resistant for at least 3 years prior to the start of your course. Finally, you also need to be intending to work in the UK, the EU or the EEA after you have completed the course.

Whilst Professional and Career Development Loans can mean the difference between embarking on postgraduate study and taking an alternative path, it is important to remember that they are not for everybody. Take the time to consider your options carefully and be sure to consult with several banks before committing to a loan.

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