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The Doctoral Loan – new for 2018!

21 June 2018

3 mins

Are you considering studying for a postgraduate research degree? The UK Government has recently introduced a new loan for doctoral researchers to help fund a PhD.

The loans enable you to borrow any amount up to £25,000, and this can be used to pay for your tuition fees or other costs associated with studying, such as accommodation or travel expenses.

The key details

Which courses are eligible?

  • The loan is for doctoral degrees that start on or after 1 August 2018.
  • The doctoral course must last between three and eight academic years.
  • The course can be either full-time or part-time.
  • You will not be able to claim for the loan if you will receive Research Council funding (for example, studentships, stipends, scholarships and tuition fee support).

How much can I borrow?

  • You can choose to borrow up to £25,000.
  • It’s also your choice how you spend the money, though the loan is intended to support the cost of fees, learning resources and/or living expenses.
  • The loan is paid directly to you and is not based on your family’s income.

Who can apply?

  • To get the loan, you must be living in England and intending to study at a UK University. UK nationals and those with settled status in the UK can apply, so long as they have been living in England for 3 years. EU, EEA or Swiss nationals living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland are also eligible, so long as they are intending to study at a UK University.
  • You must also be under the age of 60 on the first day of your course.

When do I repay the loan?

  • You are not required to repay any of the loan until you have finished or left your course and your income is over £21,000.
  • Once you earn over this amount, the government will automatically take 6% of what you earn over the threshold.
  • This will be combined with master’s loan debt, so you will only make one repayment every month.

Will I be charged interest?

  • The interest rate on the loan is currently 6.1%.
  • Interest will be charged at the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3% from the day you receive your first payment until the loan is paid in full.

When can I apply?

  • Applications are now open! You need to apply within 9 months of the first day of the last academic year of the course. Further information about the loan and how to apply can be found on the UK Government website.
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