19+ ADVANCED LEARNER LOANS
19+ Advanced Learner Loans are now available for individuals that want to enrol on a range of health and fitness courses including the Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training, Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy and many more.
Advanced Learner Loans
WHO CAN APPLY?
To apply you must be 19 or older on the first day of your course (there is no upper age limit).
Applicants should be UK nationals, or have “settled status” (see Skills Funding Agency website for full details), with a National Insurance number. You must be living in the UK on the day your course starts and have been living in the UK for three years prior to this date. You will need to provide evidence to confirm your identity, for example your UK passport details.
You don’t have to be employed in the relevant industry or on Job Seekers Allowance – in fact, it doesn’t matter whether you are currently employed or unemployed.
For example: an individual aged over 19 has a Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification and wants to progress to Level 3 Personal Trainer. A 19+ Advanced Learner Loan can help them pay for their fitness course, whether or not they are currently in employment.
HOW MUCH CAN I APPLY FOR?
The minimum amount you can apply for is £300. Personal training courses with CMS start at around £1,500. Level 3 Diploma courses (which can include your Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing, or other higher level qualifications) are from around £2,225. You can apply for all or part of the amount needed to follow your preferred course.
WILL IT COST ME ANYTHING?
There is no outlay for applicants. You can either fund the full cost of your course through a 19+ Advanced Learner Loan, or pay for part of the course yourself and borrow the remainder.
WHEN WILL I HAVE TO PAY BACK THE LOAN?
Your loan would be a Plan 2 loan which refers to a student loan taken out from September 2012 onwards, in England or Wales. You’ll only repay when your income is over £524 a week, £2,274 a month or £27,295 a year (before tax and other deductions).
If you never earn more than this, you never have to pay it back.
This can be particularly useful for anyone starting out as a personal trainer or fitness instructor, as it may take a while for your earnings to reach this amount. However, you can, if you wish, make additional voluntary payments, whatever your earnings.
If your income fluctuates, you only have to put money towards paying back the loan during the periods when your income is over £27,295. Any payments made in a period where you earn over this threshold can be claimed back annually if your annual earnings are under this threshold.
After 30 years, any outstanding balance is written off.
HOW MUCH WILL I HAVE TO PAY AND WHAT ARE THE INTEREST RATES?
While you’re studying and until the April after you leave the course, the interest rate will be the rate of inflation. Once you’ve completed your studies, if you’re earning £27,295 or less, your interest rate will be at the rate of inflation. If you’re earning between £27,295 and £41,000, it will be at the rate of inflation plus 3%.
Your monthly repayment amount will be 9% of anything you earn over £21,000 (before tax deductions). For example, if you earn £25,000, your repayments would be £30 a month (see the student loans repayment calculator).
If you’re an employee, for example a fitness instructor working as a salaried employee in a gym or sports centre, your employer will take repayments out of your salary along with your tax payments.
If you’re self-employed, for example a personal trainer running your own gym, it will be handled through your self-assessment tax return.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I CHANGE MY MIND?
After you have been in learning for fourteen days or more, where CMS are unable to gather the payment of the loan through the Students Loans Company you will be directly liable for the full amount of the loan in accordance with CMS Fitness Courses terms and conditions.
WHAT IF I GO ON TO HIGHER EDUCATION?
If after completing your course, you take out a student loan and go on to complete a higher education course, Student Finance England will write off your 19+ Advanced Learner Loan.
WHEN CAN I APPLY?
You can apply for courses now as long as you are 19 or over, or will be by the date your course begins.
HOW DO I APPLY?
The application process is very simple: it’s not means tested or credit rating tested and you can apply for up to four loans in total, which you can take out simultaneously as long as the qualifications are at a level 3 or above.
You will need to speak with us and we will provide you with a Learning and Funding Information letter, which you’ll need to complete your application. This will contain full details of your course, including dates and cost, the course code and the training providers Provider Reference Number (PRN).
You can apply online here or via a paper-based application form. The form is sent to the Student Loans Company, which will then pay the training provider direct.
If you’d like to know more about which courses you can apply for, contact CMS on 01924 470477, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Facebook. We can also help you complete your application and take it part way for you.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
You’ll get a letter confirming your loan, usually within two weeks if you apply online; postal applications may take longer.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
The 19+ Advanced Learner Loan allows applicants to enrol on a government funded course, add a new level of training to their current qualification portfolio, improve your chances of finding a job and result in you become one of the best personal trainers on the market. It also allows candidates to retrain and follow a new career, without having to find the money to pay for the course in advance.