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Professional and career development loans

Financial support for mature students, bank loans for vocational development, training courses, loan interest rates, application and eligibility

If you are interested in studying on a vocational course that will help you to obtain a job, change career or progress within your chosen career, you can apply for a professional and career development loan (PCDL).

You can borrow any amount from £300 to £10,000 and the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) pays the interest on the loan while you’re studying and for one month afterwards (the loans are available for older people, even though the YPLA funds the scheme). After this, you pay interest at a fixed rate that you agree with the bank when you take out the loan. Interest rates on the loans are set so they’re competitive with other unsecured personal loans that are commercially available.

The loan can be used to help pay for the following:

To be eligible for a loan you need to be:

As an older person this type of loan may be suitable for you if you wish to take a postgraduate course or an additional bachelor’s degree (state funding is not available for adults who already have a higher education qualification). You can also use this type of loan to pay for technical or management training, or a professional qualification.

If you are interested in a PCDL you can telephone Next Step on 0800 100 900 for advice and to obtain an application pack. More information about the scheme is available from the government information website: www.direct.gov.uk/cdl.

If you are unsure about whether a PCDL is the best option for funding your studies, you can obtain more information and advice from Next Step. Contact details can be found on their website: www.nextstep.direct.gov.uk.