Professional and Career Development Loan (Potential Funding Opportunity)
Reference Number: P224
A Professional and Career Development Loan can help you gain the experience, training and qualifications you need to improve your job skills or even launch a new career.
You can use it to fund a variety of courses with a wide range of organisations, so you are able to choose the course that best suits your needs. You can apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan if you are employed, self-employed or unemployed.
Professional and Careers Development Loans are available through an arrangement between the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) and two high street banks:
(Interest rates and the length of time it takes to process your application may vary from bank to bank. It is vital that you know what the repayments will be after you have finished your course and that you are confident you can meet them.)
You can borrow anything between £300 and £10,000 to help you fund up to two years of learning (or up to three years if the course includes one year of relevant practical work experience).
The YPLA pays the interest on your loan while you're learning and for one month after you've stopped training.
You repay the loan to the bank over an agreed period at a fixed rate of interest.
A Professional and Careers Development Loan is a personal loan between you and the bank, and you are responsible for repaying it to the bank. Before applying for a loan, check how much your monthly repayments will be, and that you feel confident that you will be able to make them.
Your Professional and Career Development Loan can be used to pay for more than just course fees. Before you apply, think carefully about what you need your loan to cover. This will help you decide how much you need to borrow.
There are three areas that this loan can cover:
Course fees - 80 per cent of your course fees, or 100 per cent if you have been out of work for three months or more at the time of application.
Other course costs - including, books, equipment, tools, childcare, travel expenses and some costs associated with disability.
Living expenses - for food, ordinary clothing or footwear, household fuel, rent, housing costs and council tax; these costs must not be covered by any other grant or state benefit and you must not undertake work involving more than 30 hours per week.
Your loan can cover one or more of these elements, but cannot exceed £8,000 in total.
Applicants must be 18 or over , ordinarily resident in England, Scotland or Wales with an unlimited right to remain in the UK (you will not qualify for a Professional and Career Development Loan if your right to remain within the UK is subject to restrictions), unable to pay for the course yourself, and intending to work in the European Union (or Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein) when you have finished your course.
How to Apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan
Complete the Professional and Careere Development Loan application form (available from the bank to which you are considering applying) and return it to the bank. Your application form may be returned to you if it is incomplete or inaccurate, which will delay your application. The Cardiff University Learning Provider Number is 8655.
You must complete the application form yourself.
You may also need to send supporting documentation, such as copies of bank statements or a utility bill as proof of your address.
Apply for your loan well in advance. This gives you time to apply to another bank if you're unsuccessful first time around. Barclays start accepting applications three months before your course start date; The Co-operative Bank starts six weeks before.
You may have to wait two to three weeks for an answer from the bank, and you can't apply to more than one bank at a time.
In exceptional circumstances you can apply after you have started your course, but there needs to be enough time to process your application before the course ends.
Eligibility for a Professional and Career Development Loan and acceptance onto a course do not guarantee approval of a loan as the banks have the right to refuse applications. It's best not to start a course under the assumption that you will be given approval for the loan by a bank.
The bank will check that you are eligible for a Professional and Career Development Loan. If you think your credit history may be a problem, it's a good idea to contact the bank before you complete the application form.
The bank will let you know whether or not your application has been successful. If your loan is agreed, you will be sent a credit agreement that you need to sign and return to the bank.
If you fail to complete the course, you will still be responsible for repaying the full amount of your loan to the bank. This is also the case if your learning provider ceases trading or you are dissatisfied with the course for any reason.
You must begin repayments one month after ending your training. Remember, you must notify the bank immediately if any of your circumstances change.
For more information, please take a look at the Professional and Career Development Loan website.