Repaying your student loan

A piggy bank wearing a graduation hat.

Graduating this year? Repaying student loans after graduating can be a daunting task. Here is the essential lowdown on repaying your loans: 

You need to pay back: 

  • Tuition Fee Loans 
  • Maintenance Loans
  • Postgraduate Loans 

You do not need to pay back other student finance, for example grants and bursaries, unless you’ve been paid too much. You must still repay your student loan even if you leave your course early.  

You’ll only repay your student loan when your income is over the threshold amount for your repayment plan

If you started your course between 1 September 2012 and 31 July 2023, You’ll be on Plan 2 if: 

  • you’re studying an undergraduate course 
  • you’re studying for a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) 

If you have a Plan 2 student loan – You’ll only repay when your income is over £524 a week, £2,274 a month or £27,295 a year. 

If you started your course on or after 1 August 2023 

You’ll be on Plan 5 if: 

  • you’re studying an undergraduate course 
  • you’re studying a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) 

If you have a Plan 5 student loan – You’ll only repay when your income is over £480 a week, £2,083 a month or £25,000 a year. 

How much you repay 

How much you repay depends on your income – the amount you earn (including things like bonuses and overtime) before tax and other deductions. 

You’ll repay a percentage of your income over the ‘threshold’ for your type of loan, depending on how often you get paid. 

The thresholds are different for each plan type. 

Plan type Yearly threshold Monthly threshold Weekly threshold 
Plan 1 £24,990 £2,082 £480 
Plan 2 £27,295 £2,274 £524 
Plan 4 £31,395 £2,616 £603 
Plan 5 £25,000 £2,083 £480 
Postgraduate Loan £21,000 £1,750 £403 

You’ll repay either: 

  • 9% of your income over the threshold if you’re on Plan 1, 2, 4 or 5 

You can make early repayments and pay extra at any time, you can find out more about this here

The earliest you’ll start repaying is: 

  • The April after you leave your course 
  • The April 4 years after the course started if your course is longer than 4 years, for example if you’re studying part-time or doing a Postgraduate Doctoral course.
  • April 2026 if you’re on Plan 5 

Your repayments automatically stop if: 

  • You stop working 
  • Your income falls below the threshold
  • You’ve repaid the amount in full 

How to repay 

  • If you’re employed – your repayments will be taken out of your salary at the same time as tax and National Insurance via the pay as you earn system (PAYE). Your payslips will show how much has been deducted. You should check your employer has you on the correct re-payment plan. You start repaying when your income is more than the threshold for your plan. 
  • If you’re self-employed – HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will work out how much you pay from your tax return. You pay at the same time as you pay your tax.  
  • If you leave the UK for more than three months – You will need to tell the Student Loans Company so that they can calculate if you will be required to make repayments whilst out of the country  

What can you do to help manage your finances whilst repaying your loan: 

  1. Understand the terms of the loan: It is important to understand the terms of the loan, including the interest rate, repayment period, and monthly payment amount. This information can be found on your loan agreement or by contacting the Student Loans Company 
  2.  Create a budget: A budget can help you manage your finances and ensure that you have enough money to make your loan payments. The budget should include all income and expenses, including rent, utilities, food, transportation, and entertainment.
  3. Visit the Blackbullion site for more information and advice on how to manage your repayments and take a look at their loan repayment estimator Blackbullion 

You can keep a track on your loan balance by logging into your online Student Finance account  

Please visit for more information. 

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