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Do You Qualify For A Career Development Loan?

If you want to boost your career prospects with some work-related study a career development loan (CDL) may be the answer for you. A CDL is available to people

  • who live in the UK and have an unrestricted right to remain here
  • who are over 18
  • who intend to work within the European Union after completing the course
  • who cannot pay for the course themselves

CDLs are available to people who are unemployed, employed or self-employed.

There are some people who do not qualify for a CDL, or who qualify under certain conditions. These are:

  • people who are receiving grants or student loans
  • people who get an NHS non means-tested bursary
  • people whose employer gets a grant for their learning

There are also restrictions on using CDLs to pay for any course or item that is already funded from another source.

Student in classroomChoosing A Course

If you qualify for a CDL, you can do almost any part-time, full-time or distance learning course offered by an accredited provider. The exceptions are franchise courses, foundation courses and career courses. The best way to choose a course is to look at printed course information, visit the institution and talk to tutors and find out about the course from current or former students. These will help you to decide if you meet the application criteria for the course and if the course meets your career development needs.

Funding A Course

The career development loans are available through an arrangement between the Learning and Skills Council and three banks: Barclays, the Cooperative Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland. These three banks can lend up to £8,000 to fund your career development course.

To get the loan, you need to apply to the chosen bank at least three months before the start of the course. You can only apply to one bank at a time. They will assess your application to see whether you are likely to be able to repay the loan. You will then get a decision and hopefully a loan. At this point, you can confirm that you are taking up your place on the course.

Typical annual percentage rates on the loan vary considerably, from 6.3% to 17.9%. While you are studying, this interest is paid by the Learning and Skills Council. You do not start repayments until one month after completing the course. Repayment periods can be anything from 12 to 60 months.

What Does A CDL Pay For?

A career development loan covers three main areas. The first is course fees, which are covered fully for anyone who has been unemployed for three months or more. In all other cases, only 80% of the course fees are covered.

The second is course costs, such as books, tools, equipment and materials needed for the course. This component also covers travel to and from the course and childcare if this is needed.

Finally, the loan covers living expenses. This includes housing or rent, utilities, food and clothing as long as these are not already funded by another source.

The bank application form will help with deciding your total expenses when deciding how much to apply for.

External links:

More Information:

  • What's the Deal on Student and Graduate Loans?
    What do you need to know about student and graduate loans? First, it's good to know that the interest on these loans is much lower than a typical personal loan. However, it's also important to know that a student or recent graduate can become locked into a relationship with a lender through these loans, so careful choices is imperative.
  • Student Loans
    An article overviewing the UK student loan market, focusing on who qualifies and find out what amounts of income you need to earn to become eligible for this Government lending.
  • Graduate loans
    Graduate loans are an increasingly common form of unsecured personal loans that allow new graduates to consolidate debt. For many people this is an attractive way to firm up their finances when making that first foray into the world of working full time


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