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Career Development Loans

Career development loans are a popular way to fund vocational education and training. They are available to a wide variety of people from a broad range of educational and employment backgrounds. A career development loan can be an attractive and cost effective way to pursue career change or enhancement.

What Is A Career Development Loan?

A career development loan is a bank loan for the purpose of helping you pay for vocational training or education. Repayment of the loan is on a deferred basis, meaning you don’t start making payments until you have completed the course(s) funded by the loan. You can obtain a career development loan for up to two years of coursework plus up to one year of practical experience if it is relevant and is part of the official course

What Can I Use It For?

Career development loans can be used for any full time, part time or distance learning course the is vocational in nature. A vocational course is one that teaches you the skills you need for a specific occupation or trade. Your career development loan can assist with up to three parts of your training – course fees, other course costs (such as books, equipment, supplies, etc.), and living costs (limited to items such as food, basic clothing, housing, etc.).

Some courses of study take longer than two years to complete. In these cases, career development loans can be used to fund part of the course but not the full course. It is most common to use your career development loan funds during the last two years of study to make sure you don’t have to start repayment until after you have finished your studies.

What Can’t I Use It For?

Career development loans can not be used for any courses that only provide career information or counselling. The course must provide specific career training. Additionally, some courses include components like job search and marketing activities – these parts of the course are not eligible for career development loan funding.

Who Is Eligible For A Career Development Loan?

You are eligible for a career development loan if you are over 18, reside in Great Britain, and have the unlimited right to stay in the UK. Additionally, following course completion you must intend to work within the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway. If you have access to other funding for your proposed coursework then you are not eligible for a career development loan.

Who Offers Career Development Loans?

The Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, and The Co-operative are the three banks that offer career development loans. They don’t require you to have an account with them to apply, but if you are approved for the loan you may need to open an account as part of the loan terms.

The banks also have the right to deny a loan to anyone who doesn’t meet their lending criteria, so it is possible to be eligible under the career development loan program and be accepted into an eligible course, but not receive loan approval from the bank. You can apply to more than one bank, though, so if one bank turns you down don’t be afraid to try another one.

Can I Combine Other Funding With A Career Development Loan?

Yes and no. You can pay for some coursework with a career development loan and other coursework with another form of funding; however, you can not use a career development loan and another source of funding to pay for the same coursework. Also, if you are eligible to receive certain other forms of funding then you are not eligible to apply for a career development loan.

For more specifics and details about eligibility and exclusions you can call freephone 0800 585 505 or contact one of the banks that provide career development loans.

The biggest advantage of a career development loan is that it allows you to consolidate debt at a lower interest rate than you would otherwise find with regular borrowing. It is especially useful if you have other debts, such as credit cards, that have higher or variable interest rates. For someone just starting out in a new job, it can be very helpful to reduce the interest rates you’re paying and enjoy the ease of making just one monthly payment.

If you are considering a career development loan, contact a participating bank for full details and information about rates, terms, and eligibility.

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