A career development loan can help you finance your studies, which will improve your career opportunities and future income. CDLs offer the borrowers several attractive features that are not available on a typical personal loan.

Classified as deferred repayment loans, they can be repaid at the end of the term. You can use CDLs for financing full-time, part-time or distance learning on the condition that the course is vocational and doesn’t take more than two years. Still, an extra year of studies is allowed provided it is needed for relevant practical experience.

The amount ranges from £300 to £8,000 and can be used for covering up to 80 % of course fees and 100 % of other related costs. In case you don’t have a job the loan may cover all the fees.

Any interest on your loan is paid by the Learning Skills Council (LSC) during the whole term of your studies. After your course is over, you start paying off the loan at a fixed interest rate.

To be eligible for this loan you must be not less than 18 years old, live in the UK for at least three years and intend to work in the EU after the course is over.

You will not qualify for a career development loan if:

  • You get an NHS non-means tested bursary;
  • You are employed and your employer will be receiving a grant for funding your studies;
  • You can afford it to finance the course yourself.
  • Career development loans are offered by Barclays, The Co-Operative, and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

It would be a good idea to apply for this loan in advance so that you have time to apply to another lender if your first application is rejected. You are not allowed to apply to more than one bank simultaneously. Note that processing your application may take up to three months.

In the final analysis, if you believe that getting back into study can improve your job prospects, applying for a career development loan can be your best bet. If you take out this loan, you can simply learn new skills and improve the ones you already have without the need to worry about repaying the loan at the same time. When it’s finally the time for you to start paying the money back, you will have attractive rates and will have an opportunity to set a budget for yourself.


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