Repayments
Graduands seated in the Sheldonian Theatre on Degree Day.
(Image credit: Rob Judges Photography / Oxford University Images).

Repayments

If you have taken out a government tuition fee loan and/or maintenance loan, you will be expected to start repaying this once you have left University and are earning above a certain amount.

What will I need to repay?

Any loans you take out from the government for your tuition or maintenance (living costs) will be added together and form your student debt. Each year you should receive a statement which details how much your debt is and how much interest has been added.
You do not have to repay Assembly Learning Grants, Maintenance Grants, or Special Support Grants as part of this process. Oxford Bursaries and Tuition Fee Reductions are also non-repayable.

TUITION FEE LOAN + MAINTENANCE LOAN = SINGLE DEBT (repayable after your course)

What & when will I have to repay?

English and Welsh students: you will not start repaying anything until you have left your course (whether or not you have completed) and are earning over £21,000 per year.  Repayments are usually taken from your salary but if you live overseas you have to make alternative arrangements for payment. The length of time it will take you to repay changes depending upon how much you borrowed. English and Welsh students will normally have their loans written off 30 years after they become eligible to be repaid.

The amount you pay each month is not affected by how much you have borrowed but by what you earn; this will be 9% of your earnings over £21,000. For example:

SalaryAmount of salary from which 9% will be deductedAnnual repaymentMonthly repayment
£25,000£25,000 - £21,000 = £4,000£4,000 x 9% = £360£30.00
£30,000£30,000 - £21,000 = £9,000£9,000 x 9% = £810£67.50
£35,000£35,000 - £21,000 = £14,000£14,000 x 9% = £1,260£105.00
£40,000£40,000 - £21,000 = £19,000£19,000 x 9% = £1,710£142.50
£45,000£45,000 - £21,000 = £24,000£24,000 x 9% = £2,160£180.00

Northern Irish and Scottish students: repayments are 9% of any salary you earn over £16,365, and start from the April after you graduate or leave your course. Repayments are usually taken from your salary but if you live overseas you have to make alternative arrangements for payment. For example, if you earn £25,000 per year you will repay £65 per month, and if you earn £30,000 per year you will repay £102 per month.

If you are from Northern Ireland, you will normally have your loans written off 25 years after they become eligible to be repaid.

If you are from Scotland, you will normally have your loans written off 35 years after they become eligible to be repaid.

EU students: if you reside outside the UK, the repayment bandings and the subsequent rate at which interest is applied is dependent on the country you are living in. Visit the Student Loan Repayment website for more information. You will normally have your loans written off 30 years after they become eligible to be repaid.

How much will I pay in total?

As well as repaying the original amount you borrowed, you will have to repay the interest which is added to this.  Interest will be added to the outstanding balance each year, not the original amount you borrowed.

English, Welsh and EU students (residing in the UK): the interest rates will vary depending upon the borrower's circumstances.

Whilst studyingRPI plus 3%
After studying & earning less than £21,000RPI
After studying & earning between £21,000 and £41,000RPI plus an increasing interest rate up to 3%. For example:
£30,000 you would pay RPI +1.35%
£35,000 youwould pay RPI + 2.1%
After studying & earning over £41,000RPI plus 3%

RPI is the Retail Price Index which is one calculation of the cost of inflation, i.e. the buying power of an amount of money at a point in time. Adding RPI to a loan amount is generally thought to indicate the value of the borrowed amount in today's terms. RPI can vary widely.

Scottish and Northern Irish students: Scotland and Northern Ireland will not be changing the interest rate for loans taken out from 2012 and beyond by new students. Interest will continue to be charged at the flat rate of RPI or at the bank base rate plus 1% (whichever is the lower) whether in study or in repayment, and regardless of income.

What if interest rates go up?

Interest rates will vary as they are based upon RPI. However the amount you will pay per month will remain constant irrespective of the interest rates. What will potentially change is the length of time that you repay for.

Will I be repaying for the full repayment period?

This depends upon how much you earn during the repayment period. A large number of people are likely to be repaying for the full number of years as they won’t earn enough to repay the debt earlier; however this will mean that you won’t repay the full amount.

Will there be an early repayment charge?

There is no system of charges for students who wish to repay their loans early.

Will I earn enough to repay my debts?

Remember the amount you repay will depend upon your earnings, not the amount of debt you have, so you will earn enough to repay what you are expected to even if this isn’t the full amount.   However Oxford students are highly sought after by employers due to their motivation and achievement levels. Students from Oxford go into a large variety of professions.

Where can I find more information on repaying government support?

Visit Student Loan Repayment  for information from the Student Loans Company

View independent advice on student funding from MoneySavingExpert.com