A student loan is a great tool to help young people pay their tuition fees and living expenses whilst at university. All those pints, pizzas and parties - they aren’t going to pay for themselves! In fact, this loan is so handy, you may have wondered if you can take it out more than once.
Whilst the answer isn’t as simple as yes or no. To understand this, it's important to consider a number of factors.
Can You Get A Second Student Loan If You’ve Studied Before?
Tuition fees in the UK come with a hefty price tag, and multiple degrees could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.
However, if you've studied for a bachelor’s degree and want to go back to university to study another one, you may wonder if you have to fund it yourself.
It’s important to remember that student loans are expensive for the government to lend. They are large sums of money available to a vast amount of people. They also typically come with a long-term repayment plan. Therefore, they will only be supplied for a second time in certain circumstances.
When Are You Eligible For A Second Student Loan?
There are certain cases where students may be eligible for another round of funding, such as:
- When you stop attending a course in your first year but decide to return to the same or a new course
- If you are going back to study after being suspended from your course or withdrawing before its completion
- When you repeat a year at the same institution
- If you already have a degree but are ‘topping it up’ with another higher education qualification such as a masters degree
- When you have an honours or higher level degree and start a new part-time honours or integrated master’s degree
As you can see, the government will grant a second loan, but only in certain circumstances.
However, it’s important to note the difference in funding opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
What Is The Difference Between Undergraduate And Postgraduate Funding?
When it comes to undergraduate students, loans are typically only available for the first degree.
Postgraduate qualifications, however, offer far more opportunities for obtaining a second student loan.
In the UK, the government encourages people to get high-level degrees. Because of this, they may grant a second loan towards an honours, master's or doctoral degree.
Postgraduate students can apply for these loans even if they have received an undergraduate loan.
But whilst this is great news for postgrads, are there any other funding options available for undergraduates?
Are There Any Alternative Funding Options To Consider For A Student Loan?
Whilst government-funded loans have limitations for second undergraduate degrees, there are alternate options to consider.
Ever thought about applying for scholarships or grant schemes? Many unis offer financial aid for those pursuing a second undergraduate degree.
Certain employers also offer sponsorship programs to employees pursuing further education. Law firms, for example, typically invest in law conversion degrees for new staff, free of charge.
However, these agreements may come with certain conditions. Ensure you fully understand any restrictions or repayments before going down this route.
Alternatively, you may be able to obtain a private student loan from external lenders. However, it is important to note that you may only borrow from lenders certified by your academic institution.
Whilst it is possible to take out a second student loan, you should think carefully before you do so.
Any student loan you take out will need to be repaid according to government guidelines. If you take out more than one, this may mean higher repayments.
Luckily for any eager postgraduates, there are plenty of funding options available. And whilst things may be a little more tricky for undergrads, there are still many possibilities out there for securing a second student loan.
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