IF you’re planning on going to university or taking a higher education course in the UK, you’ll likely need a student loan.
But if you’re worried about when you’ll have to pay it off, we explain all you need to know.
There is a cut off point at which you don’t have to pay back your student loansCredit: Getty – Contributor
You don’t have to start paying it off until you earn over a certain amount, which means some people never even will.
It comes as student loan interest rates could rise from September this year.
Students could see this rate rocket from 4.5% to 12% – although a decision hasn’t been made yet.
Who is eligible to start paying back their loan?
You become eligible to repay your student loan in the April after you leave University.
But Martin Lewis’ MoneySaving Expert says that 30,000 a year mistakenly repay before then.
The amount you pay back every month depends on how much you’re earning and, importantly, which plan you’re on.
You’re on Plan 1 if you’re Scottish or Northern Irish – or simply an English or Welsh student who started an undergraduate course before September 1, 2012.
And Plan 2 if you’re an English or Welsh student who started an undergraduate course after September 1, 2012.
Plan 1 students start repaying 9 per cent of their income when they earn over £19,895 – and £27,295 for Plan 2.
When are student loans written off?
MoneySavingExpert compiled a handy guide on when repayments stop, regardless of how much you have left to pay.
Started higher education 1990 – 1997 (under 40s): 25 years after your first payment or when you reach 50.
Started higher education 1990 -1997 (over 40s): When you reach 60.
Started higher education 1998 – 2005: When you reach 65.
Started higher education 2006 – 2011: 25 years from the first April after graduation.
Started higher education after 2012: In England and Wales, 30 years from first April after graduation.
It’s 35 tears for Scottish students and 25 for Northern Irish.
The amount you pay back every month depends on how much you’re earningCredit: PA:Press Association
What interest do I pay on the loans?
Student loan interest rates are based on the RPI rate of inflation (the rate at which prices rise).
If you earn under £27,295 a year the interest rate is the same as the RPI.
But if you earn over £49,130 a year, the interest rate is the RPI plus 3%.
Anything in between rises gradually, then, the interest rate changes every September, but it depends on if you’re still studying and how much you earn.
If you want to know how to apply fo your student loans you can check out our guide.
Martin Lewis explains how to check if you’re due £100s back in student loan overpayments.
That comes as student loan overpayments hit £18.4million – here’s how to see if you’re owed a refund.