You are probably borrowing money from the government to help you live now. When you leave or finish your studies, you then have to pay it back.
How much you can borrow will depend on your home circumstances, but we do not cover that aspect of student loans. This section only covers how repayments work for what are known as income-based or income-contingent loans , introduced in the autumn of 1998. We do not look at the loans often known as ‘mortgage-style loans’ in place before that time.
There are now two types of income-contingent loan, which are referred to as 'Plan 1' and 'Plan 2' loans. Which one you have depends on when you took out the loan and which part of the UK you studied in - England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales. The Student Loans Company (SCL) website has a tool to help you determine which type of loan you have.
The reason we include details of income-contingent loans on this website is that the main way of repaying them is via the tax system. Borrowers will therefore find themselves dealing with both the SLC and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) when they start paying back what they owe.
In the subsequent pages, we cover:
Repaying your loan
Find out more