Nearly 600,000 people in the UK are currently pursuing Master’s degrees.
Earning a Postgraduate degree has a number of benefits. It can help you advance a current career, or pursue a new one. It offers an intellectual challenge, and a strong sense of academic accomplishment once earned.
But just like pursuing any higher education, earning a Master’s degree can be expensive. Luckily, Master’s student loans can help. If you’re planning to continue your education with a Master’s degree, keep reading to learn a few tips for getting a Master’s student loan.
1. Choose Your Program
Before you can begin filling out a student loan application to earn your MA, MSc, or MBA, you first need to choose a university to attend, and the program that you will be pursuing.
While knowing how much you may receive in the form of student loans can help you determine which programs you can afford, it’s important to keep in mind that most Master’s degree programs are highly competitive. The application process can also be lengthy.
Applying for a loan before you have been accepted into a program is an unnecessary extra step. Many factors may change between when you first apply for an MA program and when you can finally accept a student loan.
For instance, the advertised rate of a Master’s degree program may not be what you will pay. Tuition rates may change from one year to the next. Depending on your program, your tuition may also include other fees not outlined in a coursebook from a university.
Additionally, your personal financial situation may change between when you apply for a loan and when you are actually able to accept it.
Whether for good or for bad, if your financial situation changes, it will affect how much you are able to repay, and possibly your repayment terms as well.
With so many incredible Master’s degree programs to choose from in the UK, start your search early, and wait to apply for a student loan until after you have been accepted into a program.
2. Start Early
While you do need to wait to receive an offer for a UK Master’s degree program, once you have your acceptance, don’t wait to apply for student loans.
Government student loans require a traditional application program that can take some time to complete. It may also take a while to receive your offer. Starting early will help you avoid missing deadlines or not receiving your funding prior to the start date for your Master’s degree program.
Applying early for government loans for Master’s degrees also gives you time to apply for additional funding if that loan isn’t enough to cover your tuition, or if you aren’t approved for a government loan.
Never wait until the last minute to apply for government or independent loans. This could result in having to pay for your tuition out of pocket or being forced to give up your spot in a Master’s degree program.
3. Apply for the Government Loan
Student Finance England provides government loans to students meeting certain requirements. Because of the flexible repayment options and ease of borrowing, it’s a good idea to apply for these loans even if you also plan to apply for additional funding.
In order to be eligible for a loan for a Master’s degree program from Student Finance England, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
• Be planning to pursue a Postgraduate degree in any subject
• Open to UK/EU nationals residing in England or EU nationals residents in the EU, EEA, or Switzerland
• Accepted to attend any university within the UK
• Apply during an open application period
With these loans, Master’s degree students can borrow up to £11,222 to be used towards their tuition and other fees.
However, unlike some other types of loans, these are paid directly to the borrower’s bank account. This means that they are not limited for use toward tuition. You may also use them to cover living costs or other fees.
Students can only receive one loan totaling up to £11,222. This means that you cannot apply for one loan for tuition and another for living expenses.
These loans are not means-tested. This means that they are not based on your income or savings.
4. Apply for Additional Assistance
If you borrow the full £11,222 available from the government and still have additional tuition or other expenses to cover, you’ll need to apply for additional, non-government assistance.
An independent Masters Student Loan is a great way to bridge the gaps between your savings and the government loan.
There are a few things to keep in mind with these loans.
First, many are paid directly to your university of choice. This means that they must be used for tuition. However, you can use your government loan to cover living expenses and your independent loan to cover your tuition.
5. Understand Your Repayment Terms
Repayment terms for Postgraduate funding vary depending on the type of loan, the amount borrowed, and where it is borrowed from.
For example, the government-provided Postgraduate loan offers some of the most flexible loan terms.
With a student loan from the government organization, Student Finance England, you can receive up to £11,222 to be used towards earning a Master’s degree. The money is paid directly to the borrower, and will only need to be paid back once the recipient is earning at least £21,000 a year.
Theoretically, if you never started earning more than £21,000 a year, you would never need to repay this loan. However, hopefully with your Master’s degree on your resume, you’ll be able to land a career earning more than that!
Most MBA loans from non-government lenders won’t need to be paid until after you graduate. This means that even if it takes you longer than the typical Master’s degree student to earn your degree, you still will not need to pay until you accept your diploma.
After graduation, you’ll begin repaying your loan at a monthly rate. You’ll need to check with your loan provider to learn what your monthly payment will be.
In some cases, your monthly repayment amount may be negotiable. For instance, if you aren’t earning a high income immediately after graduation and struggle to pay your monthly loan bill, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate.
6. Don’t Give Up if You Aren’t Immediately Approved
Using an online application to apply for an MBA loan makes it easy to receive approval very quickly.
Unlike traditional loan applications that required a lot of paperwork and time spent waiting for this paperwork to be received, everything can be done online. In most cases, your application is automatically digitally reviewed. This means that you’ll get an answer very quickly.
In some cases, you may receive a student loan offer within just 48 hours of filling out an online application.
If you meet or exceed the above requirements for a student loan for a master’s degree, you are likely to receive a Provisional Loan Offer within just 48 hours of submitting your application.
However, if your MBA loan application receives a low score or one that is on the border of what is accepted, you may not receive your offer in that time frame. Instead, your application will need to be reviewed by a senior underwriter.
He or she will use their professional judgment and knowledge to determine whether or not your application will be approved. The amount of time that it takes for this additional step will vary based on a variety of factors, such as your score on your student loan application.
If you do not receive a Provisional Loan Offer within 48 hours of submitting your application, do not give up hope just yet. Your application may be approved during the additional review stage.
Getting a Master’s Student Loan
Getting a Master’s student loan can help you afford the Postgraduate program of your dreams, and change your future in so many ways.
Earning a Master’s degree is a great way to boost your CV to help you move past entry-level jobs and into a higher-paying, more rewarding position. It can help you become an expert in your area of study, earning you a reputation that will help you win respect and advance in your field.
It’s also a great chance to network in your field, both with fellow students and with professors. If you are dreaming of becoming a professor yourself, a Master’s degree is a necessary step prior to pursuing your Doctorate degree.
Whether you’re ready to apply to Master’s degree programs or just now thinking about an undergraduate program, be sure to check out the rest of our website for more advice like this.