AS2015: postgraduate loan scheme age limit extended to 60

The government plans to lift the age cap for new postgraduate loans, so they are available to all those under 60 from from the new academic year in 2016 while it will also reduce the repayment rates by 3%

When originally announced the scheme was only open to students under the age of 30.

This measure will reduce the repayment rate on postgraduate taught masters’ loans from 9% to 6% of income over £21,000. The new postgraduate loans will be introduced from the 2016/17 academic year.

The ATT welcomed the announcement but was still critical that the loans were age-dependent at all, although it welcomed the decision to open up the scheme to a wider pool of students.

Michael Steed, president of the ATT, said: ‘This will relieve the burden on postgraduates who find themselves repaying multiple graduate and postgraduate loans at the same time. In addition, it might allow postgraduates to have spare cash to pay into a pension fund, especially key at a time when the government is trying to encourage young people to save more towards retirement.’

On the wider student loan issue, ATT called for better reporting on student loan repayments , which was included in the consultation on student loans earlier this year. Steed added: ‘The ATT still hopes to see an improvement in the information provided to all individuals repaying student loans to help them understand the rates due on their loans and the implications on their tax positions.’

The government has also confirmed that it will consult on a new system of maintenance loans for part-time higher education students which will come into force by 2018.

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