PhD Loans For Postgraduate Students: What To Know?

phd loans for postgraduate students

Written by Shreya Berry

Shreya has expertise in writing engaging content for the readers and has a deep interest in unique applications of technology in various domains. She has worked closely on projects with Neil Patel Digital, Hindustan Times, News 18 and Shiksha.

April 4, 2021

Many applicants who are looking for a study abroad college loan to help with their PhD fellowships or Post Doctoral courses find it impossible to find lenders who can offer one. Owing to the uncertain length of such programmes, relatively few lenders recommend lending a study abroad education loan to students who intend to follow a long-term path such as a PhD or Post Doctoral fellowship in universities abroad. I would talk about the method of obtaining PhD loans for postgraduate students studying abroad in this blog, so let’s start.

While it is widely referred to as the PhD loans for postgraduate students, PhDs are not the only form of a doctoral degree that is available for the Doctoral Loan.

Here are some samples of different postgraduate doctoral degrees that are qualified for the PhD loan:

PhD/DPhil (Doctor of Philosophy)

EdD (Doctor of Education)

EngD (Doctor of Engineering)

Students usually pursue a doctorate by initially earning an undergraduate degree and then a postgraduate master’s degree. Typically, the classes entail a student doing an independent study on a particular area of interest and writing a paper.

How can one apply for PhD loans for postgraduate students?

You can apply for a Doctoral Loan electronically via Student Finance England or Student Finance Wales, where you can even submit forms if you want to apply via mail.

You do need to register once for undergraduate Student Finance. You don’t have to reapply every year because the next instalment will be automatically deposited into the account when it’s due.

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Deadline for Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

The deadlines for these loans vary considerably from what you can recall from your undergraduate studies.

The date for filing for a Doctoral Loan is nine months from the first day of your course’s final academic year. The first day of the academic year is determined by the start date of your course.

Reasons Why You Might Be Disqualified For a Doctoral Loan

Certain factors will disqualify you from receiving the loan, so make sure to review these before applying. If all of the above apply, you would most likely be unable to obtain the PhD loans for postgraduate students:

  1. You already have money from some source, such as Research Council funding (e.g. studentships, stipends, scholarships), a social service bursary, or an NHS bursary (eligibility for an NHS bursary allows you to qualify for the Doctoral Loan, even though you don’t get it).
  1. You are also collecting Student Finance fees for another course that you are interested in.
  1. You’ve previously obtained the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan (excluding students who left their course due to illness, bereavement or other personal reasons).
  1. You already hold a doctorate or an equal degree (or a higher qualification).
  1. You’re winning your doctorate by publishing.
  1. You are overdue on the past student loan payments (if you left the country and failed to keep up with your repayments, for example).

Amount of Money Can One Get With a Doctoral Loan

If your course began on or after August 1, 2020, you will repay up to £26,445 for the length of the whole course.

You will get up to £25,700 for courses that begin between the 1st of August 2019 and the 31st of July 2020. Alternatively, if the course starts between the 1st of August 2018 and the 31st of July 2019, you may earn up to £25,000.

This is not means-tested in any manner, which means that neither your salary nor your parents’ income is taken into account. Anyone, regardless of salary, will qualify for the whole loan.

Below are the postgraduate courses that are available for the Doctoral Loan:

  • It must be a full, stand-alone doctoral programme (not a top-up course)
  • You must have begun your course on or after August 1, 2018.
  • It must last three to eight academic years.
  • It must be at a university in the United Kingdom (with research degree awarding powers)
  • It may be a full-time or part-time class.
  • It may be a lecture-based or research-based course (or a combination of both)
  • As long as you remain in the UK when training, it can be a distance learning course.
  • It is also possible to obtain an integrated master’s degree (a master’s and a PhD combined). You would not, though, be allowed to qualify for a single postgraduate loan PhD.
  • If your course is split between two institutions (for example, as part of a joint research project), and one of them is not in the UK, you must guarantee that the UK university is the lead institution and that you study there for at least half of your course.

How to Pay the Postgraduate PhD loan?

One of the strongest qualities of the Doctoral Loan is that it is billed directly to you, as compared to undergraduate Student Loans, which are paid directly to the institution.

This ensures you can pick how to spend money, but it also means you’ll have more costs to pay for in your monthly budget.

There’s no use in splurging on the Doctoral Loan if you can’t afford your university tuition.

Whatever amount you qualify for would be distributed evenly over each year of your course. For eg, if you qualify for the entire £26,445, you will earn roughly £6,611 a year on a four-year course.

You will not, however, receive each instalment in one lump sum; instead, you will receive it in three instalments over the course of the year, of 33 per cent, 33 per cent, and 34 per cent.

Repayment of PhD Loans For Postgraduate Students

Repaying your PhD Student Loan operates exactly the same manner as repaying your Postgraduate Master’s Loan.

Below are the most important things to note while repaying your Doctoral Loan:

  • You won’t have to start paying back if you receive more than £21,000 a year (if you don’t have an annual paycheck, that’s more than £1,750 a month or £404 a week).
  • Payments will not begin until April after your graduation, or four years after your course begins (even if your course lasts longer).
  • You would only be expected to refund 6% of your profits over the £21,000 mark.
  • Interest is calculated at RPI + 3 per cent, which implies the actual rate is 5.6 per cent. This is revised every September using the RPI figure from the previous March.

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