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UK Career Development Loans

A Career Development Loan (CDL) is a bank loan intended to help you pay for your professional training. A CDL is useful for individuals who want to acquire academic training and work experience required for enhancing their career. This is helpful whether they want to remain in the same job or branch out into an entirely new career. 

The main advantage of this scheme is that repayment is on a deferred basis and doesn’t start until at least one month after the training is complete. By this time, you may be able to acquire a promotion or a better paying job.

These three banks – Barclays Bank, Co-Op Bank and the RBS as well as the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) make all decisions regarding the eligibility of disbursements of these loans. The interest will be paid by the LSC while you are completing the course and for the ensuing month. The limit of the loan disbursed can range from £300 to £8,000 over a two to three-year period if specific practical work experience is included in the course. Career development loans aren’t available for courses that only provide career counselling or those that include advertising and job searches.

Any full-time, part-time or distance learning course that is required for a specific profession or trade is eligible for a CDL. Under this scheme, the loan amount will be   related to the borrower’s learning according to the following, but is limited to £8,000:

  • Course Fees: If you have been unemployed for a period of 3 or more months at the time of application, you receive 100% of the fees. For other individuals, the loan limit is 80% of the course fees.
  • Additional Course Costs: These include books, equipment, supplies, tools, childcare, travel expenses and any costs associated with disability.
  • Living Costs: These include food, ordinary clothing or footwear, household fuel, rent, housing costs, council tax and water charges. The above expenses should not be availed from any other grant or state benefit.

 Individuals should bear in mind the following before applying for and availing a CDL:

  • Apply well in advance so that if one bank refuses you, you can try another one.
  • The CDL application form should be completed accurately and honestly and then submitted to the bank.
  • The bank will check your repayment capacity and bad credit to determine if you’re eligible for a CDL.
  • A credit agreement will be sent to you which you sign and then return to the bank.
  • When you begin, the learning provider will issue a “Start Certificate” and submit it to your bank who will then disburse the funds.

Courses which may take more than two years to complete will not be 100% financed. Part of the course will be financed under career development loan schemes. The usual practice is to utilise the loan during the last two years to ensure that repayment won’t begin before you have completed the course.

When looking for loans so you can continue your education, you have to ensure you apply for a career development loan rather than the traditional loan. Only a CDL is affiliated with the Learning & Skills Council.

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