Working out how much you’ll repay

Your employer will automatically take repayments from your salary if your income, before tax, is over the UK threshold. The current thresholds for repayment are £25,725 a year, £2,143 a month or £494 a week. You pay 9% of your income over the threshold. For example, if you’re paid monthly and earn £2,250 before tax you’ll repay 9% of the difference between what you earn and what the threshold is. Your payslips will show how much has been deducted.

If you’re self employed you’ll pay through self assessment.

The following table gives some examples of what your repayments might be:

Income each year before tax Monthly salary Approximate monthly repayment
£25,000 £2,083 £0
£27,000 £2,250 £9
£30,000 £2,500 £32
£33,000 £2,750 £54
£35,000 £2,916 £69
£40,000 £3,333 £107

£2,250 - £2,143 = £107

9% of £107 = £9

So your student loan repayment would be £9 in that month.

Repayments will be taken if you go over the weekly or monthly threshold at any point in the year, for example if you work overtime or get a bonus. If your income changes, either rising or falling, your repayment amounts will change to reflect this. If you stop working, your repayments will stop until you start working again and your income is over the repayment threshold.

If at the end of the tax year your income has been below £25,725, you can contact SLC to apply for a refund.

Remember, we only receive your repayments from HMRC after the end of the tax year. So it’s important you keep documents such as payslips and P60s so you can monitor your balance.

However if you plan to go overseas to travel, work or study, you may still need to make repayments direct to us.If you leave your course early, the repayment process might be different.

If you have both a Plan 1 and a Plan 2 loan

If you have loans taken out for a course starting before 1 September 2012 (Plan 1) and for another course starting after 1 September 2012 (Plan 2), you should read the information in What if I have both a Plan 1 and a Plan 2 loan? This will explain how your repayments will be allocated to each loan balance.

Other income

If you pay tax through self assessment HMRC will also include unearned income, for example, interest on stocks, shares or savings, if it’s more than £2,000 a year.

If you go overseas

If you’re planning to travel, work or study abroad for more than three months,after you’re due to repay, you must let us know. Your monthly repayments will still be due if your income is above the repayment threshold for your destination country. For more information on how to repay read repaying from overseas


You‘re charged interest from the day your first payment is made until your loan is repaid in full or cancelled. The interest rate applied to your loan is updated once a year in September, meaning it may increase or decrease.

The interest rate you pay is based on:

  1. the UK Retail Price Index (RPI) - currently at 3.3%; and
  2. your circumstances.

Your circumstances Interest
While you’re studying Full-time students - While you’re studying and until 6 April after you finish or leave your course.

Part-time students – While you’re studying, up until the April after leaving your course or the April four years after the start of your course, whichever comes first.
Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3%
Once you’ve left your course From 6 April after leaving your course until the loan is repaid in full Interest will be based on your income:
  • £25,725 or less = RPI
  • between £25,725 and £46,305 = RPI plus up to 3% depending on your income
  • over £46,305 = RPI plus 3%
If you don’t keep your details up to date If you don’t respond to our requests for information or evidence. RPI plus 3% will be applied to your loan, whatever your income, until we have all the information we need.

The RPI figure will be updated in September based on the RPI figure in March of that year.

Use the interest ‘widget’ to work out an estimate of how much interest you might be charged. This is based on the interest rate at 1 September 2018 and your expected annual income:

For more information visit GOV.UK.


So if RPI is 3.3% for 2018/19, here are some examples of the interest rate that would apply, based on a range of incomes:

Income Interest rate
£25,725 RPI only = 3.3%
£35,725 RPI plus 1.5% = 4.8%
£46,305 RPI plus 3% = 6.3%

Getting charged more than one rate of interest in the same month

This can happen if you have two or more Plan 2 loans for different courses.

For example, if you started and left a course before 6 April 2017 then started a new course after that – and took a loan out for each of those courses – you’d be charged:

  • a rate of RPI for the loan from your first course from 6 April after you left the course until 5 April 2018; and
  • a rate of RPI + 3% (6.3%) for the loan from your second course until the April after you complete or leave your second course.

Historical interest rate

The following rates, unless otherwise indicated, apply to the period 1 September to 31 August for the years advised.

Year Interest rate
2018/19 RPI (3.3%) + 3% = (6.3%)
2017/18 RPI (3.1%) + 3% = (6.1%)
2016/17 RPI (1.6%) + 3% = (4.6%)
2015/16 RPI (0.9%) + 3% = (3.9%)
2014/15 RPI (2.5%) + 3% = (5.5%)
2013/14 RPI (3.3%) + 3% = (6.3%)
2012/13 RPI (3.6%) + 3% = (6.6%)

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