Version 1.0 - Last Updated: 24 Feb 2021

Eligibility and assessment

Ineligible learners factsheet


Learners must meet essential criteria to be eligible for Advanced Learner Loans. Some learners may not meet all the criteria and so their application is ineligible.

Having an ineligible application means that we cannot pay fees to you.


Ineligibility reasons

Applicant resides outside the UK

The learner is not living in the UK on the first day of their learning aim and throughout their studies.

Applicant does not meet the minimum age requirements

The learner is not 19 or over on the start date of their learning aim.

Applicant does not meet any of the valid residency criteria

The learner does not have the right residency to get a loan.

Learning provider is not funded

The learning provider details on the application form do not match any of the approved provider details we have received from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

Learning provider is not funded at course start date

The learning provider was not approved for funding on the proposed course start date.

Learning provider is currently suspended

The learning provider is not approved for funding because ESFA has suspended it.

Applicant has applied for an unapproved course

The learning aim details on the application form do not match any of the learning aim details we have received from ESFA.

Course start date is before the launch of the Advanced Learner Loan scheme

The learner’s course starts before 1 August 2013.

Course start date is too late for funding

The course starts after the end of the current academic year, 31 July. It’s too early to apply for a course that starts after this date.

Learning duration is less than the time allowed

The learner has applied for a learning aim that's shorter than the minimum duration of 2 weeks.

Application received too late

The learner has applied for a loan after the deadline date. The deadline date is the last day of the learning aim.

Applicant’s learning start date is after the learning end date

The learner has stated that the start date is after the learning end date in their application form.

Arrears or credit agreement

The learner has had a previous loan from us and is currently behind with repayments.

Applicant has had 4 A level loans already and none of them are withdrawn

The learner has already had the maximum number of loans allowed for a programme of A levels.

Applicant has reached the maximum number of loans they can have

The learner has had the maximum number of loans available.

Applicant or family member they live with is not serving in the UK armed forces

The learner is not eligible to receive an Advanced Learner Loan as they or a family member are not serving in the UK armed forces.

Start date of the course is before UK armed forces personnel became eligible

The learner’s course started before 1 August 2017.


Next steps to take

In some cases the ineligibility reason is unlikely to change. In others, if information changes so could the application status.

Please see below for the next steps to take depending on the learner’s ineligibility reason. This will tell you who or what can trigger reassessment if it is applicable.


Applicant resides outside the UK

Not likely to change to eligible unless the learner’s circumstances change.

The learner cannot be eligible if they are residing outside the UK.

If the learner’s situation changes and they move to the UK, they could reapply for the course if:

  • they meet all other residency criteria
  • they update the course start date to after the date of permanent residence in the UK

From 1 August 2018, a learner not resident in England may still be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan if they are:

  • a serving member of the UK armed forces
  • the spouse, civil partner or family member living with a serving member of the armed forces
  • a dependent parent living with a serving member of the armed forces

From 1 August 2018 a new eligible residence category of stateless persons also exists. This applies to individuals who have been granted leave to remain as a stateless person by the UK Home Office. This leave would be granted because:

  • they are stateless
  • they have no right to residence in their country of former habitual residence or any other country

Applicant does not meet the minimum age requirements

Not likely to change to eligible unless the learner’s circumstances change.

The learner cannot be eligible if they are under 19.

When the learner turns 19 they could reapply for support if:

  • they meet all other eligibility criteria
  • they update the course start date so it is after they turn 19

Applicant does not meet any of the valid residency criteria

Not likely to change to eligible unless the learner’s circumstances change.

The learner cannot be eligible if they do not meet any of the standard residency criteria.

If the learner’s situation changes and they meet valid residency criteria they could reapply for the course if:

  • they meet all other eligibility criteria
  • they update the course start date to after the date of the valid residency status

Learning provider is not funded

Not likely to change to eligible unless the learning provider’s circumstances change.

The learner cannot be eligible if:

  • they are not studying with an approved college or training organisation
  • the college or training organisation does not have a current loans facility for that year

If the provider becomes approved or receives a valid facility, we can reassess the learner. They may become eligible if:

  • they meet all other eligibility criteria
  • they update their course start date to after the date the college or training organisation becomes approved

You can check whether you have a current loans facility on the Learning Provider Portal.

  1. Go to the Financials Home section of the portal.
  2. Select Loan Facility Details.

Learning provider is not funded at course start date

Not likely to change to eligible unless the learning provider’s circumstances change.

The learner cannot be eligible if, on the course start date they have provided:

  • they are not studying with an approved college or training organisation
  • the college or training organisation does not have a current loans facility

If the provider becomes approved or receives a valid facility, we can reassess the learner. They may become eligible if:

  • they meet all other eligibility criteria
  • they update their course start date to after the date the college or training organisation becomes approved

You can check whether you have a current loans facility on the Learning Provider Portal.

  1. Go to the Financials Home section of the portal.
  2. Select Loan Facility Details.

A learner may be ineligible for this reason if they have entered the wrong start date. In this case, you can submit a Change of Circumstance (CoC) on the Learning Provider Portal. See the Learning Provider Portal user guide for how to submit CoCs.


Learning provider is currently suspended

You should contact us or ESFA.

This means that you are not approved for funding because ESFA has suspended you. Any learners who apply when a learning provider is suspended will be ineligible.

ESFA usually suspends providers that decide they do not want to offer loans. If you have done this and your circumstances change, you must contact ESFA to ask about a loan allocation.


Applicant has applied for an unapproved course

Not likely to change to eligible unless the learner’s circumstances change.

Learners cannot receive a loan if the learning aim they are studying is not eligible.

You should contact ESFA with any questions about learning aim eligibility.


Course start date is too late for funding

The learner should call our ALL learner helpline.

Learners cannot use the current application to apply for a loan for any course that starts after 31 August that year. They must wait for the next academic year cycle to open before applying.


Learning duration is less than the time allowed

Not likely to change to eligible unless the learner’s circumstances change.

Learners cannot receive a loan if their course is shorter than 2 weeks.

If their circumstances change and the course lengthens, they must contact us to submit a CoC. 

You cannot submit a CoC on the Learning Provider Portal because the application status will be ineligible.


Application received too late

Not likely to change to eligible unless the learner’s circumstances change.

Learners cannot apply for a loan retrospectively if the last date of their learning aim has passed.

If they have any queries about late applications they should call our ALL learner helpline.


The learning start date is after the learning end date

The learner should call our ALL learner helpline.

If the learner says on the application that the start date of their learning aim is after the end date, their application will be ineligible.

To correct this, they need to contact us with accurate dates.


Arrears or credit agreement

The learner should call our ALL learner helpline.

Although we do not look at a learner’s past credit history, we do consider any past debt with us. If they have bad debt or arrears with another student loan product, they may be ineligible.

They must contact us for advice on next steps.


Applicant has had 4 A level loans already and none of them are withdrawn

Not likely to change to eligible unless the learner’s circumstances change.

Learners will be ineligible if they have already had the maximum number of loans allowed for a programme of A levels.

They can apply for another type of learning aim. To change their learning aim, they will need to call our ALL learner helpline.

You cannot submit a CoC on the Learning Provider Portal because the application status will be ineligible.


Applicant has reached the maximum number of loans they can have

Not likely to change to eligible unless the learner’s circumstances change.

Learners will be ineligible if they have already had the maximum number of loans allowed.

They may be able to apply for another loan if they previously withdrew from a past loan due to compelling personal reasons. They need to call our ALL learner helpline to explain this.


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