Check out Clearing course search
Financing your studies

Student loan repayment calculator

A student loan repayment calculator can give you an idea of how much you might expect to pay back and over what period of time.

Mortarboard on pennies for student loan

How does the calculator work?

The figures are only broad indicators of potential outcomes and shouldn’t be considered as financial advice. The calculator is intended for students from England and Wales who began university after autumn 2012.

Student loan repayment calculator (Money Saving Expert)

How are the results calculated?

This calculator estimates how much you may repay overall, assuming your likely starting salary. The results are for illustrative purposes only since the exact repayments will depend on the actual salary earned throughout the period. 

It’s important to note that repayments are based on your earnings, and that many students are unlikely to repay the loan before it is written off (see the foot of this page).

Student loan repayment plans

The repayment plan you're on will depend on when you started a university course and took out your loan, and the nation you were deemed to be living in before you started studying. You need to know which plan you have in order to know how much you’re likely to repay each month.

You may be on more than one plan if you’ve taken out more than one loan, for example for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

UK nation Undergraduate loan before September 2012 but after August 1998 Undergraduate loan after September 2012 Postgraduate loan
England or Wales Plan 1 Plan 2 PGL (postgraduate loan) aka Plan 3
Northern Ireland Plan 1 Plan 1 Plan 1
Scotland Plan 4 Plan 4 Plan 4
  • If you were an EU student from outside the UK who received only a tuition fee loan, your plan will depend on the nation in which you studied and the date you took out that loan
  • Scottish students – or EU students with a loan from Scotland – were all moved to Plan 4 from April 2021 because of a change in the repayment threshold; before that, they were all on Plan 1
  • Plan 2 also covers those who may have taken out an Advanced Learner Loan after August 2013

In all cases, repayments are only due from the April after you finish your course (or four years after you began your course if you’re studying part-time). Even then, you’ll only pay once your income (before tax and other deductions) is above the threshold set for your plan.

Repayment Plan 1

From April 2022, repayments under this plan will start when you earn over £20,195 a year, £1,682 a month or £388 a week. This threshold changes every April in line with inflation.

You'll pay 9% of the amount you earn over the threshold. For example, if your monthly income is £2,500, it means your earnings over the current threshold are £818. Your student loan repayment would be 9% of this amount.

Interest rates are usually set in September but may change ad hoc. Although they are based on the cost of living (measured by the Retail Price Index or RPI), they are capped if the Bank of England ‘base rate’ interest is low. From 13 January 2022, the Plan 1 interest rate is 1.25%.

Repayment Plan 2 

Repayments under Plan 2 will start when you earn over £27,295 a year, £2,274 a month or £524 a week. Normally these thresholds change on 6 April every year to keep pace with average earnings. In 2022 the thresholds were frozen, remaining the same as 2021.

For example, a monthly income of £2,500 is £226 above the current repayment threshold, and you’d pay 9% of this amount.

The interest rates for Plan 2 are more complicated than Plan 1, taking your income into account. To keep the interest rate level with the cost of living, there’s a sliding scale based on the Retail Price Index (RPI). The RPI that applies to loan interest is set in September each year, based on the cost of living from the previous March, and applies until the following August.

Your annual income

Interest rate (or cap, if applicable)

£27,295 or less

RPI (1.5%)

£27,296 to £49,130

RPI (1.5%) plus up to 3%

Over £49,130

RPI (1.5%) plus 3%

You’ll also be charged interest while studying. From the date you receive your first payment until the April after you leave your course, the interest rate is RPI plus 3%.

However, after inflation pushed the RPI to 9% in March 2022, the government introduced a cap to keep interest rates in line with market rates for personal loans. From September 2022 the maximum interest rate has been set at 7.3%.

In times when the market for comparable loans leads to a drop in interest rates, there may also be a short-term drop in interest rates for Plan 2 loans.

While interest will impact on the amount of loan you owe, it doesn’t affect your monthly repayments. These are determined by how much you earn above the repayment threshold and are paused if your income drops below that threshold.

Postgraduate loan or Repayment Plan 3

If you have a postgraduate loan from England or Wales (Master’s Loan or Doctoral Loan), repayments will start when you earn over £21,000 a year, £1,750 a month or £403 a week. Unlike other student loans, there's no annual increase to this threshold.

You’ll pay 6% of the amount you earn over £21,000. For example, if you earn £2,500 a month, you’ll pay back 6% of the £750 you earn over the threshold.

The loan interest is RPI plus 3%. Like Plan 2 loans, the RPI figure is set in September and applies until the following August, based on the cost of living from the previous March.

However, if the market for similar loans leads to a drop in interest rates, there may be a short-term reduction in the postgraduate loan interest rate. A cap may also be introduced where inflation leads to a higher RPI than the interest rates for personal loans. After RPI climbed to 9% in March 2022, the government announced a maximum interest rate of 7.3% from September 2022.

Students with a postgraduate loan from Northern Ireland are on Plan 1; those from Scotland are now on Plan 4.

Repayment Plan 4

Plan 4 was introduced in April 2021 to address the newly increased repayment threshold applicable to Scottish-resident students previously on Plan 1. From April 2022, the threshold for repayments is £25,375 per year, £2,114 per month or £487 per week.

You’ll repay 9% of your income above this threshold. So, if you earn £2,500 per month, you’re £386 above the threshold and 9% of this amount will be due in repayments.

Interest rates for Plan 4 are nominally-based on what the Retail Price Index was the previous March – but if the bank base rate is lower, it’ll be set at 1% more than that. Currently, the interest rate is 1.25%. 

FAQs

What happens if you live or move abroad?

Student loans will still have to be repaid even if you live or move abroad for more than three months. Make sure you inform the Student Loans Company (SLC) of your employment and country of residence so they can calculate what you need to repay. If you don’t, you may be charged maximum interest while you’re away. 

The repayment rules stay the same, but different countries have different thresholds for repayment. Find out the thresholds and abroad rate of repayment for Plan 1, Plan 2Postgraduate and Plan 4 loans.

Does my student loan get written off?

Your student loan will get written off after a number of years, calculated from the April after you graduate. If you took out a loan before or including 2005–2006 (or 2006–2007 if from Scotland), your loan is cancelled once you’re 65. Otherwise:

  • Plan 1 student loans will be written off after 25 years
  • Plan 2, postgraduate or Plan 3 loans, and Plan 4 loans are written off after 30 years

Contrary to popular belief and rumour, your student loan won’t get written off or cancelled if you move abroad for any number of years. However, it’s only likely to be high earners who will have repaid their loan before it's cancelled.

If you can no longer work because of illness or disability and receive benefits because of this, your student loan may be cancelled. Contact the Student Loan Company with the evidence required and your customer reference number.

Can you pay it off quicker?

It’s possible to pay off your student debt more quickly using your online account or by bank transfer. 

It’s worth thinking carefully and doing your maths if you want to pay more (which must be done on top of regular payments) as you may end up overpaying.

Related articles

Young male student with headphones studying on the laptop

Postgraduate funding

Postgraduate or master's loans, research funding and scholarships – discover your options...

22 Jun 2022
Young man on laptop looking into student loan repayment

Repaying your student loan

All about student loan repayments – including how much you pay, when you pay it and what...

17 Jun 2022
Doctors and nurses walking through corridor in a hospital

NHS bursary

The NHS bursary – or similar – can help you financially when starting a career as a...

20 Apr 2022

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Sorry about that...

HOW CAN WE IMPROVE IT?

SUBMIT

Thanks for your feedback!