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Glossary
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Career development loans
Career Development Loans
A Career Development Loan or CDL is a bank loan designed to help you launch or develop a new career by helping to pay for training, courses, or further qualifications. Career Development Loans have been created through an agreement made between the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and three established high street banks.

How do Career Development Loans work?

  • You can borrow any amount ranging from £300 to £8,000. You can use career loans to help fund up to two or three years of study.

  • You can apply to these high street banks for Career Development LoansBarclays, The Co-operative Bank, and The Royal Bank of Scotland.

  • The interest on your career loan will be paid by the Learning Skills Council during the duration of your course, plus one month after you have completed your studies.

  • You must start repayments one month after you have completed your studies. The CDL will be repaid at a fixed interest rate over an agreed period.

Who qualifies for a Career Development Loan?

To be eligible for a CDL, you must:

  • be 18 years of age or over

  • be resident in England, Scotland, or Wales with an unrestricted right to remain in the UK

  • intend to work in the European Union (or Iceland, Norway, or Liechtenstein) on completion of your course.

Here are some essential questions to ask yourself before you finalise your CDL application:

  • Does the course you have chosen qualify for a Career Development Loan?

  • Will the learning provider provide you with the relevant skills, experience, and qualifications you need?

  • Can you afford the course fees as well as living expenses?

  • Will the course take too long to complete?

What if you need to delay repayments?

If you think you may face difficulties repaying your career loan, it is crucial that you contact your bank promptly to discuss a plan of action, ideally before repayments are due.  It is possible that your bank will permit you to delay your CDL repayments for up to 17 months if you are unemployed or in receipt of certain benefits.

What if you fail to complete the course?

Be prepared to repay the full amount of your Career Development Loan if you fail to complete the course. This applies even in the unfortunate event that your learning provider goes out of business or if you find the course unsatisfactory.

How to decide how much to borrow?

Remember: your Career Development Loan needs to cover all expenses, not just course fees. To determine how much you need to borrow for your career loan, you must calculate a total monthly expenditure including expenses for books, equipment, tools, childcare, travel expenses, food, clothing or footwear, household fuel, rent, housing costs, and council tax.

How to apply for your Career Development Loan?

It is advisable to send in your Career Development Loans application to the banks as early as possible. Banks may take a few weeks to tell you whether you have been granted a CDL. As you are only permitted to apply to one bank at a time, applying early will give you sufficient time to re-apply should the first bank turn down your application. Just as different banks offer different interest rates, the Career Development Loans application process and the time it takes varies from bank to bank.

On approval of your CDL, you must sign a legally-bound credit agreement. Your bank will then release the funds once you and your learning provider complete a 'Start Certificate' to confirm that you have embarked on the course. Career Development Loan fees are paid by the bank directly to your learning provider. Funds for other costs and expenses are paid directly into your bank account.

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