Originally published on 18 October 2023

Student Loans in Scotland

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On average, a UK graduate leaves university with £45,000 of debt. But that isn't necessarily how much they repay. How much university costs in total is completely delinked from what you end up paying. You can pay back anywhere between £0 and £140,000.

If you live in the UK and wish to study at university, you'll most likely have taken out, or need to take out a student loan. How your student loan works is all about where you are from rather than where you go to study.

In this article, we'll explore the practical financial impact a student loan could have on you as a Scottish student.

If you live in Scotland and take out a student loan, you will be on a different student finance system to the rest of the UK, irrespective of where you go to study.

Not a Scottish student? Check out the other articles here:

Overview: Scotland

As a Scottish student you will have applied to Student Awards Agency Scotland, who work with the Student Loans Company (SLC) to deal with your application and loan allocation. Then, when you graduate and are liable to start repaying, SLC deals with your loan repayments.

There are two main types of student loans in the UK; Mortgage Style (MS) and Income Contingent Repayment (ICR). This article only covers the current ICR loan type (which is from 1998 onward).

For Scottish students you can be on any the following repayment plans:

  • Plan 4

Think of a repayment plan as a pot of money that you owe, with some conditions. You need to pay back:

  • Tuition fee loans
  • Maintenance loans
  • Accrued interest

When you start repaying your loan, how much you repay, for how long you repay and how much interest is applied each month to your loan depends on the repayment plan you are on.

The latest for the above is:

Plan typeRepayment thresholdInterest rateMax years
Plan 4£31,3956.25%30

Go to this article to read on about repaying your loan early, interest rates and having multiple loans.