Whether you are looking to retake some exams that you failed when you were at school, do a degree or do a professional course, there are different ways to cover the cost. If you are under 18 then in most circumstances in the UK you will be able to have a free education if you want one, although some people choose to pay. However, once you reach 18 there are still opportunities for education but they will not be free. There are many different types of courses and different finance opportunities available and this will not cover all of them, but the main options for you to consider.
A student loan is offered specifically to students studying for a first degree for the first time. If you have done a degree in the past and used a grant, then you will not be able to apply for a loan. The loan covers the fees and some living expenses depending on the household incomes of wherever you are living. Repayments start once the course has ended and are taken out as part of income tax and are a percentage of income starting at a certain level. So you have to be earning above a threshold to start repaying and the amount you repay will go up as your income rises and after 30 years any remaining loan is written off.
Career development loan
This is offered for courses which will advance your career and whether you qualify for one is not determined by your household income as it just covers the course fees. It does not require repayments to be made until the course is finished and you do not have to be doing a specific type of course. However, the interest rate is higher than a student loan and you have to make repayments as soon as the curse ends in set amounts until the loan is paid. What you pay is not determined by your income and does not come out in your tax code, so is just like a conventional loan.
A personal loan can be used for all sorts of things. If you have a regular income and a good credit record then you are normally able to get one. However, some courses are very expensive and it may be tricky for you to borrow enough money to cover the cost of it. You will also need to make repayments on the loan right away, so you will need an income to cover those repayments while you are studying. If you are studying full-time then you may not be able to secure a loan as the lender may want you to show that you will be earning enough while studying in order to repay it.
Saving up to pay for a course could be a way that will help. If you can do a job which pays you more than your living expenses, then you will be able to save up money that you can use towards paying or the course. This will mean that you will have to delay doing it but it could be a really handy way to make sure that you have the money that you need before you start the course. Saving up can seem to take a long time, but there are many things that we can all do to reduce how much money we spend and also to earn more money which should help you to save up more quickly. Compare all prices, only buy things you really need and then work as much as you can to build up savings. Selling things you no longer want can also help to raise some extra money.
Some people work while they are studying. This can give you an income to pay living expenses and could also pay for the course as well. Even some full-time courses will give you enough free time to work a lot of hours each week. This will very much depend on the course that you choose to do as some will take up nearly all of your time and so you will need to find out first so that you can plan. If the course is relevant to your job and will benefit your employer then you may even be able to get money from the company to help to pay for the course. They may even insist on sending you on a course, that they pay for, so that you can work more efficiently for them. It can always be worth asking your employer before you start a course to see if they would be able to pay for it or put you on a similar course that you will not have to pay for.