New student loan products for those undertaking Masters and Doctorates have been launched by the Department of Education. Students studying for a Masters are now able to apply for a Postgraduate Masters Loan, set at £10,609 for the whole course where the course started on or after 1 August 2018, £10,280 where the course started in the 2017/18 academic year and £10,000 where the course started in the 2016/17 academic year. Those studying for a doctorate, such as a PhD, can apply for a loan of up to £25,000 for the whole course.
The loans will be repaid with other student loans once the employee’s earnings exceed the student loan threshold. The earliest date that employees can start repaying their loans is April 2019.
If an employee has a Postgraduate loan (PGL), HMRC will send the employer a Postgraduate start notice (PGL1) to ask them to start making PGL deductions. Similarly, employers will be sent a Postgraduate stop notice (PGL2) to ask them to stop collecting PGL deductions.
An employee may be liable to repay a student loan at the same time as a PGL.