Professional and Career Development Loan (PCDL)

A PCDL is a bank loan available for students wanting to gain the experience, training and qualifications to improve job skills.

Key points about the loan are:

  • You make an agreement with a participating bank to borrow an amount between £300 and £10,000. Then once you’ve stopped studying, you pay it back in the normal way.
  • The Government pays the interest on the loan while you’re studying – and for one month afterwards. After this, you’ll pay interest at the rate fixed when you took out the loan. Interest rates on the loans are set so they’re competitive with other unsecured personal loans that are commercially available.

There are three areas that a PCDL can cover:

  • Course fees (up to 80 per cent of the total – or up to 100 per cent if you’ve been unemployed for three months)
  • Other course costs, such as books, travel and childcare
  • Living expenses, such as rent, food and clothing (if you are unemployed or working less than 30 hours per week)

Contact the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900 or visit for more information.