MBA in UK: After NatWest MBA Loan Closed Down, Prodigy Finance and CDL to the Rescue

MBA Loans in UKUK Government supports Management education with Career Development Loan (CDL), Adult Dependents’ Grant, Access to Learning Fund and Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs).

1) Career Development Loan (CDL)

The UK government’s Department for Education and Skills (DfES) facilitates the Career Development Loan (CDL) to fund MBA studies in the UK. This loan allows a maximum funding of £10,000 for up to two years of learning, plus up to one year's practical work experience if it is part of the course. The government pays interest while the course is on, and repayment usually starts one month after the program is completed.

CDLs are currently available through four banks: Clydesdale Bank, Barclays Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Co-operative Bank.

No collateral is required.

Loan limits: £300–£10,000 in £50 Increments


18+ years of age

• Been living in the UK for a minimum of 3 years before the program begins •    The right to indefinite stay in UK

• Plan on working in the UK, EU or European Economic Area (EEA) after completing the program

• Good credit history

Repayment and interest

The government pays the interest while studies are on, and for 1 month after the course is completed. Students start repaying the loan and interest after this. The loan must be repaid even if the course is not completed.

• Annual Payment Rate of up to 9.9%

• Flexible repayment terms of 12 to 60 months

• No other fees

How to apply

Students must apply at least 3 months before the course commences.

1. Choose from among the four banks.

2. Fill application form and send to the selected bank.

3. Bank decides if the student qualifies.

4. Loan is taken up after student agrees to the bank’s repayment conditions.

2) Adult Dependents’ Grant

Full-time students who have an adult financially dependent on them can avail a grant of up to £2,642. Access to Learning Fund

Students in financial hardship can benefit from this fund. The university or college decides how much money is paid.

3) Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)

The Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) offers allowances based on the need, for individuals who have:

•    Disability

•    Long-term health condition

•    Mental health condition

•    Specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia

4) Private Loans

Earlier, NatWest Bank in partnership with AMBA (Association of MBAs) used to be UK's only MBA specific loan. NatWest pulled out of the preferential loan scheme in 2011, forcing the students to find other sources of funding. Banks are now building relationships with educational institutions, offering customized solutions to each of them. Prodigy Finance currently offers the best scheme.

Prodigy Finance

Prodigy Finance was founded by three INSEAD MBA alumni. They addressed the difficulties faced by MBA aspirants in getting funds from traditional loans in an innovative new model. Prodigy provides a platform for alumni and other community stakeholders to offer loans to students while earning a commercially attractive return.

The company assesses students based on future earning potential, offering very competitive interest rates. This helps students from more than 150 countries access the funds. As of now, $30 million in loans have been disbursed to students from 80 countries, all with a 100% repayment record. The company aims to soon cover the top 100 B-schools.

The common features of the loans provided for Business Schools in the UK are:

1. No repayment up to 6 months after course completion.

2. Repayment is within 7-years after the 6-month grace period.

3. Interest starts to accrue from the date of disbursement of funds to the B-school.

4. Interest is attached to the underlying base rate (Euribor or Libor). Every quarter, the base rate is updated in advance. Interest is then added daily and compounded monthly. The interest rate will vary according to this calculation rate over the entire lifetime of the loan.

5. Students will receive a reply within 48 hours of submitting the online application.

6. No co-signer is required.

7. No collateral is required.

8. No penalties for early settlement.

9. An application fee of 1.25% is charged only on successful applications.

Cass Business School

•  Maximum loan size of £32,000, less any Cass scholarship funds

•  Loans will be modified according individual profiles

•  The interest rate varies, with an APR range of 6.5% to 12%. The representative APR is 9.00% (variable)

Cranfield School of Management

• Maximum loan size of £25,000, less any Cranfield scholarship funds

• Loans will be modified according individual profiles

• The interest rate varies for individual applications. The representative APR is 8.85% (variable)

Oxford University's Said Business School

•  Maximum loan size of £41,000, less any Oxford scholarship funds

•  Loans will be modified according individual profiles

•  The interest rate varies, with an APR range of 6.5% to 9.5%. The representative APR is 8.32% (variable).

Loans for London Business School & Manchester Business School will launch shortly with Prodigy Finance.


1) Prodigy Finance

2) Career Development Loan

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