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To get a student loan at 40?

(33 Posts)
NannyMcfanny Fri 10-Aug-18 15:57:23

It's been a long time since posting on here, but here goes..

I'm 40 with 2dc, one dependant and one over 18.

I've been feeling a bit down about my life and lack of prospects and sick of always being skint.
I have been thinking a real education would be my next step.

I'd love to do a design degree, I am a knitter, crocheter, I sew, make cards, make clay ornaments and other things.

I am good at designing my own things and think I have a good eye for colour and detail etc.
I have also made things for craft fairs, this has never made me much money, the only way to make money from this is ( I think ) to get a degree and look for employment from there.

The problem is I don't know where to start, I have been on the gov website and done a calculator based on our income and I may get my fees paid for plus £8000 per year for living costs.

This is more than what I earn atm so I would be okay with my partner's income.

Can anyone offer ANY advice, tips and words of encouragement? Also are there any reasons I couldn't do this?

I am scared to take the plunge but then I desperately want to move away from my current soul destroying jobs.

Where do I go from here?


gettingtherequickly Fri 10-Aug-18 16:02:02

It sounds perfect for you, why wouldn't you?

Look at courses that you are interested in and get applying, probably too late for Sept intake this year, but definitely next year.

ReevaDiva Fri 10-Aug-18 16:03:44

Why not? A student loan will just become, basically, a tax on your wages once you earn enough to cross the threshold.

I'll be paying mine, at about £70 a month until I retire. I haven't even thought about it for months really.

As long as you can afford to actually do the degree and leave work, then go for it.

Bombardier25966 Fri 10-Aug-18 16:05:09

You're definitely not too late for this year. If a course has spaces available go for it!

Age shouldn't be a barrier, you've got thirty years of your working life left. But I'd question whether your current hobbies translate to degree level ability. Have a chat with the course leader to get an idea of what they are looking for.

HMC2000 Fri 10-Aug-18 16:06:42

I went back to Uni and got a student loan at 34. I've been in part time jobs ever since and have only just started paying it back. I'm 51. Higher education is amazing. Go for it.

pickleface Fri 10-Aug-18 16:16:31

Do it! I'm 40 and pretty much in the same boat. I'm doing a masters (shitting myself slightly) and have already been approved a loan for my fees. Go for it!

Debfronut Fri 10-Aug-18 16:29:48

I got one at 50. Will probably never pay it back but have loved studying again. Go for it.

Fakeflowersandlemonade Fri 10-Aug-18 16:50:48

I'm 34 and just signed up for a degree. I have 3 dc and like you I am fed up of being skint. I'm doing mine through the OU as I also work part time but have taken out a large student loan to complete it. I'm sure it will all be very worth it. Good luck Op.

Junkmail Fri 10-Aug-18 17:45:37

Just go for it. I’m two years into my degree as a mature student and my reasoning is that the opportunities the degree will open up is worth more than the loans which, when I looked into how they are repaid, will be completely doable. I honestly don’t think this is something you’ll regret.

NannyMcfanny Fri 10-Aug-18 17:58:53

Thanks everyone!

I have been looking into it and the course that I want to do is Textile Design and as I'm a mature student I don't necessarily need the requirements to get a place.

I have booked a place at an open day in September, I'm definitely not prepared for this your's intake, I certainly don't want to rush it.

This will also give me time to build up a better portfolio of my creations.


NannyMcfanny Fri 10-Aug-18 17:59:27


Chrystal1982 Fri 10-Aug-18 18:28:32

Definitely do it! I’ve just graduated at 35, I did a BA in fine art as a single mum, took me 4 years total (3 full time) as I had to take a suspension of studies for a year (which would have been my 3rd) when I unexpectedly fell pregnant. Think my family thought I was a bit mad to go back when ds was still only 7 months old but it was the best thing for me as I was determined to get it finished and was thrilled with my 2:1. Best of luck

NannyMcfanny Fri 10-Aug-18 22:36:26

Thank you!

I am determined to do something and I know if/when I do, I will stick at it. I just hope I don't find the academic side too hard.

Although I do feel reassured, thank you.

Lallybroch Sat 11-Aug-18 00:58:49

I've just completed my second year of Textile Practice (Surface Design) BA/BSc and am waiting to start my placement year teaching 6th Form students. It's been an incredible two years, highs and lows, but I don't regret it at all. I would say go for it.

Aquamarine1029 Sat 11-Aug-18 04:25:21

I took out a student loan at 43 and finished my degree at 45. GO FOR IT and embrace your future! You have decades of life to live and there is no reason whatsoever that you can't achieve your dreams.

GoatWithACoat Sat 11-Aug-18 08:28:22

I did. I did an undergraduate for fun, ended up with a First which spurred me on to do a Masters degree. Now I’m training up to do my dream job based on my degrees which only started out as ‘something to do of interest’

Self development is never a waste. I’m 40, nearly 41.

NannyMcfanny Sat 11-Aug-18 17:53:32

Did any of you struggle with work?

Tir3dandhungry10 Sat 11-Aug-18 21:50:39

I think that doing a degree is not a waste to yourself ever. However, I know lots of people who have never used the degree in the subject that they did their degree in. But, their degree has opened more opportunities for work in other areas. If you want a guaranteed job after graduating I would suggest something like nursing, teaching. Do you sell any of the things you make at craft fairs, Etsy, on internet, do you currently make any profit ?

Magicbugkiller Sat 11-Aug-18 21:54:01

you can do a degree but it won't necessarily help you with work.

what job would you ultimately want?

DickensianHysteric Sat 11-Aug-18 21:56:04

You should absolutely go for it. Have you looked at college courses? My local college does art evening courses including one focusing on textiles and design. If you can find something similar near you, it might be a good introduction to the subject and will get you into the habit of studying before you progress to a degree.

kathmacc Sat 11-Aug-18 21:59:13

Do it - unless you end up working in a ridiculously well paid job (hopefully) -you will only pay a small amount each month -and as we all are living longer due to better health care etc. 40 really is no age -you could well be working until you are 75- sorry!

NannyMcfanny Sat 11-Aug-18 22:19:42

I used to work in the NHS, I definitely don't want to go back there.

I don't make any money selling mu things. It's very hard to sell at a reasonable price and profit from it.
Also I'm too poor to afford craft stalls atm.

I would like a job designing for a company, ie patterns etc.
I know most place won't look at you unless you have qualifications.

Also I think doing something like this would be good for my self esteem.

NannyMcfanny Sat 11-Aug-18 22:20:17

Looking at colleges is a good idea.

ladybirdsaredotty Sat 11-Aug-18 22:44:53

I'd echo a PP, not trying to put you off at all but I did a degree when I was younger and have never used it, I'm looking at training in something vocational (nursing/teaching etc but I do have a genuine interest in these and have 14 years of experience relevant to nursing). I know nothing are all about textiles or possible career progression whereas you may know loads. But if you don't, I'd definitely check that it's likely to improve your prospects if that is your goal! smile

Tir3dandhungry10 Sun 12-Aug-18 01:17:55

Fashion & Textile degrees are very competitive and I suspect that only a very small percentage of people, from the top Unis actually go on to make a career. Suggest looking at the Royal College if Art. Companies will be employing the best candidates from all over the world. So I would not recommend doing this type of degree to obtain work in the future. However, if you wish to do the degree to learn, enjoy and grow as a person and make a few contacts, then I would recommend.

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