The University of Buckingham

The University of Buckingham believes in, and invests in, its students, sharing with them the financial risk of a higher education.

The University of Buckingham has partnered with StepEx to be the first UK university to offer home undergraduates the opportunity to defer payment of part of their tuition fees until after graduation, with repayments tied to their graduate earnings, so the interests of students and university are aligned.

With this scheme the prestigious and independent University of Buckingham’s short degrees (two-year and two-year one term) become even more accessible.

Up to £10,400 of tuition fees can be deferred by entering into a “Future Earnings Agreement” (FEA) with StepEx. StepEx then arrange for a discount on course fees equal to the amount borrowed for the relevant course at the University of Buckingham. The FEA requires you to pay modest administration fees while studying, with the repayment obligation deferred until you graduate and earn above a defined level of income.

There are two types of FEA contracts available. Neither charges interest. One requires payments that are a fixed proportion of income for a period of time, while the other offers the opportunity to repay the deferred fees shortly after graduation adjusted only for inflation; which reverts to requiring payment of a share of income if that option is not taken up.

Understanding Future Earnings Agreements

The concepts that underlie the terms of an FEA are:

Total Amount of Credit

This is the amount of tuition fees that have been deferred – so reducing the tuition fees that need to be paid while studying your course. For each course there is a maximum amount that may be deferred, but you can choose to defer a smaller amount in defined increments.

Agreed Percentage of Income

This is the proportion of your gross annual income that you must pay after graduation, so long as you are earning above the Income Threshold.

Gross Annual Income

For repayment purposes, your annual income is your pre-tax earnings as defined by StepEx in your credit contract.

Monthly Instalments

The actual amount to be repaid each month. Although your Monthly Instalments will vary with changes in your earnings, the ‘percentage’ of your estimated annual earnings stays the same.

Minimum Income Threshold

Repayments are automatically paused whenever your estimated annual income is less than the Income Threshold. If you’re unemployed or earning less than this amount, you won’t have to make any payments.

Maximum Total Amount Payable

For high earners, the most you might have to pay in total is limited by the Maximum Total Amount Payable. If the sum of your monthly instalments hits the Maximum Total Amount Payable, your payment obligations stop, even if you have made a smaller number of payments than the number of Required Monthly Instalments.

Required Monthly Instalments

This is the number of monthly repayments of your agreed percentage of income you are required to make, unless you exercise the Option or have reach the Maximum Total Amount Payable. Months when your earnings are below the Income Threshold do not count towards this figure.

Payment Window (Waiver 3)

This is the maximum timeframe for which you have a payment obligation. Even if you have paid nothing back, or less than the amount deferred, your FEA will automatically terminate at the end of the Payment Window. The start date of this payment window typically begins on your course end date, the exact definition of this can be found in your credit contract.

Option (Waiver 4)

The single payment that, if made, extinguishes all future liabilities, and brings the FEA to an end.

How it works

Apply to the University of Buckingham for one of the qualifying courses

Once you have been approved onto your course apply to StepEx to check that you qualify for an FEA voucher

If StepEx grant the voucher and you take up a place at the University of Buckingham, use the voucher towards payment of your fees.

Attend your degree program and study hard!

Graduate & Start Your Career

If you are earning above the Minimum Income Threshold, you will begin paying back your FEA, calculated as a percentage of your pre-tax (gross) earnings

Your FEA is satisfied and payments cease when you achieve any of the below:

  1. You pay the Option amount (for those on the Option plan)
  2. You have made the required number of monthly payments
  3. The sum of your payments reach the Payment Cap
  4. Your Payment Window elapses (it does not matter how much you paid).

Qualification

To qualify to apply for a FEA you must be a home student (check what that means here) proposing to study one of the qualifying undergraduate courses.[ii]

Terms of The University of Buckingham FEAs

Term

Standard FEA

FEA with Option

Total Amount of Credit

Up to £10,400

Up to £10,400

Agreed Percentage of Income

6% for £10,400 (smaller funding increments available pro rata)[iii]

6% for £10,400 (smaller funding increments available pro rata)

Required Monthly Instalments

120

120

Minimum Income Threshold

£21,000

£21,000

Maximum Total Amount Payable

2 x Deferred Fees Amount

3 x Deferred Fees Amount

Option

Inflation adjusted value of the Deferred Amount[iv]

Inflation adjusted value of the Deferred Amount[iv]

Payment Window

15 years

15 years

FEA terms

Option 1:
Standard FEA

The maximum you will ever need to repay is 2x the amount borrowed. However, if you decide you would like to repay early, you will typically have to repay 2x the amount borrowed minus any repayments you have already made. This repayment choice is designed to be repaid across the entire repayment term (and not repaid early.)

Example:

Amount borrowed: £4,160
% income shared: 2.4%

Amount repaid

Min £0
Expected £5,800
Max £8,320

Early repayment amount:
£8,320
 (minus repayments made)

Option 2:
FEA with Option

This selection has a higher maximum cap of 3x the amount borrowed. However, you can repay early at any point by paying 1x the amount borrowed adjusted for inflation. This choice is designed to be repaid early.

Example:

Amount borrowed: £4,160
% income shared: 2.4%

Amount repaid

Min £0
Expected £5,800
Max £12,480

Early repayment amount:
£4,160
 (adjusted for inflation)

Option 1 is most appropriate for those who want to ensure the maximum they can ever repay is capped at two times the amount deferred. Option 2 is most appropriate for those who want the ability to repay their credit agreement off quickly after graduating by making a one-off payment (please note this payment does not reduce as you make monthly income payments).

Course options

Key

Funding available
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Limited capacity
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No available capacity
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Update pending
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Accounting and Finance

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Business Economics

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Business Enterprise

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Business Management with Applied Computing

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Business Management

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Computing with Accounting and Finance

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Computing with Business Management

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Computing

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Digital News and Media (Flexible Honours)

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Digital News and Media

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Economics (Flexible Honours)

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Economics, Business and Law

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Economics

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English Literature (Flexible Honours)

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English Literature

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History (Flexible Honours)

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History and Heritage Management

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History of Art (Flexible Honours)

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History of Art and Heritage Management

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International Relations (Flexible Honours)

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International Studies

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Law and Criminology

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Law with Business Management

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Marketing with Media Communications

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Modern Languages (Flexible Honours)

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Philosophy, Politics and Economics

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Psychology with Applied Computing

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Psychology with Business Management

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Psychology with English Literature

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Psychology with French

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Psychology with Spanish

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Psychology

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Security, Intelligence and Cyber

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