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Paying for your study with an Open University Budget Account Loan

A loan from the Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) is a convenient way to pay your course fees and finish your qualification with no further debt.

Student planning out loan repayments

How does OUSBA work?

When you enrol with us, we’ll offer you the opportunity to pay your fees through a loan from OUSBA. If you choose this way to pay, OUSBA pays your module fee directly to the OU on your behalf.

You can repay OUSBA any time before the module begins. In this case, any amount you pay has no interest applied.

Alternatively, you can repay OUSBA in monthly instalments payable over up to 12 months. Once your module begins, interest does apply. The interest rate is fixed for the duration of the module, currently 5.1% APR representative.

As a responsible lender, every application made to OUSBA undergoes a credit and affordability check with a Credit Reference Agency to ensure you can meet your financial obligations. An OUSBA agreement is a legally binding credit agreement between yourself and OUSBA Ltd. By signing an agreement with them you’ll be liable for the repayments in accordance with its terms and conditions.

Many students find OUSBA to be a convenient ‘pay as you go’ option.

I funded my course using OUSBA, which was absolutely brilliant as it meant I could pay for it in monthly instalments and didn’t have to worry about paying upfront or taking out a student loan and end up in debt.

Yvonne Quaintrell, BSc Social Science, Msc Psychology, Diploma Forensic Psychology

Joint loan applications

If you feel you wouldn’t be able to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own, due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a join loan application with a third party, i.e. partner, spouse, parent, sibling, friend etc. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants, who will be jointly and individually liable for loan repayments.

As additional affordability checks are required to process joint loan applications, an instant decision cannot be given. On average, the processing time for a join loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.


For more information about a loan from OUSBA and a representative example of a repayment scheme, visit the OUSBA website.