What you need to know
Used responsibly, finance is a great way to spread the cost of your purchase. We’ve teamed up with Deko, whose secure technology lets you complete a loan application with one or more carefully selected lenders quickly and easily. Deko is a credit broker, not a lender and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Find out more about how NEC and Deko are regulated. under the “Legal Information” section of this page. You can find out more about Deko below
Deko connects you with lenders whose finance options are best suited for you and your purchase. As a customer of NEC your finance application will be considered by OMNI.
To spread the cost of your purchase, simply call our Course Advice Team on 0800 389 2839 to find a finance option that suits you. The application form is quick and simple and includes help text throughout to assist you. You will receive a decision from your lender in just a few seconds.
Please be aware that finance options are a form of credit. If you fail to maintain your payments, your lender could ask a debt collector to contact you or commence legal action to recover the money you owe. A poor repayment record will affect your credit file.
Representative example, for GCSE Maths 6 month plan:
Course fee: £445
Minimum 10% deposit: £44.50
Amount of credit: £400.50
Monthly payment: £66.75
Duration of agreement: 6 months
Total repayable: £445
Rate of interest: 0% (fixed)
0% APR representative.
Representative example, for GCSE Maths 12 month plan:
Course fee: £445
Minimum 10% deposit: £44.50
Amount of credit: £400.50
Monthly payment: £33.37
Duration of agreement: 12 months
Total repayable: £445
Rate of interest: 0% (fixed)
0% APR representative.
All of Deko’s lenders hold the required authorisation and permissions to provide you with credit. They need to meet high responsible lending standards, so you can rest assured that your application will be considered fairly and responsibly.
Whichever lender Deko introduces you to, Deko may receive a commission from them (either a fixed fee or a fixed percentage of the amount you borrow). The lenders Deko works with pay commission at different rates, but the commission received does not influence the interest rate you pay. You will be offered the best rate available from Deko’s partner lenders, based on the lenders’ decision policies. You have the right to know the amount of commission paid in relation to your application – if you’d like this, you can ask Deko’s customer support team on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 0800 294 5891.
To be considered for finance you will need to:
We offer a range of interest-free finance options to help you spread the cost of your purchase over 6 or 12 months. The value of the loan needs to be over £250 and you can choose a deposit of 10% (or more) of the value of the goods.
Will I be accepted for finance?
Your application will be assessed based on eligibility, credit history and affordability and Deko will let you know the outcome in just a few seconds. Your lender will perform a ‘soft’ credit search on your credit file as part of their assessment, to determine whether the loan is affordable for you and if you are likely to make your repayments on time.
It’s important to know that if your application is accepted, a ‘hard’ credit check may be made on your credit file. Only you can see that a ‘soft’ search has been made on your credit file, but a ‘hard’ credit check will be visible to others viewing your credit file, for example, if you apply for credit in the future, the lender will see that an application credit search was made on your credit file.
In a few cases, your application may be referred to a lender for manual assessment and you’ll be notified by email of the credit decision within 24 hours.
What do I do if I have been declined?
If your application was declined, your lender may be unable to give you specific reasons why. Lenders use information from your credit report, alongside your income and expenditure data to make a lending decision. If you feel that there has been a mistake, please contact your lender – their contact details will appear on the email informing you that your application was declined.
You can also contact the Credit Reference Agencies if you think there is a mistake on your credit report:
Before signing your credit agreement, you will be given some important documents that include key information about your loan. It is important that you read these documents and understand the information and key terms. If you have any questions about the information in your credit agreement before you sign it, Deko’s customer support team can help – you can contact them on email@example.com or by phone on 0800 294 5891.
Who should I contact if I have a question about my loan?
For any questions about your loan, such as your Direct Debit or updating your personal details, please contact your lender. Their contact details will be provided throughout your application and on any communications you receive about your finance application.
I’m having problems paying my deposit online
Please contact Deko customer support at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 294 5891.
When will I receive a copy of my loan agreement?
You will be presented with an unsigned copy of your credit agreement for you to sign once your lender has made their decision. Once you have signed your credit agreement, your lender will also sign it and a copy will be available for you to download. These will also be emailed securely to your given email address.
If you need a copy of your agreement at any point after this, you can request this from your lender.
The terms of your loan agreement will set out your right to withdraw. You may be able to withdraw from your loan agreement within 14 days. However, if you do so, you will still be responsible to pay for your goods by another payment method.
How do I make my monthly payments?
Your lender will help you set up convenient, pre-authorized payments via your bank account or your credit/debit card.
Can I request delivery to an address other than my home address?
In order to safeguard against fraudulent applications, we are only able to deliver goods to your home address.
I want to amend my order.
If you have been approved for finance, the amount or term cannot be amended. You will need to contact us (your retailer) to amend the goods or services you ordered and you may need to complete a new application for finance. Please note we cannot guarantee a new credit application will be approved.
I haven’t received my goods or service.
Please contact us at email@example.com and we will help you.
I want to change my Direct Debit details.
Changing your payment date can only be done once the first payment has been taken. Please contact your lender to talk to them about updating your Direct Debit details. The Direct Debit must not be cancelled and must remain in place throughout the agreement.
Are there any fees or charges to pay?
There is no fee for processing your application, and Deko does not charge you for its credit broking services.
Fees will be payable to your lender if you fail to maintain your repayments. Fees and charges may include late payment fees and administration/letter fees if you are issued an arrears or default notice. Full details of all fees and charges will be set out in the terms of your credit agreement. The Direct Debit must not be cancelled and must remain in place throughout the agreement.
I want to return my goods and cancel my finance agreement.
Please see our refund and cancellation policy on our Enrolment Terms and Conditions page.
Where you do have the right to cancel, you must do this within 14 days of entering into the finance agreement.
To cancel your finance agreement (this is only possible within 14 days of entering into the finance agreement), please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we have confirmed cancellation, we will advise your lender to cancel your finance agreement and refund any payments that have been made. Your finance agreement can only be cancelled by your lender if this is agreed by us, and is within 14 days of the order.
What happens to my loan if I want to return my order?
If you are not satisfied with your purchase you can cancel it up to 14 days after enrolment. In this case, we will notify your lender to reduce your loan amount accordingly. You will receive confirmation from your lender within 3-5 business days where a full refund is processed.
It’s a fact of life that things can change for any of us. If something changes in your personal, or financial circumstances, Deko and your lender will do all they can to help make it as easy as possible to submit your application and manage your loan repayments.
If you’re struggling at any point with your application online, or you don’t understand anything, please contact Deko’s customer support team at email@example.com or 0800 294 5891.
If you find yourself struggling due to a change in your circumstances, please contact your lender and ask for their help.
In order to process your application, you will be asked to provide information about your personal, employment and financial situation. Deko share your personal data with their partner lenders so that they can make a decision about whether to offer you finance. Lenders perform a search with one or more Credit Reference Agencies to conduct their creditworthiness and affordability assessment to enable them to make their decision.
If you still have questions about your finance application or need some help completing it, check out Deko’s FAQs here.
For any questions related to finance, please contact your lender. Their contact details will be provided throughout your application and on any communications you receive about your finance application.
If you have any questions or would like to know more, get in touch and we can discuss your options with you. For example, would you like to pay a larger deposit and have lower monthly payments?
The National Extension College (NEC) is a trading name of The Open School Trust and is a credit broker, not a lender and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 676788).
We do not charge you for credit broking services. We will introduce you exclusively to Omni
Capital finance products provided by Omni Retail Finance through the Deko platform.
As an education charity dedicated to helping independent learners to achieve life-changing qualifications, NEC wants to keep fees affordable. To keep our course fees as low as possible and ensure that they are affordable for individual students, who are often paying their own fees, we set course fees on a cost recovery basis. Any surplus we make is reinvested in improving the quality of our courses and developing our student support services.
Although our courses cost more than some other providers’, it’s important to be aware that we offer far more student support and higher quality learning resources than many of our competitors.
As a result, NEC’s fees for GCSEs and A levels offer some of the best value on the market, with multi-buy options, seasonal special offers, personal discounts, and affordable finance options.
Because we have so much experience, and are dedicated to helping our learners succeed, we also offer a much higher level of study support than many other online distance learning providers, providing real value for money.
On this page you’ll find information about any discounts and special offers we are currently running to help you save money on the cost of your learning.
As part of NEC’s mission to widen participation our team is happy to discuss payment options unavailable online. Please contact our team on 0800 389 2839 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For some courses, we offer discounts if you enrol on two or more courses together. The following multi-buy offers are available online and over the telephone. Please note: you must enter the corresponding voucher code at checkout to redeem your discount when purchasing online.
Purchasing more than one GCSE or IGCSE? Use voucher code GCSEMB10 to receive a 10% off at checkout.
Multi-buy A levels:
Purchasing more than one A level? Use voucher code ALMB10 to receive 10% off at checkout.
Multi-buy Structured Fast Track A levels:
Members of the armed forces can take advantage of the Standard Learning Credit (SLC) scheme: see the “Sources of financial help” section.
The TOTUM PRO card is available to current active students aged 16 or over, studying full or part-time in Further or Higher Education. The TOTUM PRO card replaces the NUS extra card but works exactly the same. It gives card holders access to a huge variety of special offers and discounts that help you save while you study. For further information about TOTUM PRO, including a full list of the deals and discounts they have on offer, visit the Totum website.
Ask about TOTUM PRO when you enrol, or, if you are already studying with us, please email our student support team.
From time to time we have special offers to help you save money on the cost of your studies. We’ll share details of these here.
From time to time NEC may provide an exclusive discount voucher code to redeem either online enrolment or by speaking to our Student Recruitment Team on 0800 389 2839.
Full terms and conditions:
Distance learning really can change lives. You can give a friend or relative the opportunity to learn something new by covering or contributing towards the cost of any course in our catalogue with an NEC gift voucher.
Gift vouchers are available in denominations of £25, £50 or £100.
Each year, NEC helps thousands of people get back into education and gain that a potentially life-changing qualification. With one of our gift vouchers, you can help someone towards that all-important course.
To find out more about our gift vouchers, call our course advisers on 0800 389 2839, or email us at email@example.com.
Terms and conditions
The following terms and conditions apply to NEC gift vouchers:
If you are educating your children at home, you might be interested in the multi-buy offer.
This is extended to all the family enrolling at the same time, whether that be siblings or parent and child. Please call our course advice team on 0800 389 2839 to discuss your particular needs.
Thanks to a long-standing agreement between NEC and unionlearn, trade unionists are entitled to a 10% discount on the cost of our courses. If you’re a member of a trade union, simply let us know when you enrol and we’ll reduce the cost of your course accordingly.
NEC is pleased to offer a 10% discount on all its online distance learning courses to Open University members of staff and their families, students and alumni. Just call to enrol.
In support and recognition of the vital work NHS members of staff perform. NEC is pleased to offer a 10% discount on all online distance learning courses to NHS workers during this time. Speak with a member of our Course Advice Team on 0800 389 2839 to enrol.
Existing and returning NEC students can get 10% off NEC courses. Contact our Course Advice Team for more information.
Depending on your own circumstances (and sometime your location), there are a number of possibilities for getting help to fund your online distance learning course.
The information here is not an exhaustive list but we hope it gives you an idea of where you could start to look for financial assistance. You could also consider approaching local community groups or charities specific to your own circumstances (such as ‘Help for Heroes’ if you are a former member of the Armed Forces).
If you are having financial hardship, you may be able to get help toward the cost of your course. Turn2Us have an online search tool which will search for available grants based on your personal circumstances and location.
Grants of up to £300 are available from Carers Trust towards the cost of funding for courses and materials that will develop carers’ skills.
If you’re homeschooling your child and looking for funding, we recommend speaking to your Local Authority. Depending on your location and personal circumstances, they may be able to assist you.
If you’re aged between 14 and 25, you may be able to get support from The Prince’s Trust Development Awards. Awards of up to £500 are available for courses up to level 3, subject to your personal circumstances.
If you are employed and want to study an NEC course to help you improve in your current job or prepare for a promotion, we suggest asking your employer if they are able to help you with the cost of studying. Some organisations have schemes to help employees in this way. We recommend presenting your employer with information about the course and how it will help you to become better in your role.
If you’re still not sure whether you’ll be able to afford the cost of studying with us, the following services might be able to offer further advice:
The majority of our courses are entirely self-contained, however for some courses there may be additional costs to bear in mind which are not included in the course fee.
Wherever possible, we have developed our courses in such a way that everything you need is included in the course materials we provide. However, in some cases you will need to acquire one or more texts that the course materials will refer to. For example, A level English Literature will require some books that you’ll read as part of your course.
If your course requires any additional resources they will be listed on the course information page for that subject, under ‘Set texts and resources’, so you can see what you’ll need before you enrol.
If your course leads to a qualification for which you have to sit exams, such as for A levels and GCSEs, exam fees are not included in your course fee. Your exam fees will need to be paid to the exam centre where you will sit your exams. Every awarding body charges a subject entry fee to each exam centre for every unit entered, which the exam centre then passes on to students. These fees vary from subject to subject and between different exam centres.
If you’re registering for your exams at one of our partnership exam centres, our student support team will arrange this for you and tell you how much the registration fee will be. If you’re sitting your exams elsewhere, you’ll need to speak to the centre’s examinations officer to find out the exact costs.
If your course leads to a vocational qualification you will probably need to register with the awarding body to become a member before you can sit the exam or be assessed (for example: registering with CMI for a management course). This fee may be an annual charge. Any relevant information will be given on the specific course information page.
To help you get the best results from your study, we offer a range additional services that can be purchased separately.
You can choose to add a past paper to be marked. Our A level and AS level courses include one past paper as standard, so if you’d like more to be marked, then this service would be useful.
The fee is £40.
If you’d like help to plan and manage your revision timetable before taking your exams, you can choose either a one hour or 30 minute tutorial, designed to help you to structure your revision. The session will be tailored to your individual needs and led by the tutor.
Revision tutorials cost £45 for 30 minutes or £60 for one hour.
As with the above, you can choose the duration and this will be useful if there is a particular area that requires additional attention. You can choose the subject of the tutorial.
Optional tutorials cost £45 for 30 minutes or £60 for one hour.
An additional review can be provided on your progress to date.
The fee for a Review is £40.
NEC offers two services to support you in your UCAS Application.
PREDICTED GRADES AND REFERENCES
You can choose from:
Predicted grades are a key part of the UCAS application process. They reflect the grade of qualification that your tutor believes you are likely to achieve in positive circumstances, which is then used by universities and colleges as an indicator of your academic ability and suitability for higher education.
NEC can only provide you with predicted grades for the course or courses you study with us once you have completed 50% of your course assignments, not including your Introductory Assignment. This requirement is because your tutor needs to have seen enough evidence of your usual way of working to base a predicted grade or academic comment on.
Please be aware that, for 2024 entry to university, the deadline to submit assignment work is by 16th September 2023 for 16th October 2023 UCAS deadline, and by 16th December 2023 for 31st January 2024 UCAS deadline.
UCAS is changing the format of References for the 2024 cycle. It will now have 3 distinct sections:
Section 1: establishment details – a general statement about NEC (mandatory)
Section 2: any information about extenuating circumstances which may affect an applicant’s performance in examinations or other assessments (optional)
Section 3: any other supportive information specific to the applicant that universities/colleges should be aware of (optional)
NEC is able to comment on the non-standard educational route of distance learning and we may be able to acknowledge information you have provided to NEC either on the ‘More About You’ form completed at enrolment or via our Pastoral service.
NEC may be able to include relevant academic comments from your tutors in Section 3 – Supportive Information. We are not able to request comments from your tutors until you have completed a minimum of 50% of your course assignments (as for predicted grades).
Please note that due to the nature of distance learning, NEC is unable to comment on work experience or extracurricular activities.
Once you have enrolled for this service, if NEC is providing all of your predicted grades and acting as your referee then you can opt to use NEC as your UCAS centre. We can provide you with our buzzword. Alternatively, we can email your predicted grade(s) and/or reference to an external referee of your choosing to be incorporated into their reference, or send this directly to your university.
PERSONAL STATEMENT REVIEW (£45)
The Personal Statement is the section of the UCAS application form where you tell the Admissions Tutors of your chosen universities about yourself and why you want to study the course you are applying to. You have an upper limit of 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text (including spaces and blank lines) to do this. The same Personal Statement will be sent to all of the different universities and courses you are applying to, so we have found this can be a challenging task for a lot of students.
NEC’s Personal Statement Review is a chance for you to gain additional support by submitting a draft of your Personal Statement to one of our experienced tutors for feedback. As far as possible, we will try to match you with one of our tutors who has a background in the area you want to study.
Ways to find more information:
Pre-enrolment: Contact our Course Advice Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a call at 0800 389 2839.
After you enrol: Have a look at our Applying to University area on learn@nec, your learning platform, for more detailed guidance. You can also find our UCAS services request form here, once you’re ready.
If you are considering applying to university, please have a look at the UCAS website in good time. UCAS provides a lot of resources to support you in making your application, including key dates you need to be aware of, specific course information and how to apply. NEC is not able to provide support about any entry requirements you will need to meet.