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Students: Loans

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL17666, tabled on 3 September 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to refund the £28.5 million of student loan overpayments made since 2009–10; and if so, when.

Answered on

9 September 2019

The government has introduced a system that allows weekly sharing of data between HM Revenue & Customs and the Student Loans Company (SLC) so that loan repayments and the clearing of balances can be updated more accurately. In the past, such data sharing has been on an annual basis, which could mean a delay before the repayment system recognised the loan had been paid in full.

The SLC allows customers who are within 23 months of repaying their student loan to repay it through direct debit. A letter confirming this is issued to eligible customers, along with their annual statement. Customers who sign up to the scheme then repay the set amount over the agreed time, at the end of which the balance will be cleared and any over-repayment avoided.

The SLC contacts all customers who, nonetheless, over repay on their student loan debt, to invite them to apply for a refund. This can prove difficult if the borrower has failed to keep their contact details up to date. Once the relevant details have been confirmed, the SLC will issue refunds.