Graduates promised student loan repayment system 'overhaul' in 2020

30 December 2019

Government promises to introduce new online student loan repayment system.

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A new online repayment system for student loans will be go live in 2020, the Department for Education has announced.

Graduates using the service will be able to see and manage up to date information about their student loan balance online.

The overhaul aims to modernise the current Student Loans Company (SLC) repayment system, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands graduates being overcharged.

More than £28 million has been overpaid on student loans in England alone between 2009 and 2018, analysis from Research Professional News, a publication for higher education found.

The overpayments were caused by irregular communication between HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which tracks how much individuals have repaid on their student loans, and the SLC.

HMRC would only notify the SLC with repayment information once a year, meaning that if someone had paid off their loan, this information could take months to be passed on.

In April 2019, HMRC and SLC agreed to start sharing repayment data on a weekly basis to reduce the number of overpayments being made.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson says that the new wave of changes will make it “easier for students to understand their balance, manage their loans and avoid over-repaying.”

While the new online system will largely replace paper statements, graduates will still be able to request paper ones.

How to reclaim a student loan overpayment

If you think you've overpaid your student loan, you need to get in touch with the SLC to arrange a refund.

The SLC will check its records and issue a refund directly into your bank account.

It will also tell HM Revenue and Customs to ask your employer to stop making deductions from your account, although these can take up to four weeks to halt.

If you’re currently making student loan repayments, it’s worth getting in touch with SLC to find out how much you have outstanding and when you’re likely to have it paid off.

The SLC can be contacted via post or by calling one of the following numbers:

  • England, Northern Ireland or Scotland: 0300 100 0611
  • Wales: 0300 100 0370
  • Outside of the UK: +44 (0)141 243 3660

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