/ As if student loans are not big enough already!?

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Offwidth - on 05 Aug 2017
https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/aug/05/student-loan-company-finance-complaints-debt

"Graduates who have paid off their student loans say they are continuing to have as much as £300 a month taken from their pay packets by the Student Loans Company, with some talking of two-year battles to obtain refunds. These are among the latest complaints from graduates who allege shocking treatment at the hands of the government-backed SLC – treatment, they argue, no other UK financial institution would be allowed to get away with."

Keep an eye on your outgoings as you near the end of the payback period folks!
Dax H - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

Sounds similar to what a few mates have been through with the CSA.
Payments carrying on after they should have stopped, double payments taken by mistake that take months to get back.
Anything official that the government have set up always seems a farce.
henwardian - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to Dax H:

> Anything official that the government have set up always seems a farce.

Except HMRC. Those guys are great. They give me money back every year without fail and every time I phone up with only a vague idea how to even explain what I'm trying to do or find out, they calmly talk me through it and explain everything.
(Genuinely not sarcastic, they deserve more love).
MG - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to henwardian:

I agree. Unfairly maligned.
Offwidth - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:
I also agree their helplines are great and they usually resolve problems really well (and they certainly deserve more love) but they make too many mistakes in the first place, probably due to being understaffed. It was a sign of truely dumb government when we made excessive cutbacks to HMRC in times of austerity: when budgets are tight governments should invest in tax collection.
Post edited at 10:45
gethin_allen on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to henwardian:

But HMRC are quite hard to get hold of, especially by phone. Although they did cough up and sort my tax refund out fairly quickly this year.

My current struggle with the SLC is that they have no record of any repayments I've made through PAYE for the last two years and the previous year the same was the case until I contacted them.
So around £1700 has been deducted from my wages and has not been deducted from my debt and I've been charged interest on it. Fortunately as my debt is pretty old it's on the old interest rate which isn't anywhere as large as therates new students are paying.
Offwidth - on 05 Aug 2017
gethin_allen on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

> Back on subject:


I thought my point was pretty much on topic. The SLC getting things wrong.
Philip on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

Near the end you can switch to direct debit. The over pay is due to Inland revenue dictating payments to your employer and they only say stop after the summer after the April after you have finished repaying, as SLC only find out about previous year after tax year ends.

But if you switch to DD and are on self assessment you need to ring them to fix the SA figure (which tries to collect non existent under payments)
Jim C - on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

I will show this to my daughter( she works for the SLC)
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Jack B on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

Oh yes, the SLC. I gave them my new address a couple of years ago, my new address is visible in the online system, and it comes up if I phone them, but they somehow keep sending statements to the place I lived before I went to Uni - 12 years ago. It's a good job HMRC collect the money for them, because they obviously wouldn't have much luck chasing me for it.
girlymonkey - on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

People pay back student loans?!?! Wow!
(I think in 15 years since I finished my degree I have paid back around £10!)
9
climbingpixie on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to Philip:

Only being able to get an updated balance once a year seems ridiculous to me, I'm sure the SLC and the Inland Revenue could come up with a better solution if they actually cared. Or the SLC could be a bit more proactive about giving people a warning as they were getting close to paying off their loans. I'm within a couple of months of paying mine off (or would be if I hadn't jacked my job in to go back and do an MSc) and I've not heard a peep from the SLC - it's almost like they people to overpay...
JIMBO on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

I once had a frustrating few hours on the phone a few years ago... I rang SLC to stop payments as I had finished, they said I had to ring HMRC. I rang HMRC and they said I had to wring SLC. After a few rounds of ping pong between the two I was told I needed to speak to the special SLC section of HMRC! So I asked for that department's number and I was told 'they don't have one'!

I also found for 5 or 6 years after paying it off I would randomly start paying again and have to go through stop and repayment procedures. The whole thing was a nightmare. I would have preferred a bank loan to just pay by direct debit.

I did manage to write a few letters of complaint and I was rewarded with some compensation to cover the vast photocopying of payment documents, the phone call costs and postage... it came to about a tenner!
colinakmc - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

Stepson recently got into dialogue with the student loans folk as he entered the last financial year during which he'd be due to finish payment. The system seems a bit arcane in that the money they take off your salary each month, only gets paid to you loan balance once a year. So what he agreed with them was to set up a standing order, so that he paid the last bit from his bank, rather than letting them deduct it from his wages.
Outcome is that the loan, and the SO, finish in September, whereas the direct debit would have continued til March.

So the moral is to get in touch with them BEFORE your loan finishes.
climbingpixie on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to climbingpixie:

> I'm within a couple of months of paying mine off (or would be if I hadn't jacked my job in to go back and do an MSc) and I've not heard a peep from the SLC

Oops, I actually need to retract the above - I've just had a letter this week to tell me that that I've got less than a year left on my loan and to contact them to set up a direct debit so I don't overpay. So it seems that they do proactively contact people, though I guess they work on what you paid the year before and if you'd had a payrise you could still be caught out.

ianstevens - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Offwidth:


> as you near the end of the payback period

So never?
Offwidth - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to ianstevens:

Sadly yes for many going to Univeraity now but current problems are those paying off the earlier lower fee levels.
ByEek on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

> Sadly yes for many going to Univeraity now but current problems are those paying off the earlier lower fee levels.

Agreed. Just finished a PGCE and am now £20k in the hole. Not that bad though as the house now has new windows and a new kitchen. I don't envisage I will pay it off as the interest is vastly more than the repayments until I earn £45k+ and by then I will probably half way through the 30 year pay off period. I see it simply as a graduate tax.
1
Toccata on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

> People pay back student loans?!?! Wow!

> (I think in 15 years since I finished my degree I have paid back around £10!)

Back in the day you just declared yourself bankrupt on graduation and the loan disappeared. A loophole that was closed quickly.
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Offwidth - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to Toccata:

It was hardly a smart move though, unless clearing other massive debts at the same time. Lots of consequencies. It's interesting that the Telegraph regarded this as students ripping off the taxpayer but for buisnessmen a neccesary protection. Some more current info here:

http://www.becomingbankrupt.co.uk/bankruptcy-your-student-loan.html

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