Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • stevemania1
    • By stevemania1 3rd Jan 18, 4:58 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    stevemania1
    Paing off a student loan from South Africa
    • #1
    • 3rd Jan 18, 4:58 PM
    Paing off a student loan from South Africa 3rd Jan 18 at 4:58 PM
    Dear all,

    I graduated from university in 2007 and immediately started teaching and as my salary was over the threshold, I started repaying my student loan straight away. At the time it was around GBP18000.

    In 2011 my family and I moved to South Africa where I had a teaching post. I completed the overseas assessment form and found that again I was over the threshold so still needed to continue paying. Having moved, we deliberately left pounds in our UK accounts to cover my repayments. We also had some small help from family. The pounds have run out and to expect more help from family is asking too much of them. We are therefore left with trying to service the debt using Rands.

    We have discovered how difficult it is to pay everyday expenses in South Africa using Rands, let alone paying my student debt as well using Rands. In fact, it's proving to be impossible.

    I contacted SLC today to try to find a way to reduce my payments to something more manageable. At present I need to find the equivalent of GBP89 each month which at the current exchange rate is around R1500 a month. I was hoping to halve this at the very least otherwise I risk going into arrears! I said that I wanted to be proactive and wanted to avoid this situation. I was told that if I go into arrears, the SLC will contact me requesting payment and if none is forthcoming they then hand this over to a debt collecting agency. This is a nightmare scenario! I have never defaulted on a loan and don't intend to start now.

    We can't afford the current payments but have been told that we can't reduce them either. I would appreciate any help that anyone can give me.

    Thanks all.
Page 1
    • Arleen
    • By Arleen 3rd Jan 18, 7:18 PM
    • 1,100 Posts
    • 824 Thanks
    Arleen
    • #2
    • 3rd Jan 18, 7:18 PM
    • #2
    • 3rd Jan 18, 7:18 PM
    If you cannot afford to pay under your current agreement and they are not willing to give you any sort of holiday then you will have to default on it or find the missing amount of money somewhere else. Although it seems weird that you have to repay student loans beyond what is affordable, are there not some money you can save in monthly budget?
    • ViolaLass
    • By ViolaLass 3rd Jan 18, 7:34 PM
    • 5,204 Posts
    • 7,212 Thanks
    ViolaLass
    • #3
    • 3rd Jan 18, 7:34 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Jan 18, 7:34 PM
    If you're paying £89 a month, that suggests you have a salary of c£19k. First thing, is that correct?

    Could you or anyone in your family earn more?
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 3rd Jan 18, 8:06 PM
    • 1,415 Posts
    • 6,084 Thanks
    BrassicWoman
    • #4
    • 3rd Jan 18, 8:06 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Jan 18, 8:06 PM
    looking at comparative cost of living that doesn't seem excessive

    https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=South+Africa

    What is causing the issue? Low salary? Supporting other people? Exchange rate tanked?
    Jan 18 grocery challenge £105.13/ £150
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 4th Jan 18, 10:37 AM
    • 1,188 Posts
    • 1,289 Thanks
    badmemory
    • #5
    • 4th Jan 18, 10:37 AM
    • #5
    • 4th Jan 18, 10:37 AM
    What exchange rate are SLC using for income. I'm sure I read somewhere that they are using totally unrealistic ones.
    • stevemania1
    • By stevemania1 5th Jan 18, 8:10 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    stevemania1
    • #6
    • 5th Jan 18, 8:10 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Jan 18, 8:10 PM
    We unfortunately have to pay school fees which work out at about one third of my net income (SA state schools are generally of a poor standard so we have to go private). Medical aid is about one quarter of my income. (from memory National Insurance was a much smaller percentage of my salary in the UK). Food is ridiculously expensive too.

    Comparatively I'm earning much less here than I was 6 years ago in the UK. The exchange rate is volatile. At the moment it's about 17 to 1 but has been as high as 25 to 1 I think.
    • ViolaLass
    • By ViolaLass 5th Jan 18, 11:54 PM
    • 5,204 Posts
    • 7,212 Thanks
    ViolaLass
    • #7
    • 5th Jan 18, 11:54 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Jan 18, 11:54 PM
    If you're struggling so much in SA, is it the right decision to remain there? (I appreciate it's not as straight forward as that but it's a question to consider)

    Could you get a better paying job?
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 6th Jan 18, 11:07 AM
    • 1,415 Posts
    • 6,084 Thanks
    BrassicWoman
    • #8
    • 6th Jan 18, 11:07 AM
    • #8
    • 6th Jan 18, 11:07 AM
    The student loans people will not really care that you would like to prioritise discretionary health and education costs ahead of the legally binding agreement you took out with them.
    Jan 18 grocery challenge £105.13/ £150
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

927Posts Today

6,752Users online

Martin's Twitter