Student loan changes 2011/12
in Student MoneySaving
2 replies 52 views
So I'd really love some advice please. Basically I changed uni courses in 2012 (started a course in 2011) but was told I had to go on the higher fees because I was a new student and not a continuing student. I queried it at the time but that's what I was told. This was fine and I was paying the year I did on the lower fees until I was made redundant last year. However, I received a call out of the blue from student finance about three weeks ago to tell me that this was wrong and I should have been on the lower fees all along so they were putting my whole tuition on this. As a result of this, they then said they overpaid me a grant of £817. The resolutions team told me I would have to pay this back separately to which I said that's fine but I don't have an income and won't be able to pay it back anytime soon. They also said this was fine but to explain to the repayments team. Unfortunately now the repayments team have been non-stop hassling me to whisk up this money out of nowhere, even demanding my partner pay it and asking about his finances! I tried pleading with them to put it on hold for now but then they told me to go to a debt collection agency to manage my own finances! I don't have an income and I was asked why hadn't I found a new job yet!? I think this is incredibly unprofessional behaviour and have made a complaint to the complaints team who also said that that wasn't fair. My partner and I were thinking of starting a family soon but due to the stress it's causing me, I don't think we can. I'd really like some advice on whether they can just demand this money right now and whether my partner can be expected to pay it seeing as we're not married and he wasn't the one that took out the loan. Thanks in advance.
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I don’t know about their demands for an instant repayment, logically this is their error so they should allow you time to repay.
They definitely have no rights to demand your partner repays or declares income.
I'd be VERY interested to hear that recorded call.
That all being said, while your situation is unfortunate, SLC is entitled to reclaim the funds you owe following their review of your account.
What they cannot do, is ask you to repay more than you can afford.
As you are contractually indebted to them, as Creditor they are quite entitled to ask you for details of your HOUSEHOLD income and expenditure which includes details of your partner's contribution to the household income.
They will fairly review your outgoings to your income and use that to determine a mutually agreeable repayment plan.
If your outgoings mean that you cannot temporarily make repayments to the balance owed, then they will put a short pause on further action but they will, and are entitled to request updated details from you as frequently as they like (usually every 6 months or so).
They cannot, and WILL not tell you to repay the full amount in one lumpsum or put you in a position that will harm you financially as they are required to adhere to industry standards for Treating Customers Fairly as with any other Private Financial Institute.
If you can only afford £5a week, or even a month (after they see your income and expenditure) then they will accept it.
I'm sure that you'll come to an arrangement quite easily with them.