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Student Finance

Volume 454: debated on Tuesday 5 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many refunds were processed by the Student Loan Company in each year between 2000 and 2005; and what proportion of those refunds resulted from overpayment of student loans. (101856)

Details of refunds processed in the relevant years are shown in the following table.

Financial year

Number of refunds made on student loan accounts1

Number of refunds made as a result of credit balance on income-contingent loans2

Proportion of refunds made as a result of credit balance on income-contingent loans2(Percentage)

2000-01

9,953

0

0

2001-02

19,066

267

1

2002-03

20,690

2,062

10

2003-04

24,989

7,686

31

2004-05

32,702

12,638

39

2005-06

45,753

21,774

48

1 Numbers relate to English-domicile student loans in the Government-owned portfolio. 2 The increasing profile in this column results from the build up in number of income- contingent loans reaching the end of repayment, and thus liable to include an element of in-year over-repayment. The income-contingent loan system was introduced for the academic year 1998/99, so few loan accounts would have reached the end of repayment in the earlier years covered in the table.

Any overpayment by a borrower is automatically repaid by the Student Loans Company, with interest, as part of the annual process to update borrower accounts.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people repaying their student loan to the Students Loan Company saw their debt increase in the last year for which figures are available. (105780)

There were 1,376,209 borrowers in repayment status at 30 April 2005. Of these 501,699 saw their student loan debt increase in nominal terms by 13 March 2006. As the rate of interest on student loans is directly linked to the retail prices index, the value of all loans is kept the same in real terms as when they were taken out. This means that no student repays more than they originally borrowed regardless of how long it takes them to repay and how much interest accrues in the meantime.