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Students: Loans

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what proportion of students who applied for a student loan received it after the agreed date in each of the last five years. (227424)

The first payments of income-contingent student loans are made after the university or college confirms that the student is in attendance. On current performance, the Student Loans Company (SLC) then initiates payment within one working day of receipt of the confirmation in all cases. Payments are made through an automated system into bank accounts, which takes three working days from initiation.

A payment may be made after the start of the course if the student's application has been received late and did not allow sufficient time for processing. A change in student's circumstances can also affect payment where re-assessment is required.

SLC monitors payment performance against a target set in a service level agreement with the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and reported in the SLC Annual Report. The target is for 95 per cent. or more of payments to be initiated within one working day of confirmation of attendance, and 99 per cent. within two days. In 2007-08 100 per cent. were initiated within one working day.

The following table shows performance given in the annual reports. The target has changed over the years.

Measure

Target (percentage)

Actual performance (percentage)

2007-08

Initiated in 1 working day

95

100

Initiated in 2 working days

99

100

2006-07

Initiated in 1 working day

95

98.2

Initiated in 2 working days

99

100

2005-06

Initiated within month

99

99.4

2004/05 academic year

Loans paid 1-14 days

90

94.9

Loans paid 1-17 days

100

95.4

2003/04 academic year

Loans paid 1-14 days

90

91.9

Loans paid 1-17 days

100

94.7