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Students: Loans

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much the Student Loans Company has repaid following overpayments by people with student loans; and if he will make a statement. (269119)

The Statistical First Release Student Loans for Higher Education in England, Financial Year 2007-08 (Provisional) includes the amounts the Student Loans Company has refunded to borrowers from 2005-06. Consistent data are not available for earlier years. This document is published by the Student Loans Company and is available on the SLC website at:

www.slc.co.uk/pdf/slcsfr022008.pdf

For income contingent loans, because there is a time lag between student loan deductions being made and the Student Loan Company (SLC) receiving information from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), it is possible for people to overpay before the SLC becomes aware that their repayments should stop. Because of this, borrowers are advised to monitor their own repayments so they know when they are likely to come to the end of repaying their loan. If they do not, they could overpay.

The SLC is exploring number of measures to help customers avoid overpayment, including giving them the option to make final repayments outside the tax system, via direct debit, to ensure they do not overpay. The SLC has also introduced new guidance and tools, including an on-line calculator, to help customers work out their loan balance, and therefore when they are likely to repay their loan in full. This facility is also available by telephone.

In the main, MS loans are repaid by direct debit (or standing order), which continue to deduct repayments so long as there is a balance outstanding on the customer's account. SLC administers these loans directly, issuing customers an annual statement. This reduces the likelihood of overpayments being made, although it is still possible for them to occur in some circumstances.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many graduates he estimates will complete the repayment of their student loans in the next (a) three months, (b) six months and (c) 12 months. (269121)

The information requested is not available.

The Statistical First Release Student Loans for Higher Education in England, Financial Year 2007-08 (Provisional) includes figures of borrowers who have fully repaid loans in the last three years. This document is published by the Student Loans Company and available on the SLC website at:

www.slc.co.uk/pdf/slcsfr022008.pdf