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Students: Loans

Volume 506: debated on Friday 5 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many borrowers had a Student Loan Company debt cancelled or written off in each of the last five years; and in how many such cases action was taken because of (a) bankruptcy and (b) completion of an individual voluntary arrangement. (319902)

The available information is shown in the table. Figures reflect the year in which the processing of the write-off took place and not necessarily the year in which the circumstances surrounding the write-off occurred.

Student loan borrowers with accounts cancelled or written-off1 England

Financial year

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-094

Cancelled or written-off2

800

1,600

3,300

4,600

6,300

of which:

because of bankruptcy3

500

900

on completion of IVA3

100

100

— = nil or negligible

1 The table shows the financial year in which the cancellation or write-off action was processed. The total includes both Mortgage Style and Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) borrowers.

2 The functionality for processing cancellation of IC loans due to death and disability was put in place in 2008-09. Some write-offs due to death or disability were processed manually in earlier years, but a number of such write-offs dating back to previous years were processed in 2008-09 and are included in this figure.

3 The functionality for processing write-offs due to bankruptcy and on completion of an IVA was put in place in 2007-08. Some write-offs due to bankruptcy or IVAs were processed manually in earlier years, but a number of such write-offs dating back to previous financial years were processed in 2007-08 and 2008-09 and are included in figures for those years.

4 Provisional

Source:

Student Loans Company

The number of student loan borrowers has increased each year since loans were introduced in 1990, and it is therefore expected that the number of loans cancelled or written-off will increase annually.

Student loans have been exempt from bankruptcy arrangements since 2004, therefore the figures provided for write-offs due to bankruptcy in 2007-08 and 2008-09 all relate to bankruptcy in earlier years. The Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 contains the provision to exclude student loans from Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs).