Could you be one of the people owed money back from the government after overpaying their student loans?
More than £28 million still hasn’t been paid back to graduates who paid too much – affecting more than half a million former students in England, who paid back an extra £600 more than they owed on average.
The SLC says it is contacting everyone who has overpaid their loans, via email, the post and text.
However, this only works if you have up-to-date contact details on record.
To make sure you know, log into your online portal where you can see exactly how much you still have left to pay off.
You can do this here, and will need your customer reference number (which you can find on any letters sent by the SLC – which should have been sent to your email address).
You can also find out how much you have left to pay by calling 0300 100 0611 (or +44 141 243 3660 from outside the UK). Again, you will need the customer reference number and standard details such as your date of birth.
If you think you have overpaid, this is again the number you should call.
The SLC recommends people should ‘ask for a refund if you think you’ve repaid your student loan in full but your employer is still making deductions from your salary.
‘The Student Loans Company (SLC) will ask HM Revenue and Customs to tell your employer. It can take around four weeks for salary deductions to stop.’
If you’ve been overpaid, the SLC will confirm bank details with you and transfer the money back via a BACS payment to your bank account.
People who reached the last two years of student loan repayments are recommended to switch to payments via direct debit.
This is because when you have payments deducted from your salary, it won’t automatically stop when the balance is paid off.
The SLC has to tell HMRC who then has to tell your employer, which can lead to a backlog and can mean people end up paying until the end of the tax year.
An SLC spokesperson said: ‘We want all customers to repay the right amount and not to over-repay on their loan. This is why we write to every customer in the last two years of their repayment, inviting them to repay by Direct Debit, as this will stop their employer deducting from earnings and help to prevent over repayment.
‘We pro-actively contact all customers that have over-repaid to make arrangements for a refund; customers who do not participate in the Direct Debit scheme can also claim a refund at any time by contacting us. We urge all customers to keep their contact details up-to-date so that we can contact them at the appropriate time about the Direct Debit Scheme.
‘To improve our repayments system, we have started to receive payment information from HMRC which will help to prevent customers from over repaying and provide them with more up-to-date information about their loan repayment.’