Are You Overpaying Your Student Loan?

86,000 graduates have overpaid, some up to £10,000 on their student loans!

Are You Overpaying Your Student Loan?

by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

Are you seeing your student loan payments drain your bank account month after month? On top of the loan money itself, and the interest on that initial amount loaned, could it be that you’re also paying some extra by accident? Turns out 86,000 of you are, if the Student Loans Company’s (SLC) ex-head is to be believed.

Steve Lamey was in charge of the SLC until last week, when a Whitehall inquiry found him guilty of talking negatively about the company in public. (He’d said that 50% of calls by students had been mishandled, when really it’s normally one in five and only rises to 50% at peak periods, like the beginning of the academic year).

**WATCH NOW: Student Loans Explained **

And he’s now said that HM Revenue & Customs didn’t play ball when he was in charge.

He claims to have requested real-time tax information from HMRC so that the £51 million in overpayments made by graduates - yes, £51 million - could be avoided entirely. However, the HMRC told him that though they collect this information from employers every month, they could only give the Student Loans Company that information by 2019, after the next tax year.

The SLC administers the loans of six million students, and its data show that a whopping 86,000 - that’s the population of Harlow or Rochford - graduates have overpaid. The average amount overpaid is £592, but it transpires some graduates have overpaid up to £10,000 too much! That’s the amount a degree cost way back in 2005-2012.

Mr Lamey told _The Time_s: ’We have been asking HMRC for up-to-date student loan repayment data ever since the development of the real-time information system [collecting information on how much tax people have paid in real time instead of annually] several years ago but they consistently blocked our request.’

‘HMRC told us that the earliest they would give it to us was 2019-2020.’

Mr Lamey says he’s got the official documents to prove he’s made the request, too. HMRC have responded to say it will explore how it can ‘manage repayment information more effectively’, like giving SLC up to date information.

To find out if you’ve overpaid on your student loan, do contact the SLC, it only mishandles one in five calls!

You might also be interested in:

How Does Your Student Loan Actually Work?

Is Your Student Loan Growing By £1,800 A Year?

Interest Rates On Student Loans Now Higher Than On Most Mortgages

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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