The Student Loans Company (SLC) is holding on to over £28m ($36m) in student loan over-payments — and you might be just a phone call away from reclaiming a share.
Last year a Freedom of Information request by education publication Research Professional News found that graduates had overpaid by almost £308m, with nearly 10% of that figure still unclaimed since 2009.
The SLC say they are rolling out a system to issue automatic refunds to those who have paid too much.
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The company say they have contacted everybody who is owed a refund – but due to the somewhat transient nature of students and graduates, many change addresses numerous times without updating their details, which means many people will have slipped through the net.
Steven Darling, director of repayment & counter fraud at SLC said: “We are always looking at ways to improve the service that we provide, that’s why we are starting this trial, alongside other improvements to the repayment service that we’ll be introducing later this year.
Why might you have overpaid?
People sometimes may have paid off their loans but delays in the system meant they continued to make repayments. Overpayments may have also hit graduates who have yet to pay off their loan.
Until recently, the SLC only got updates from HM Revenue & Customs at the end of the tax year.
This meant those who cleared their balance part way through the year would continue to be charged.
How do I claim a refund?
Call the SLC on 0300 100 0611 (or +44 141 243 3660 if you live outside the UK) and have to hand your SLC account reference number and the answer to your "secret question."
A call handler will be able to check whether there have been any overpayments and process a potential refund.