Student Loan Overpayments


Kit Reviewer
This query is really about financial law, putting it firmly in the middle of two forums in this section of the site. Since the money bit is the most important, I'm sticking it in Finance! Here we go...

I've been expecting to pay off my Student Loan for quite some time now. This fact was reiterated to me by my financial advisor and family friend while he's been helping me with a mortgage renewal. The Student Loans Company have still been taking payments, though, and I've simply been waiting for them to stop (and send me this year's statement).

Luckily for me, during a bit of a loft clearout, I came across last years statement. The numbers on there, combined with my knowledge of what I'd been paying over the last year, set some alarms ringing. I also noticed a loose page in with the statement saying "You've nearly paid your loan off. If you'd like to reduce the risk of overpayment, you may wish to move to Direct Debit rather than PAYE." Evidently, at the time, I was naive enough to think they could do their jobs properly.

End result is that the SLC owe me just shy of a grand. I'm weeks away from my honeymoon and money like that would come in very handy. I also get the impression that this is something they tend to do a lot, and aren't particularly bothered about cleaning their act up because of all the extra interest they can earn. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if some people even more dense than I didn't realise enough to claim their reimbursement!

I'm in the process of preparing a cover letter to go with all my documented proof of recent payments. In it, I want to say to them "I'm not going to kick off, providing you hurry up and give me back my money. If you arse me around, however, I'm going to cause you as much grief as I possibly can". My question is this: How much grief can I cause?!

Continuing to take automated payments from a customer who has no debt to you strikes me as immoral at best and illegal at worst. Surely there is something in lending regulations that covers this? I'd like to know where the law, or at least their industry code of ethics, is on my side. The aim is to put enough key phrases into my nicely-worded snottogram to hurry them up. Any suggestions?

Finally, given all this, what are my chances of seeing the cash within a month? Assuming all the paperwork reaches them in a week, it's pretty clear cut that they should pay up. Any delay in releasing a cheque or whatever after that strikes me as unnecessary bureaucracy to drag it out a bit longer. Do I have much chance of avoiding this by using the aforementioned well-informed snottogram?Once again I look to the collective power of ARRSE for guidance. I thank you in advance.

P.S. Don't ask me how I managed to let them get this far with my cash!


Kit Reviewer
And apologies for the formatting. The recent site updates don't seem to be mixing with DII.
Construct a polite letter and provide evidence (copies not originals) of the over payment and ask for payment within 7 days. (Politely) If no answer or fobbed off after 7 days write them a firm polite letter demanding payment within 7 days or commencement of legal action. If no payment after a further 7 days go on-line and issue proceedings against them in the county court.


Kit Reviewer
Roger that. The letter is already written ready for sending tomorrow (with all proof), but it is a bit more lenient than 7 days. I'll write that bit in and get it off to them ASAP.

Is the 7+7 days considered reasonable in these circumstances? I can't see why it wouldn't be, but judges and banks have rules of their own.
For a large company 30 days is the norm...

Edited to add: they did warn you about the risk of overpayment: if you set up a standing order then it is up to you to cancel it: they have no control. I could set up a standing order from my bank account to yours and there would be nothing you could do about it.

A direct debit gives them control, and as such chances are they would have stopped on time.

Chance of you getting your money back inside 45 days? About 90%.
Cance of a Court listening to you? 5%.
You have to remember that it is your paying authority that has kept making the payments. The Student Loans body only check at the end of the year on the amount you have paid. This is why they recommend you go over to DD instead of PAYE. In the computer program your paying body uses will be a check box for "make student loan deductions". They simply need to uncheck the box and hey presto. However, as the money has gone to Student Loans, they will be responsible for paying you back. They will normally only do this at the end of the year but a letter explaining this should get their arses in gear. This happens a lot but, hey, they did write to you about it. Remember that when you fire off your missive.
Can't offer much advice but the SLC are the most incompetant bunch of t**sers on the entire planet. I don't know a single person they have not messed around. I'm surpised they havn't been slashed and burned. If everyone who had a grieviance with them took legal action, It would blow the SLC out of the water


Kit Reviewer
Dread: No standing order involved. Thanks exbleep for the explanation - I'm less inclined to call them thieving bastards now! If I'd realised that was how the system operated I would have gone with the DD. I figured the SLC had some control over when to stop payments, but now I can unfairly blame PPPA :-D
If they ignore or fob you off with the first letter, it might be worth mentioning you'd also be looking for interest on the overpaid amount in the threatening letter.

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