In Brief

How to find out if you have overpaid your student loan

The Student Loans Company holds £28m of unclaimed overpayments

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The Government is holding on to £28m of student loan overpayments that have not yet been claimed by graduates.

More than half a million former students in England overpaid their student loans, according to Student Loans Company (SLC) data.

Between 2009 and 2018, a total of £307,821,092 was overpaid when SLC continued to take repayments even though graduates had paid off their debts. This works out at an average overpayment of nearly £600 per person, says The Guardian.

The information was brought to light by higher education publication Research Professional News, which obtained the figures via Freedom of Information requests.

The Student Loans Company writes to graduates coming towards the end of their repayments offering them the ability to make further payments by direct debit, rather than being automatically deducted through their employer - a measure designed to prevent overpayments from happening.

“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,” said the SLC spokesperson.

“We want all customers to repay the right amount and not to over-repay on their loan.”

The Department for Education says the system has recently been improved to stop such overpayments happening again.

A government spokesperson said improvements included “changing the law in April to allow weekly data sharing between HMRC and the Student Loans Company.

“If a borrower believes there has been an over-repayment, they should contact the SLC to seek a refund.”

A report by MPs released in May found that the way student loan interest rates were set was “absurd”, reports the BBC.

Former education secretary Nicky Morgan said the current method of calculating interest rates was “consistently flawed”.

The system is set to push interest rates on tuition fee loans up to 6.3% this autumn.

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