Student loans overpayments: How to claim a refund

Student loan repayments can be a burden, but for the most part they tick along quietly in the background. As they’re deducted at source, and can often be spread across many months, it’s not easy to track just how much you’ve paid over time.

It might be time to take a closer look, as it recently came to light that there’s over £28m of unclaimed overpayments on England-based student loans.

Wondering if this applies to you? Over 500,000 students are said to have been affected.

How student loan overpayments happen

If you were making student loan repayments between 2009-10 or 2017-18, there’s a chance that your student loan deductions continued after your loan was paid off.

The Department for Education says that data sharing has recently been improved to prevent overpayments from happening in the future. However, the overpayments work out to an average of £600 per affected person, which isn’t small change!

You may have overpaid on your student loan if:

  • You made a mistake when giving information on your student loan to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), such as the wrong date for when you finished your studies.
  • Your employer set up student loan repayments too early

You may also be owed a refund if your annual income was below the threshold, or you started paying off your student loan before you needed to.

sorting through bills

What’s being done to resolve the issue?

The Student Loans Company (SLC) is in the process of contacting those who’ve been affected in order to arrange refunds. However, as some time has passed, they’ve found that some graduate contact details aren’t up-to-date. This means that lots of people are potentially missing out on overpayment refunds that they’re owed.

I think I’ve overpaid my student loan – how do I claim for a refund?

If you believe you’ve overpaid your student loan, you can get in touch with the SLC to seek a refund.

Before contacting the SLC, take some time to check your payslips and your P40 forms for the last few years. This will give you an idea of how much you’ve paid already. Having these to hand will make it easier for the SLC to check your payment history. They may need your PAYA and payroll reference number, so keep those nearby as well.

You can find more information about getting a student loan overpayment refund on the SLC website.

MoneySavingExpert have also put together a helpful guide on how to deal with a student loan overpayment depending on when you graduated, and how much is left of your student loan balance.

A claims company says they can get me a refund on my student loan. Should I trust them?

If you’re owed a refund on your student loan, you can discuss this directly with the SLC. You don’t need a third party to facilitate this for you, and you shouldn’t pay a fee for any such service.

I’m dealing with debt from university. What should I do?

If you have debt such as loans, credit cards or overdrafts from when you were in university, free online debt advice is available.

You can also chat to one of our friendly debt advisors about your situation. Once we know what you’re dealing with, we’ll take a look into any debt solutions that may be right for you.

Have you received a refund for an overpayment on your student loan? How did you find out that you were eligible? Please tell us all about it in the comments!

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