Going to university is very expensive these days, and most students take out a loan to get them through.

These are provided in the UK by the government-backed Student Loan Company (SLC), and cover tuition fees and living expenses (maintenance).

The loan only needs to be paid back when the student has completed their studies and is earning over a certain threshold.

That threshold – for students who were living in Northern Ireland or Scotland when they took out the loan – is £18,330 in 2018-19. (It’s different for students from England or Wales).

Repayment of the loan

Now, as well as having to earn over the threshold, the borrower only has to start repayments from the April after they’ve completed their course. So for someone who graduated this year (2018), they won’t need to pay back anything until April 2019 at the earliest.

If they’re working in the UK, their repayments are collected by HMRC through the PAYE system, alongside their tax and national insurance.

The problem is that some people overpay the loan, by starting to repay it earlier than they need to. This is usually due to a mistake on their part or by their employer, but it happens more than you might think. One recent report estimated that over 100,000 university leavers in the last three years have started their repayments too early. They’ve typically overpaid by £100s.

The good news is that this money can be claimed back

All the borrower needs to do is check with the SLC and – if owed money – apply for a refund. That even applies if the loan has been repaid in full.

This blog post provides general information only and may not apply to your particular circumstances.

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