Student Advice Service – Money Matters

News from the Student Advice Service at the University of Brighton


(Nearly) all you ever wanted to know about student finance overpayments but were afraid to ask


It is important that you understand the full implications of any changes which may affect your student finance amount and what happens if you have been overpaid any money.

We see many students each year who have been overpaid so we know it is a common issue and this year the Student Loans Company are introducing new changes to their overpayment recovery procedures which will have an impact on anyone who has been overpaid.

Overpayments can occur where there has been a personal or financial change in your ‘household’ circumstances eg your childcare costs have reduced or your parent has a promotion at work, but if you withdraw or intermit from your course then you may find that you have been overpaid student finance (e.g. maintenance loan and grant) and the Student Loans Company may demand you repay any overpayment. Read on to find out more…..

What is a grant or loan overpayment?

Your total student finance payments are split over three terms. Each payment is made in advance to help with costs for the full term ahead.

You only remain entitled to the payments for each term if:

  • you continue to attend your university or college and don’t take a break or leave your course; and
  • all the necessary financial evidence to support your application has been provided on time.

If you don’t comply with this, then:

  • your entitlement for the academic year will be reassessed and reduced; and
  • as payments are made in advance of each term, the reduction will likely result in you being paid too much. This is known as an overpayment.

Most loan and grant overpayments happen if you intermit (suspend your studies) or withdraw from your course. If you decide to withdraw or intermit, it’s important you let the University know immediately – the University will then inform the Student Loans Company, who will contact you with details of any overpayment that may have resulted. If you’re thinking of intermitting or withdrawing you should contact ourselves in the Student Advice Service and we can explain exactly how this will affect your student funding and what your likely overpayment (if any) might be.

Both maintenance loan and grant overpayments will be recovered from any future maintenance loan entitlement, including from a later year of the same course in which the overpayment was incurred as well as from a different course (if you transfer courses for example).

What if I leave my course?

If you leave your course with an overpayment remaining, you will have to repay this directly to the Student Loans Company, in addition to any loans which you are already repaying through salary deductions or income tax self assessment.

You can try and agree a repayment plan with the Student Loans Company which is affordable for you.

What if this leaves me in financial hardship?

You may be able to apply for hardship payments from the Student Loans Company – further details here

Further Information

For more information about this or any other money related issue, please contact us in the Student Advice Service (telephone 01273 642888 or email The Student Loans Company also has useful information about loan and grant overpayments here

Student Advice Service

Helen Abrahams • May 8, 2018

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  1. susan ives January 27, 2021 - 12:05 pm Reply
    Hello, my son owesover £2000 in an overpaid grant, I have been trying to pay it back for him for the past 8 years, I’m trying to find out if interest would have been added during that period
    Many thanks sue

    • Helen Abrahams January 27, 2021 - 12:36 pm Reply

      Dear Sue

      Thank you for your comment.

      A grant does not accrue any interest, even if it has been overpaid to the student. However, all loans do accrue interest so I advise your son to check his online account with Student Loans Company SLC and check the outstanding amounts.
      He can also contact the Student Advice team here at Brighton if he needs any help with this:

      Best wishes
      Helen Abrahams

      Student Advice Service Manager

  2. Bernie May 17, 2021 - 12:19 pm Reply

    Hi Helen,
    My son was overpaid and now has a repayment plan
    Will this affect his credit score?
    He is hoping to buy a flat and will require a loan
    Is it better if he pays off the overpayment in full?
    Grateful for your advice

    • Helen Abrahams May 18, 2021 - 7:55 am Reply

      Hi Bernie

      Thank you for your question. One of the Advisers will contact you direct about this.

      You son can also get in touch if he has got any questions about his funding or funding for future years by emailing the team: We can talk to him over email, Teams or the telephone, whichever he prefers.

      Best wishes

  3. Chloe Wood June 19, 2021 - 11:27 am Reply

    I’ve just had a letter saying I’ve been overpaid by just over £1000 due to their miscalculation- not my fault. I’m just wondering if this will be paid back as a lump sum, a payment plan or added to the end of my student loan which I will pay back?

    • Helen Abrahams June 21, 2021 - 8:01 am Reply

      Hi Chloe
      Thanks for your question
      If you have been contacted by Student Finance, you should be told how the overpayment will be recovered. If you are continuing with your studies in September 2021, the most likely method of recovery would be from your award for next year.
      If you have already finished your studies, it is possible that you will just repay the amount with your loan balance.
      However, if it is a grant overpayment it is possible that Student Finance will expect you to repay the amount sooner and you can set up a payment plan or repay in a lump sum if you have access to this amount of money.
      If you would like one of the Student Advisers to give you a call over Teams or on the phone to discuss this further, please contact the Student Advisers direct, giving your University of Brighton student number and your contact details and someone will get back to you promptly.

      Best wishes

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