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