The University student Financial loans Business is sitting on extra than £18m in overpayments built by graduates and other former students since 2015, two years just after its mountain of unclaimed refunds was first disclosed.
Figures obtained by freedom of information requests demonstrate that the SLC, which administers governing administration-backed financial loans for tuition and maintenance, has £18.3m in overpayments awaiting refund to just about 60,000 former students from 2015 to 2020.
The complete incorporates £2m in unwanted payments built in 2019-20, in spite of the SLC building administrative changes to reduce overpayments by graduates who experienced settled their outstanding debt.
The £18.3m complete is a lot less than the £21m in overpayments since 2015 exposed in figures printed by Investigation Professional Information two years ago, but suggests the SLC is not able to identify and refund lots of of the former students to whom its owes an common of £300 over that period of time.
Overpayments totalling £6.3m built in 2015-16 by yourself ended up held by the SLC two years ago, but the most up-to-date figures demonstrate that extra than £5m has however not been refunded.
Earnings-contingent pupil financial loans are repaid by salaried graduates by the payroll tax program administered by HMRC. The bulk of overpayments arose mainly because HMRC and the SLC exchanged info only after a year, but just lately the organisations have shared info after a 7 days to reduce the chances of overpayments.
The SLC reported it could not make refunds if former students did not supply their appropriate get in touch with information.
A spokesman for the SLC reported: “Customers can steer clear of over-compensation by opting to pay out their pupil bank loan by direct debit in the course of the past two years of compensation. We get in touch with each individual purchaser two years prior to the stop of their bank loan and urge them to switch their repayments to direct debit in the course of this period of time.
“In addition, we now instantly refund prospects and past year we instantly refunded £3.5m, but we can only do so if we keep up-to-day get in touch with information.”
Rachel Hewitt, director of coverage and advocacy at the Increased Instruction Policy Institute, told PA Media that the accountability must not drop on graduates to steer clear of overpayment.
“It is unethical for the bank loan recipients to have to acquire the accountability for making sure they are not overpaying, and reveals flaws in the program that there is however these kinds of a important amount of graduates overpaying. It is crucial that this is resolved, to steer clear of further more distrust in the financial loans program.”
Last year the SLC enabled repayments to be built on the internet for the first time but its initial website was attacked by Martin Lewis, the purchaser finance champion, for offering graduates a “demoralising, harmful and dangerous” image of their debt.